Kurt Burnette says integration offering approaching 30 per cent of Seven revenue

Kurt Burnette

Burnette speaking at today’s event

Seven West chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette has today pledged that the network will focus on giving media agencies and their clients stronger integrated offerings, across its TV, print, radio and digital properties.

It was part of the media company’s ’20/20 vision’, in which it pledged to remain number one until at least 2020.

“A few years ago (integrated briefs) were 15 per cent and now it is getting up to 30 per cent (of revenue)”, said Burnette. “Every single brief has an element of integration, it is a big option.”

“A big thing that we have been trying to show today that as the market fragments they can come to the one place. We have been pushing all the mediums for a while but this is a real step change for us,” he said.

“It is about that total audience capability to reach 16 million people a month. What we have seen is that when the group comes together to deliver a particular integration or a solid business solution then the outcome is phenomenal.”

Seven also elaborated on its HbbTV strategy. Confirming previous reports of how its Australian Open channels would be its first major play with lifestyle and food channels to come later.

“The last piece in that integration puzzle has been hybrid TV, just rounding out that puzzle. The Australian Open will be the first delivery (along with 7Living and 7Food),” Burnett added.

“What is going to be really interesting is the research (we are doing), which will be the first of its kind multichannel research using hybrid as part of it. So it will look at how people are using the media and we are spending a lot of time on.”

On the importance of integration Seven West CEO Tim Worner told the audience: “The fact that today you will meet people from Pacific Magazines and Yahoo!7 is testament that we are serious about integrating our sales teams like never before.”

Speaking after the event Worner also emphasised the competitive advantage to be had.

“Just see the revenue share figures and you can measure the advantage. There is a line we often use inside the business and that is ‘this is a contest of ideas’, he said.

Mindshare CEO Katie Rigg-Smith said she was impressed by Seven’s focus on hybrid television with confirmation of the previously reported Australian Open channel, a 7Food channel and a 7Living channel along with an emphasis on the integrated channel offerings.

“I really enjoyed it. I personally liked how everyone is representing hybrid (television) now so I like the whole cross channel platform because that’s what our clients want,” said Rigg-Smith.

Rigg-Smith singled out a promise to broadcast the Olympics in multiple languages as particularly attractive.

“Being able to present in different languages is awesome. I can think of lots of clients that have small ethnic target audiences that could do something really interesting with that,” she said.

Other media buyers felt that while execution was incredibly strong they were overly repetitive on the integration message.

“You’ve got to give it to Seven West, the polish on the way they package and sell their product is outstanding,” said Mat Baxter CEO of UM. “There was a lot of polish today.”

“For me the one thing I got a bit tired with was the constant repetition (on integration) in every single session that channel agnostic platform thing was hammered home. Almost too much.

“But you definitely get the sense that they have realised and are organising the business around the multi-channel platform agnostic approach. We definitely got that out of today I don’t think anyone left not having that clear.”

Baxter also praised the Seven West ESPN deal which sees the media company become the sales rep for ESPN in Australia.

“The EPSN thing is genius”, said Baxter. “It seems so obvious in many ways bringing the power of subscription and a free-to-air television onto a broadcast platform.

“It was the detail in the presentation that the other (networks) struggle to execute and you could tell a lot of energy, time and money had been invested in today.”

Nic Christensen


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