traction. issue #16

A WORLD FIRST: AUSTRALIA TO FORCE GOOGLE & FACEBOOK TO PAY FOR NEWS

The Media Store’s Digital Director, Ally Cooney, takes a closer look at the move to support traditional news media in this country:

Last week, The ACCC released its draft news media bargaining code which was announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. The draft code allows commercial news businesses to bargain –individually or collectively –with Google and Facebook, in order to be paid for news the tech giants publish on their services.

Frydenberg was quoted as saying “We want Google and Facebook to continue to provide these services to the Australian community which is so much loved and used by Australians. But we want it to be on our terms”

This draft code comes off the back of one of the many findings of the ACCC’s Digital Platform Inquiry: Google and Facebook’s failure to pay for news content is eating into the advertising revenues which fund journalism. The draft code also shows that the ACCC’s Inquiry has teeth and things are actually happening as a result.

So what’s in the draft code?

The draft sets out that in order to partake in any bargaining with a digital platform service, the news media business must a) Have employed journalists b) Earn more than AUD$150,000 in revenue c) Be registered with ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). The draft code also defines ‘core news’ as: “Journalism on publicly significant issues, journalism that engages Australians in public debate and informs democratic decision making, and journalism relating to community and local events”. The draft code doesn’t specify how much news media businesses should be paid. Rather, it sets out a process for negotiation that Google and Facebook must take part in. If the process doesn’t work -an agreement cannot be made -an ACMA appointed panel jumps in to mediate (and is paid for by the digital platform service and the news business). News businesses can bargain individually or collectively.

Algorithmic change notices:

Oof. This may be a sticky one. Under the draft code, a series of “minimum standards” will be introduced for the digital platform services to meet. Google and Facebook are to give 28 days’ notice of any algorithmic change that will affect either referral traffic to news or the ranking of news behind paywalls.

This gives news businesses the opportunity to adapt their business models to ensure their content retains its prominence. It also means their negotiated revenue will not drop. There will also be an obligation on Google and Facebook to give businesses clear information about the nature and availability of user data collected through users’ interactions with the news.

This does not mean Google or Facebook must share the data itself —only that news businesses will be informed of what kind of data is being collected.

Breaches of the code amount to $133,200 per breach. Should the ACCC commence court proceedings, the maximum penalties would be the greater of either: $10,000,000 OR 3 times the benefit obtained from the conduct (if calculable); OR 10% of a digital platform’s annual turnover in Australia.

What happens next?

Grab the popcorn. This should be interesting. This won’t result in immediate wins for news media businesses who are doing it tough. But, it paves the way for positive commercial outcomes for those news media businesses affected. The other interesting point to consider is that this draft code could provide a template for other regulators globally. This type of draft code didn’t work in Spain, but perhaps the element of forced arbitration that sets down a final decision if parties couldn’t negotiate will prove to be more successful. You can read more from the ACCC concerning their recommended Media Code of Conduct here.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DROPS A FURTHER 0.4 POINTS FROM LAST WEEK

Consumer Confidence has dropped 0.4pts this week to 88.6. ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer confidence fell 0.4 to 88.6 on the weekend before Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a State of Disaster and Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne on Sunday. We’ll see the impact of restrictions in Victoria in next week’s Consumer confidence numbers. Driving the fall this week were declines in confidence about the performance of the Australian economy for both the next year and the next five years.

Only 6% of Australians (down 1ppt) expect ‘good times’ for the economy over the next 12 months vs 52% (up 2ppts), expect ‘bad times’ (this is the highest figure for this indicator for over three months since April 18/19).

For the next five years -only 15% (down 4ppts) are expecting ‘good times’ for the economy over the next 5 years vs 24% (up 1ppt) expect ‘bad times’ (this is the highest figure for this indicator for nearly four months since April 4/5

Overall confidence is now 27.2pts lower than a year ago.

Source: ANZ/Roy Morgan

SLOWDOWN IN SPENDING ON CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS AS COVID CASES INCREASE

CommBankhousehold credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 31 July show that total spending on goods and services was up just 3% from a year ago, compared with 10% year-on-year growth in the previous week The restricted movement in Metropolitan Melbourne is having a clear impact on the state’s numbers, with spending down 6% from last year. We expect the move to Stage 4 restrictions to have a profound impact on the state’s consumer spending.

Spending in NSW on eating and drinking out is slowing as coronavirus cases rise.

Source: CBA

 

DISNEY + REACHES 60M SUBSCRIBERS , REACHES 5 YEAR GOAL IN 8 MONTHS

Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed during the company’s earnings call that there are now 60.5 million global subscribers to Disney+, the streaming service launched last November.

He also said today the live-action release of Mulan, will make its long-awaited debut on September 4thon Disney+ and bypass a traditional cinema release.

Disney also announced it will launch a new streaming service internationally under its Star brand and using Disney’s own content, starting in September. It was explained that this service would house content made by ABC Studios, Fox TV, FX, Freeform, Searchlight, and 20th Century. No specific territory launches were mentioned.

After rising from 54.5 million subscribers as of the beginning of May, Disney+ reached 57.5 million subscribers by the end of June before surpassing the 60M mark in the last couple of days.

It is now at the low end of the 60 million-90 million range it told investors it would get to by 2024.

Despite the positive news, (Disney shares climbed as much as 6.4% in pre-market trading on Wednesday) the entertainment giant’s revenue slumped 42% to below $US12 billion as sales plummeted 85% in the parks, experiences, and products division and 55% in the studio business.

METRO TV RATINGS CONTINUE TO DOMINATE WITH NEWS LED PROGRAMMING

Australia Ninja Warrior was the only non-news content to make the Top 10 for the 7 days to 6th August.

The ongoing appetite for news across all networks shows no signs of abating with Seven News leading the pack with just over 1.2m viewers across metro markets.

Ranking

Program

Network

Projection

1

SEVEN NEWS -SUN

Network 7

1,230,138

2

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

1,153,997

3

NINE NEWS SUNDAY

Network 9

1,101,060

4

SEVEN NEWS AT 6.30

Network 7

1,099,624

5

NINE NEWS

Network 9

1,098,982

6

NINE NEWS 6:30

Network 9

1,008,859

7

SEVEN NEWS -SAT

Network 7

950,695

8

AUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR -SUN

Network 9

901,761

9

ABC NEWS SUNDAY-EV

ABC

891,114

10

AUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR -MON

Network 9

878,023

 

CONGRESSIONAL HEARING OF BIG 4 TECH GIANTS RESULTS IN PR BOOST

Last week’s dramatic Big Tech hearing by the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee gave a surprising PR boost to the companies that took part.

According to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll forFast Company, nearly half of 18 to 34 year olds said their perception of tech giants improved due to news about the antitrust hearings, in which the CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet were grilled on Capitol Hill. In that same age group, 63% said that their usage of the companies’

Source: Fast Company

products and services increased. This is unexpected given some of the brutal questioning tactics used during the hearings and some of the juicy company emails that were revealed. But overall, Americans are still extremely uncomfortable with the Big Four’s business models, which are built on the backs of user data. Though nearly all Americans (86%) use services like Amazon.com and Instagram, and 75% access them daily, only 9% feel that it is “completely worth it” to give up the personal demographic and preferences information that those companies sell to marketers.

The survey of 1,020 American adults was conducted on July 31, two days after the hearing.

As for the question on the table at the antitrust hearings, the country is thoroughly divided over whether Big Tech should be broken up: 41%say that the government should break up some or all, over concerns of too much control over the market and personal data, as well as limited competition.

30% are not sure and 29%say the government should not break them up.

Source: Fast Company

AS FACEBOOK REMOVES ITS FIRST POST FROM TRUMP OVER CORONAVIRUS CLAIMS

Facebook has removed a post from Donald Trump’s page for spreading false information about the coronavirus, a first for the social media company that has been harshly criticized for repeatedly allowing the president to break its content rules.

The post included a video of Trump falsely asserting that children were “almost immune from Covid-19” during an appearance on Fox News. The same video was also removed by Twitter which has removed several Trump posts in the past.

MEANWHILE INSTAGRAM TAKES ON TIKTOK WITH LAUNCH OF REELS IN AUSTRALIA

Launching this week in Australia, Reels allows users to create short-form videos set to music that can be shared with friends and followers and discovered while browsing the app. It’s the newest opportunity for Instagram to bring in users, increase the amount of time people spend in the app every day, and establish itself as a video entertainment platform.

Reels allow people to record videos up to 15 seconds long and add popular music, as well as an array of filters and effects, over top of them. For creators looking to use Instagram Reels as a new way to build a following, Instagram has revamped its Explore page to create a specific landing spot for Reels at the top of the screen that people can vertically scroll through —similar to TikTok’s‘For You’ page. Snapchat has also announced its users will be able to add music either pre or post-capture from what the company promises will be a “robust” catalogue of music.

VIACOM CBS ANNOUNCES NEW STREAMING PLATFORM FOR AUSTRALIA

10’s parent company ViacomCBS has announced plans for an international streaming platform to launch early next year which is likely to impact Stan in this market. The new platform, which was discussed by ViacomCBS CEOBob Bakishon the company’s earnings call on Thursday, will offer exclusive premieres of all Showtime titles, including new series “Halo” and “American Rust,” as well as CBS All Access originals like “Guilty Party” and “The Harper House.”

To date, many of these originals have been sold to third-party global platforms and broadcasters in hugely lucrative output deals, and questions will now be raised about the future of these pacts.

Other programs set to launch in Australian (as well as Latin America and the Nordics) include ‘The Good Wife’, ‘The Affair’, ‘Californication’, ‘Deadwood’, ‘Dexter’, ‘House of Lies’, ‘Nurse Jackie’, ‘Oz’and the original ‘Twin Peaks’.

Stan, which is owned by Nine, has been negotiating to extend or renew its contract with ViacomCBS for Showtime content after it failed to sign long-term content deals with US studios Disney and WarnerMedia, the owner of premium network HBO.

The decision by ViacomCBS means that new shows created by Showtime, the media giant’s premium network, may not be available on Stan once its current deal expires early next year. Existing shows like‘Billions’will be available on Stan for as long as they run under the terms of the agreement secured back in 2016, but it is unclear whether the new plans to be announced by Mr Bakish will preclude the streaming service from doing future deals for Showtime content.

It is also expected that ViacomCBS will make some of its Paramount content available for streaming –as seen in this issue of Tractionwith Disney and Mulan. “We really are in sort of a ‘COVID rules’ phase of the business right now,” Bakishsaid. “Studios, including Paramount, are doing things they wouldn’t normally do because theatres remain closed. We remain committed to theatrical and believe a lot of this reverts once the world normalizes. But we do believe theatrical windows will probably shorten and some of these new monetization paths…will become more common.”

Source: ITunes

LIFE UNCUT ON TOP OF AUSTRALIAN PODCAST DOWNLOAD CHART

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: ITunes

 

Tweet of the week: Nike launches new TVC “You Can’t Stop Us”

You can watch the pandemic themed video here which has been viewed over 45 million times since launch.

FOXTEL LAUNCHES NEW CHANNEL LATER THIS YEAR CALLED “LMN”

Foxtel is expanding its movie offering by launching Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) from global media company A+E Networks. The channel is exclusive to Foxtel subscribers from September 1, 2020, and adds a slew of new movies to its on-demand library. LMN is an entertainment destination for women, featuring made for television movie programming. LMN films tell both fictional and real-life stories steeped in drama and shining a light on women facing unbelievable challenges. GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK: NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20 LAUNCHES The new high-definition channel will be added at no extra cost to customers of the Foxtel Movies bundle and broadcast 24 hours a day. Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s executive director of television, said: “For more than 20 years, Lifetime Movie Network has captured TV audiences in the US by delivering quality made for television movies featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The movies are a perfect guilty pleasure with captivating stories and outstanding performances. We are delighted to partner with LMN to bring our customers Lifetime’s iconic movie heritage to Australia.”

Source: ITunes

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK : NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20 LAUNCHES

INTEREST OVER TIME

RELATED QUERIES

THE LONG READ: MICROSOFT’S TIKTOK GRAB: INSPIRED OR NAIVE?

“If Microsoft buys TikTok, make no mistake, it is buying a platform with a lot of politics on it. And that matters. Facebook; Google, and Twitter have learned the hard way that trying to moderate political content can be a nightmare. These are headaches that Microsoft is currently free from. Why, then, would a company actively court them?”

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53656462

CHART OF THE WEEK :BUYING TIKTOK WOULD BE EASY FOR MICROSOFT

In its most recent fiscal year, Microsoft made more than $143bn of revenue. Even after all operating expenses, Microsoft made almost $53bn of operating profit.

So, taking the midpoint of the price range being discussed ($22.5bn) would mean that Microsoft could buy TikTok2.3 times over… with just a single year’s worth of operating profit.

Source: Chartr/Microsoft

 

 

Quote of the week

“ Has it been a dark three years? Yes, definitely. Does it break your heart? More than I can ever tell you in words.”

(Shaul Schwarz, who, together with Christina Clusiau, directed the new Netfix documentary Immigration Nation. You can watch the 6 part series here) )