CEO claims Nine’s new data division Tipstone puts Google in ‘second tier’

Tipstone Logo_blackNine Entertainment Co is spinning a new data division out of its Mi9 digital unit which it claims will be one of just two “top tier” providers in Australia, with anticipated revenues of $50m-$100m in the next three to five years.

Tipstone will sell data on users from Mi9’s suite of sites and data from partners including Microsoft, which is tracked from assets with logins such as Windows Live (formerly Hotmail), Xbox Live, Skype, Nine’s Jump In catch-up TV service and data tracking across other assets including NineMSN. The Mail Online data is not part of the offering.

This is then married up with offline data from a range of Roy Morgan surveys and sold to agencies and marketers for what new CEO Richard McLaren describes as a push to get marketers having “meaningful conversations” with their clients.

At a launch event yesterday in Sydney McLaren said Tipstone would be going head-to-head with data giant Quantium, which Woolworths took an equity stake in a year ago, when it goes live on July 1, describing Google as a “second tier” data provider, and the other major Australian publishers including Fairfax and News Corp as “third tier”.

“It’s the consistency of recognising a logged-in user account the others don’t have,” he said. He added the data would also be made available to agencies for programatic trading “over time”.

McLaren said the idea for the spinoff came from clients asking for access to data to improve their digital experiences. He added: “It’s about knowing whether people are more likely to buy this and that product and understand things like where they live, but there’s also other sides to data, like being able to find people at various touchpoints and making communications relevant.



“We hear a lot about the first one in terms of what we know about people, but a lot less about the second. And that’s because there really are only two data sets at any scale across Australia, and we are one of them. So when we talk about 14.5m IDs we’re talking about 70 per cent of the online population.”

The data has been married with Roy Morgan’s Helix Persona data, which has 56 customer profiles for different people, and clients will be able to buy the data sets out of the existing Roy Morgan tools.

He gave an example of a bank being able to tailor its online site with offers which would appeal to a certain type of individual the first time they visit a site, to serve up the sort of offers which would appeal to someone of their profile. Currently the vast majority of online assets serve a generic platform to all visitors.

Mi9 CEO Mark Britt said the company would also be able to be used by publishers to tailor their content to every visitor, so serve up that which is most likely to appeal to them. But he denied it was an admission by Nine Entertainment Co that media assets were a doomed business.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, told Mumbrella the partnership was important for the group, which has been under scrutiny since The Newspaper Works and Ipsos launched EMMA, a rival to its long-standing readership survey, last year, taking it beyond a planning tool and adding more value to their customers.

McLaren said the challenge for the group now was to educate marketers about the uses of data, adding: “It’s a simple thing, you’re putting relevant content to the right person at the right time, but it’s how you go about that which is complicated.”

The company launches with “seven or eight” staff from inside Mi9, but aims to grow to 25 to 30 staff over the year, and Tipstone will sit in the Nine family, with profits going to shareholders.


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