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Nova launches Goat, a millennial focused new mobile-only website

Nova Entertainment has launched Goat, a mobile-only platform aimed at the youth market, Mumbrella can reveal.

The platform is Nova’s biggest investment in a digital product to date with chief executive officer of Nova, Cathy O’Connor, telling Mumbrella the website is about building out Nova’s proposition for millennial audiences.

“Like all media companies we are looking to build out our audiences in ways other than just the core business. The first port of call for Nova Entertainment over the time that I’ve been the CEO was really to get the broadcast business into the great shape that it’s in now and it isn’t principally about radio anymore, it’s about all the digital extensions beyond that,” she said.

Cathy O’Connor: Nova will user its broadcaster leverage to draw in audiences

“If we look at the millennial audience in particular, what we can see happening is that we have more millennial listeners than we’ve ever had and Nova reaches the most in audience reach,” she added.

“We know that we have brands – Nova and the lower part of Smooth – that do resonate with this audience. What we do see though is although we have a lot of them they are starting to interact differently so spending a bit less time with the radio and a bit more time on digital platforms.”

Unlike others in market, the content is based on what is currently trending, without specified channels such as sports, news and entertainment.

Today for instance, those trends including Me Too, The Boys, Education, Oscars and Kardashian. Goat will be run by its own editorial team and will have an in-house video team but those announcements are yet to be made.

New website, Goat

The video team will have access to a green room – allowing Nova to use its talent, celebrities and influencers across various platforms beyond Nova and Smooth FM.

Kane Reiken, Nova Entertainment’s digital commercial director, said the absence of channels makes the product flexible to speak about anything that resonates with audiences.

“That [website] updates in real time, with all our back end work, so we can see what stories are resonating, we can then build out more content, produce video content,” he added.

Goat.com.au is only available on mobile

But Goat.com.au isn’t the first brand to tap into younger audiences. It joins the likes of Pedestrian TV, Junkee Media and their Gen Z websites, Pez and Punkee, as well as Snackable.TV and Lost at E Minor.

O’Connor is not concerned about differentiating the brand in a cluttered market, arguing Nova’s already “sticky audience” and access to personalities, performers and musicians, will be its points of difference. The access to personalities is something important to a millennial’s world, O’Connor said.

And for those celebrities and musicians, the website is part of a “broader series of distribution points”.

“We’ve got good relationships with artists and labels and normally if there’s someone in town that wants to get noticed and push a product they’re going to be on the radio as well, so it’s just broadening out, and people absolutely get that and they’re leaning into it really because it just allows artists and entertainers to have another platform,” O’Connor added.

Reiken said while everyone would be a competitor, Nova would building a unique product.

“Attention is the metric we talk about – there’s only so many minutes and hours in a person’s day and you are competing against everything in the end in terms of reaching that consumer and having those relationships,” he told Mumbrella.

Reiken tells Mumbrella everyone is a competitor, but he believes Nova has a unique product

“We’re building a product that’s uniquely different and something that really plays to our strengths as having this relationship with our audience as you mentioned every single day they come back, it’s key, it’s a daily habit.”

According to Reiken, Goat will be focused around video, written, audio and image. The website is launching ad-free but Reiken has said he is in negotiations with potential launch partners. The website will have minimal ad formats, so us not to disturb the consumer experience.

One of Goat’s other key differences is it is only available on mobile. Reiken said the decision was really about “standing out in market” but that it also helps Nova be incredibly focused internally, on the mobile experience.

“That’s an industry first and it’s something no one else has really done,” he said.

“Mobile is obviously a big strategy as part of our overall company guidelines and ambitions and we want to make sure that really resonates through our entire product.

“You also see a lot of bad mobile advertising. For a long time it’s always been as a secondary medium although it gets loads of traffic for us on Nova it’s over 90 percent of our traffic. There is minimal audience lost and we can really focus in on creating a product that works perfectly for mobile.”

But as for the name, there is not much to it. It was simply the working title for the project.

“What I love about this business is we approve things and then the creativity takes over and I could see Project Goat – and actually Smooth FM was Project Tattoo – so we are pretty good at naming things,” O’Connor said.

“It’s cool. Part of the trick in this fragmented chaotic media landscape that we all operate in is connecting, people acknowledging or noticing you. It’s a cute name, it’s campaign-able.”

The launch will be supported by a major marketing push, driven through Nova’s other channels.

“We can easily integrate content really organically stories that resonate across our platforms. Radio creates action. And I think it can be really interesting to see how we integrate it some of the key programming we have and I can see it working really as an opportunity for extension,” Reiken said.

O’Connor said the company will be judging themselves based on its ability to cross promote and use its leverage as a broadcaster to build the Goat brand.

“Obviously we have to have an amount of audience to make it and our business case is pretty specific in what we’re aiming for, and we’ll measure ourselves accordingly,” she said.

“But the bit of test and fail is what we love. It doesn’t have to feel like broadcast where the sakes are pretty high, it feels experimental and creative and that’s where Nova started.”

O’Connor believes Nova is in a really good position to launch a new publishing product, given its support from its radio stables.

“We know we have that advantage. It is, to my earlier point, a good investment for us but it’s an emerging space. Probably there would’ve been a time when a radio brand like Nova or like Smooth, that is was a cluttered market.”

“With everything it’s what can you build as your brand and does it resonate and is the content good enough.”

“We know that we’ve got some advantages and we intend to use them.”

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