News will be number one within six months: Clive Dickens

Seven’s soon-to-launch online news platform,, can become number one within six months and will be ‘very different’ from Ten Daily and, chief digital officer Clive Dickens has said.

Dickens is confident that by combining the off-network audiences of with on-platform audiences, it will help create the number one online news website in Australia. The new website will also integrate stories from Seven West Media entities Pacific Magazines and The West Australian, where needed.

Dickens (far right) with Angus Ross and Natalie Harvey

Dickens, who on Friday announced Seven would unveil a 100% controlled online news platform, said new technology and integrating off-platform and on-platform audiences would boost the audience size as well. 

“Yes we have the number one broadcast brand with its afternoons, evenings, and late night bulletins, but there is thousands of hours of video content in any given month that never makes it on air,” Dickens said.

“Although Seven News is barely competitive when it comes down to the Nielsen DCR ratings, it’s extremely competitive when it comes down to social. If you ever look at Seven News Sydney, Seven News Melbourne these are by far the biggest social accounts in the country and that’s where we’ll bring this all together.”

According to Dickens, Seven News’ current online offering has an average daily unique audience of more than 400,000 according to Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings for Yahoo7. That’s compared to more than 1m for entities like For the month of September,’s audience was 9.435m, while had a unique audience of 8.351m. 

It is set to launch in quarter one next year, around the same time as Nielsen’s IAB-endorsed secondary crediting tool, and following the split of Seven and Yahoo’s parent company Oath in the next few weeks. 

“Today, millions of Australians a month got to Yahoo7 to get their Seven News content,” he said. “That doesn’t put Seven in the top five or top seven position but sneaks it in at about the top 10 on a daily basis. Really what we’ve been working and the new product we will launch in quarter one, shortly after the formalisation of the break up.

“There’ll be a transitional agreement where 7News will stay hosted in the Oath-owned product for a series of months while we launch the product. The thing about launching a product is it is a crowded market. There’s no point just rushing something up for the sake of it. We’ve been spending a lot of time, a lot of money, just thinking about the gap in the market is and how we will achieve our ambition.”

Dickens said the advantage of launching the product later than Seven’s rivals is leveraging new and smarter technology and avoiding “tech debt”. He is also confident the offering will be different enough to rivals Nine and Ten, which also have video-focused online platforms in Ten Daily and

“It’s very different from Ten Daily because their target audience is so different. And that’s what Ten do really well, we know that they target a different audience,” Dickens said.

“Nine’s news service is a really strong news service. But really there’s an audience that people expect a certain take on news with Nine and people expect a certain take of news with Seven. It’s about getting to those stories first, getting to breaking news first, getting them into a situation where people can get on their device fastest, things like page load time, access to stories are really important, and also giving people the ability to personalise that news feed.”


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