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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au Create once, publish often Damian Keogh National Sales & Marketing Director, MCn What impact has the GFC had on STV? Despite the economic downturn, both Foxtel and Austar have continued to have some impressive growth rates. Foxtel’s marketing in particular has been very good. It has honed in on the cocooning aspect of the economic downturn and people spending more time at home, pushing the offering it has for entertainment in the home. Both Foxtel and Austar continue to grow subscribers which has been refl ected in growing ratings for subscription television, particularly multichannel network in 2009, year to date. Our national audience is up in thousands this year – over 8% so far, which is a great result, and we continue to attract that audience at the expense of the Free To Air networks. Is the increase concentrated within a particular demographic? It’s pretty broad amongst the demographic split across the population. We’ve had really good growth in the last few years in our grocery buyers with kids sector. There was a time when sport really dominated STV but we’re now maturing as an industry: the quality of content that we’re putting on air continues to improve – the channels are investing more in that content and the platforms are investing more. It’s more diversifi ed in terms of its appeal to different audiences. Foxtel now, across the platform, offers 15,000 hours plus of television programming every week of the year – a massive amount of content. It is all about quality content and choice – and personalised choice. One of the things we’re seeing with our subscribers is the continued uptake of things like the Foxtel iQ. Close to three-quarters of all new subscribers are taking the IQ Box now. How has STV been keeping up with technological advances? Foxtel.com.au re-launched itself recently with a more sophisticated offering in terms of people being able to remotely book their iQs via the web and advanced program search capability. Within the next 12 months Foxtel hopes to launch on-demand broadband viewing for subscribers which means if you’re a subscriber to Foxtel you’ll be able to access content either at home through the set-top box or certain content via the web which has a degree of mobility about it as well: that’s defi nitely moving forward – people are consuming audio/visual content in different places and in different ways. Foxtel is a bit agnostic on how it’s viewed – they don’t care whether people are watching it in the comfort of their lounge-room, on a mobile phone through Foxtel by mobile, or online. The theme behind it is the best available screen. If it’s at work it’s the computer, if it’s at home it’s the TV, if you’re at the doctor’s, it could be the mobile phone. What do media planners/buyers need to know about STV in the next 6-12 months? Later this year, around October/November there’s a new satellite going up which will create much more bandwidth and there’ll be a number of new channels coming on the Foxtel and Austar platforms which is going to create more content and more viewing options for subscribers. The big trend is in the digital landscape – a continued explosion of access, of programming and content; so you’ll see more channels on Foxtel. Clearly the Free-To-Airs have the ability to multi-channel: Ten’s started doing that with its Sport Channel, the other Free-To-Airs have been a little slow to market. It won’t necessarily be great for the commercial models they’ve been accustomed to in the past, because it will fragment their viewing on their main channels. The Foxtel iQ and MyStar personal digital recorders allow a lot more fl exibility in how people watch and consume their content. On-demand content is defi nitely going to continue to grow. What do you forecast for STV? The Australian market generally trails a little behind the US and UK markets in some trends. IPTV and on-demand content and those kind of things will continue to grow. But at the same time the traditional way of viewing television will become fairly dominant. We’re seeing a lot more multi-tasking – particularly in younger people the research shows – so they’re online and they’re watching TV or they’re on their mobile and they’re watching TV. How does this impact on advertising? It really provides potential because quite often when they’re watching TV they’re online with something contextual to what they’re watching on TV – they might be chatting to their friends about what they’re watching, or they might be exploring the site of the show that they’re watching. The other thing for advertisers will be they’re going to be able to create content beyond necessarily just a 30-second TVC – content which they can get to their target audience via a number of different mediums: we call this “create once, publish often”. Embrace technological change Jon Marquard Chief Operating Offi cer, Premier Media Group How has STV been keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the industry in the last year? STV has had very strong subscription and viewership growth. Both of those indicators demonstrate the product offer we have across the board. We’ve embraced technological change on a number of fronts and as a result people have signed up and continue to utilise the product. How have WebTV and IPTV impacted? At this stage they’ve had very minor impact and that’s due to a number of factors. There’s no doubt that as the national broadband network rollout eventuates over the next 5-10 years there’ll be further signifi cant change but right now nobody’s really offering signifi cant WebTV or IPTV which is having a detrimental impact on the television side of things. What do media buyer/planners need to know about STV in the next 6-12 months? STV offers both choice and value, and the content of the programming is unique. It does offer a wide variety of genres and choice because it’s not aimed at the massmarket “one size fi ts all” approach of commercial networks. So you have a whole range of different channels that offer sports, entertainment, kids, variety or lifestyle. Through those you can obtain very targeted demographics and have advertising that’s aimed at high value customers or particular groups of demographics. That’s a key thing for any media planner or buyer. Our company also offers integration of sales across TV lines which isn’t being offered by any other Free to Air network. MEDIA Trends + Strategy p20-21_subscriptionTV.indd 21 p20-21_subscriptionTV.indd 21 22 3/7/09 11:54:12 AM 3/7/09 11:54:12 AM
MT Resource 2010