Fairfax and Nine’s audience mix a ‘compelling’ offer for advertisers says sales boss

The complementary audiences of Fairfax Media and Nine will provide advertisers with greater opportunities for cross-platform media plans, Nine sales boss Michael Stephenson has told Mumbrella.

Nine’s Michael Stephenson says the new Nine will provide a ‘compelling’ offering for advertisers

“We’ve got significant focus on how we help brands tell their stories through content and at the same time, we’ve got to focus on how we help brands tell their stories by targeting to specific audiences,” Stephenson said.

Nine’s acquisition of Fairfax – announced last Thursday – will see the TV network and news mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review move into the same stable.

But Stephenson said it was important to recognise the “individuality” and different “tonalities” across the various assets.

“The fact that we will now have access to a much broader suite of assets that target a range of demographics in really engaging rich content, allows us to supercharge what we already do. That’s a pretty exciting opportunity for the brands and advertisers that work with us in the new Nine.”

If the deal goes through, Nine will become the largest Australian media group measured by media agency expenditure, according to the Standard Media Index’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Jane Ractliffe.

“Prior to these announcements, the Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment groups were the first and second largest Australian media groups, Ractliffe wrote in an article on LinkedIn.

“That was due to their ownership of the two highest rating free-to-air TV channels and the fact that TV remains by far the preferred media for media agencies (in FY17/18 Agencies allocated 42.7% of their media budgets to TV, with the next largest media being digital with a share of 27.7%)”.

However, given that SMI only monitors media agency spending, it does not automatically make the new entity the biggest media company overall. SMI does not include IPG Mediabrands’ spend. Many of the dollars spent online with Facebook and Google come directly rather than through agencies. And much of News Corp’s local print advertising revenue comes in directly rather than through media agencies.

It is understood Nine believes this 15.8% to be low, with internal estimates putting total spend closer to 20 cents in every dollar for above the line advertising.

Stephenson added: “More and more, advertisers are trying to get a greater return on their investment and that requires you to be able to target both broad audiences at the top of the marketing funnel and more targeted audiences as you go through conversion and awareness stages.

“The fact we will have such a diverse suite of assets is going to be our strength so from Nine News, to the Sydney Morning Herald, to The Age, The Fin Review, through the verticals of sport, entertainment and lifestyle – it creates a pretty compelling offer for advertisers.”

But he said: “The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age there is 186 years of history, they are incredibly powerful. They are super brands in the Australian media marketplace.”

Articles related to the proposed merger between Nine and Fairfax Media:


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