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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
subscription TV NEW TECHNOLOGY EXPANDS THE BRAND There’s no doubt that the economic downturn has seen people spending more time at home and subscription TV – Foxtel in particular – has honed in on this. Alongside this is STV’s appreciation of the role of electronic program guides and personal video recorders. There’s been strong growth of the latter for both Foxtel and Austar. Later in the year a new satellite will result in more bandwidth. This will be accompanied by new channels coming onto the Foxtel and Austar platforms, offering more content and viewing options. The rapid technology changes are seeing the STV offer being extended – Foxtel is now available by mobile and offers subscribers integrated online entertainment services whereby they can access favourite channels and shows from their PC. Now is the time to put the foot on the accelerator Ian Garland Commercial Director, Astra The third thing is that we are extending out into the marketplace: Foxtel by Mobile is a prime example. Foxtel has also announced online services for later this year. How has Subscription TV (STV) been keeping up with the rapid pace of change? We know that 60% of the time, consumers watching TV in their homes are watching our channels. We’re fi rm believers in being able to give choice and options to viewers. The second thing is we understand the role of electronic program guides, of personal video recorders: we see these as an integral part of the contemporary TV viewing experience – making it easy for the viewers to see what they want, when they want. Foxtel & Austar have both been growing their penetration of personal video recorders – both the iQ and the MyStar are into double digit rates which suggests that consumers understand that having a personal video recorder without the choice of channels is really a delinquent option. 21 MEDIA Trends + Strategy p20-21_subscriptionTV.indd 20 p20-21_subscriptionTV.indd 20 3/7/09 11:54:10 AM 3/7/09 11:54:10 AM What do media buyer/planners need to know about STV in the next 6-12 months? We’ve been running our red button interactive ad campaigns for three to four years now and there’s going to be more capacity by the end of this year. You’ll start to see new efforts from our sales teams, particularly MCn, to reach out and talk to major advertisers to see how the engagement of our viewers with their products are enhanced with those extended forms of advertising. What are the biggest challenges in this economic downturn? I don’t think any of us doubt that consumers are being cautious with their money, however the one thing I’ll say is that advertisers who commit to major marketing campaigns now will come out on the other side stronger; obtaining share of voice, then the share of mind that fl ows from that – particularly if your major competitors are abandoning the markets. Now is the time to put the foot on the accelerator. What are the other issues and challenges at the moment? From the STV position, as people who have been advocating choice for over a decade, we’re pleased to see that Free To Air is fi nally using the bandwidth they’ve been hoarding for so long. DTV is a perfect complement. A targeted audience is of high value to a major advertiser. We can deliver, in aggregate, millions of viewers across our platform on a daily basis everyday and we understand how to do it. Making sure our major advertisers and agencies understand that we’re already 10 years ahead of the guys who are the Johnnycome-latelies, is one of the most important messages we can communicate. What trends do you foresee in the next 6-12 months? The launch of HDTV – though a competitor, I believe that Freeview is a good thing for the story of television. There is going to be an enormous amount of focus on TV as we move into an environment where fi nally we’re seeing a measurement of live viewing, time-shift viewing and these extended audiences. There’s no better time as a marketer to be investing in TV; obviously we believe that more of those dollars should be going to STV because we have targeted audiences and innovative ways of delivering.
MT Resource 2010