CarAdvice to use Nine TV and digital assets to offer more options for marketers

Car review site, CarAdvice, will look to rapidly build its audience and offer marketers additional advertising space after Nine completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the automotive business.


CarAdvice CEO Andrew Beecher, left, with Nine’s chief digital officer Alex Parsons

Nine said the deal, finalised this week for a reported $35m, plugs an obvious – and lucrative gap – in its digital portfolio while CarAdvice said it will enable it to promote its site to a significantly larger audience.

Critically, it will provide CarAdvice with additional advertising inventory to sell with video expected to be at the forefront of offering, chief executive and managing director Andrew Beecher said.

The deal had been flagged earlier this month with Nine expected to take full ownership of the business within three years. Finance is likely to be the next target for Nine’s digital division, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Nine paid cash for the majority CarAdvice stake along with media contra. CarAdvice will control how it uses Nine’s TV and digital assets to promote the business.

Nine chief digital officer Alex Parsons admitted that an automotive product has been a “big gap” in its business.


“It’s a gap that was filled historically through our relationship with ACP and then Bauer Media via Wheels and Motoring, but it’s an area where we haven’t had a play for a couple of years,” he told Mumbrella.  “That, coupled with the fact that automotive is the largest and fastest growing ad market out there, meant this was a great opportunity.”

Nine said SMI data shows the automotive advertising sector has grown 15% in the year to date, while Beecher claimed the firm’s own revenues have climbed between 45% and 55% for each of the past three years, with audience growth to match. It employs 37 staff, including 17 full time content creators.

Beecher said CarAdvice, which provides reviews and information on cars and was started as a blog in 2006, has been a victim of its own success in that it “sells out of [advertising] products too quickly”.

“Being able to extend our content to Nine’s audience will provide plenty of expanded opportunity for marketers to buy more product, so taking our video packages and putting them in both linear and digital format across Nine is a no-brainer in terms of what the market, and consumers, want,” he said.

Asked whether Nine could have built its own automotive product in-house, Parsons said: “We saw CarAdvice as a great business that was well run with a great management team. People say go build it yourself but CarAdvice has been operating for many years.

“It was the same with Pedestrian TV (which is majority-owned by Nine), you can’t just go out and build a market leading youth brand or automotive brand. These guys have put 10 years of blood, sweat and tears into this company to build it up to where it is today.

Nine Entertainment cpo

Despite sharp growth since being launched as a blog in 2006, Beecher said “not enough people know about us”, something the acquisition by Nine will address.

“It will enable us to amplify CarAdvice to a much larger audience which is going to be great for consumers and advertisers,” he said.

But he added it will not try to “drag audiences to”.

“It’s far better to put the content where the audience is rather than try and drag the audience to the content, which is one of the reasons why the Nine partnerships is so perfect,” he said. “We don’t know what the finite audience is for new cars in Australia, but 1.1m new cars will be sold this year.

“In Australia we buy houses, watch sport and look at new cars.

“Our strategy is to put our content where users want to engage with it rather than to throw ourselves against cliff and keep pushing the audience to It’s far more viable to put appropriate content to those audiences rather than they try to drag them to our brand.”

Parsons flagged video as a key component of CarAdvice’s content, suggesting “there is a lot more in that space we can do”.

He agreed that branded content could be produced for TV along with a CarAdvice white label automotive section on “and everything in between that”.

Parsons dismissed any possibility of managing CarAdvice too closely and rejected any prospect of aligning the branding with other digital assets 9Kitchen, 9Homes and 9Now.

“Nine CarAdvice is a bit a mouthful. We have a similar arrangement with Pedestrian TV in that it is run quite separately,” he said. “We are not about to change the brand and incorporate it under the Nine branding umbrella and love them to death.

“We are going to help them flourish and grow and develop as a company.”


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