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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
feature DIGITAL REVOLUTION REMOVES THE BARRIERS I Technological change is levelling the playing fi eld. Tim Burrowes takes a look at key trends across various media platforms, reinventing itself through the digital revolution which is breaking the traditional mould. IF ONLINE CLICK ON PAGE NUMBER TO ACCESS INTERVIEWS* FREE TO AIR TV p 17-20 Rhonda Brown Marketing Director, Free TV Richard Finlayson Director of Commercial Aff airs, SBS Les Sampson Head of Acquisitions, Daytime and HD Programming, Channel Nine Vance Lothringer Chief Network Sales Offi cer, Network Ten SUBSCRIPTION TV p 21-22 Ian Garland Commercial Director, Astra Damian Keogh MCn National Sales and Marketing Director Jon Marquard COO, Premier Media Group DIGITAL John Butterworth CEO, Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) Joe Pollard CEO, ninemsn Paul Fisher CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau p 23-31 t was a year that the industry always feared was going to be a bloody one for media – and so it proved to be. Revenues fell, media jobs were lost and titles closed. But throughout it all, the underlying theme was how much of the change was economically driven and how much was a permanent migration of advertising to cheaper options such as online. But although the bad news has been outstripping the good, the opportunities to innovate in media are probably greater than ever before as technological change continues to level the playing fi eld. For the big three commercial TV networks the audience squeeze is on – and it’s coming from a number of different directions. For starters, pay TV has continued to make inroads. And as Foxtel, and to a lesser extent Austar, has continued to put on share, the pay TV market has started to become a relevant force in share negotiations. Then of course, the downturn has meant that networks have found themselves in a chase for share against each other, even if it means taking much lower yields. When things normalise, there are already rumblings of media owners taking revenge against the agencies that pushed them the hardest. And all this has been taking place against a backdrop of the birth pains of digital TV. It’s been a long-delayed, and muddled, launch. Each of the existing channels has the opportunity to create new high defi nition and standard defi nition channels as part of the drive to persuade viewers to upgrade to digital so that the analogue signal can eventually be switched off. But at the time of writing, of the big three, only Ten had made the jump – launching One, a sports channel. Nine looked set to launch a general entertainment channel, although nothing was confi rmed, and Seven hadn’t shared its plans with the market. To some observers it looked like the big players were dragging their feet, as the new channels threatened increased costs and fragmented audience. However, the price of playing along could be that it locks out a fourth network. To add to the public confusion, consumers were being bombarded with two sets of information campaigns – the TV stations’ Freeview carrot selling the (yet-to-be-explained) wonders of digital TV and the government stick of the Get Ready campaign warning of the coming switch-off. * This publication can be read online by going to www.mediabiznet.com.au and clicking on cover. 7 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p6-7 9-10_feature.indd p6-7,9-10_feature.indd, 6 3/7/09 11:44:13 AM 3/7/09 11:44:13 AM Meanwhile, in the traditional battle for audience share, Seven had the upper hand for 2009, although high ratings for local material was a trend across all networks. The second series of “Underbelly” was Nine’s big performer, Seven revelled in the success of family feelgood drama “Packed To The Rafters”, and Ten’s “MasterChef”
MT Resource 2010