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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au No risk approach with stressed resources Richard Finlayson Director of Commercial Affairs, SBS How do advertising decision makers evaluate a low base advertising channel? I think there’s probably three key things; the fi rst is we’re continuing to highlight our key points of difference; which are a low clutter environment, so we have fi ve minutes of advertising versus the usual 13, and that means really short breaks. We are continuing to take research to the market that clearly demonstrates a high level of engagement and response from that improved environment so we have just launched our regional split signals as well, so whereas we previously had a national signal we can now isolate the metro signals and add the state regional signals. It’s another way to offer better focus for marketing and better enables those brands that are looking to target higher income, more educated premium audiences in regional markets. Thirdly, we are bringing our sales function in-house from July 1; The changes that the agencies will see will be an increase in resources and we’ll be focusing on building our strategic insights and client solutions team, working on integration and getting the most from brands’ association with our content. We are also introducing improved e-trading systems. With the economic downturn, what are the biggest challenges? We have made big strides in changing our market position from the perception of being a discounter offering a cheap way of achieving incremental reach, to being a premium product – one that is at least at the average market rate. The biggest challenge for us is trying to maintain our rate when there’s a lot of pressure on price. How has the economic downturn aff ected advertising? What we’ve seen across all the networks, television – relative to other media – hasn’t fared too badly, however the major advertisers tend to take a no-risk approach with stressed resources; and they’re fi nding that TV is still offering the best ‘bang for their buck’, in terms of marketing return. How are you capitalising on multi-platform deals? The online market is still growing quite strongly for us; in fact we’re going to increase our online revenue this year, we’re forecasting by 100%. Where you’ve got strong multi-platform content brands – and sporting events is another good example where we have TV, online and radio coverage – we’re fi nding the brands want to participate across all platforms. What’s your direction in the next 6 months? There’s no doubt that we have to be a little more agile in delivering value to our customers. So it’s not so much about discounting but about making sure the ideas work and that there’s a high level of integration. Key for us this year is that we’ve got three major sporting events coming up – the Tour de France, The Ashes and the World Cup. We’re already working with a number of brands to get them involved and the demand has been very strong. What are your plans for HD? We offi cially launched SBS 2 in mid May. We’ll be using SBS 2 to support our key sporting properties. For example in the World Cup, we’ll have 24 hours of football across either SBS 1 or SBS 2. We’re also using our second channel to manage the confl ict between the Ashes and Tour de France. What innovations are planned for the next year? The key innovations are going to come in the area of online. Signifi cant projects for us this year is a re-launch of our online video advertising model – we’ll be bringing that to the market from July 1, and offering a range of advertising options that will include interactive overlays. There’s a vast increase in the amount of content we’re offering online so we’re hoping to have around 80% of our TV content available for “catch-up TV” online. How has digital TV impacted on audience? It has helped to grow our audience. I believe the reason for that is two fold: One is because our old advertising model had all the commercials clustered within the station breaks which meant we were losing signifi cant amounts of audience between those breaks. We’ve managed to address that problem because we now only have 30 seconds between programs. The second thing is by putting our promos within the programs, we’ve been able to signifi cantly increase the viewership of the promos and that increases your audience so in the last year we grew our overall audience by around about 7%. Choices are the challenge Les Sampson Head of Acquisitions, Daytime and HD Programming, Channel Nine How is free to air adapting to new technologies? Our HD channel has been in the marketplace for 12 months – a lot of the content is simulcast from the premium channel. We have also generated breakaway programming which allows us to do alternate programming and give the audience greater choice. The pick-up of HD sets is quite strong in Australia. HD is doing some strong numbers and it’s a perfect time for greater choice for the Australian population. And the response by advertisers to HD? Response has been very positive. The next big scenario will be the free view channels which are in the process of launching. ABC3 have just announced their new channel, SBS 2 has just announced their new channel. We’re in the process of confi rming our channel with our launch date happening in the next couple of months. What do you see as other issues and challenges in the next 6-12 months? There’s constant choice when it comes to new forms of delivery. The younger demographics are using more and more forms of technology, whether it be the internet, or Twitter, so when it comes to Free To Air TV and free to air multi-channels, the market is getting more fragmented. If you look at what’s happening at the moment, things are pretty tough. Light comedystyle, variety-style or feel-good content is very important. From the agency point of view, we’ve never been more focused on the demographics and what our audience and clients want as a return and as entertainment. How are you capitalising on cross-platform deals? Channel Nine, has a very strong relationship with ninemsn, and with our magazines so if there are synergies that can be massaged, or enhanced we’ll do it. Ninemsn is a great tool when it comes to interstitial material: with programs like “HomeMADE”, “The Farmer Wants a Wife” or “ Ladette to Lady”, you’re able to see material that’s not gone to air in interstitial form on ninemsn and that’s a marketing tool that’s becoming more and more important. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 18 p16-17,19_freeToAirTV.indd 17 p16-17,19_freeToAirTV.indd 17 3/7/09 11:52:35 AM 3/7/09 11:52:35 AM
MT Resource 2010