traction. issue #18

“YOUR YOUTUBE IS AT RISK” – GOOGLE ISSUES WARNING TO AUSTRALIANS

The MD of Google Australia, Mel Silva, has penned an open letter to Australians warning them that its Google and YouTube search services are at risk should propose legislation to compensate traditional news outlets go ahead.

The letter was made available this week on Google and YouTube’s homepages and warns that its services will be “dramatically worse” should new rules come into effect. Silva claims that the code would force Google to provide news media platforms with data that it could then no longer protect. The letter states “You trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe. Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses “how they can gain access” to data about your use of our products. There’s no way of knowing if any data handed over would be protected, or how it might be used by news media businesses ”Silva’s letter ends by foreshadowing further action from Google in the coming days.

The letter is a response to the ACCC’s News Media Bargaining Code which proposes a bargaining process between digital platforms and local news organisations. The goal is to determine how much the latter should be compensated for the snippets of news that the digital platforms display to their users, on the premise that an imbalance of competition has led to the publishers’ decline.

The ACCC responded to Google’s claims by saying “Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless it chooses to do so. Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news businesses unless it chooses to do so.”

Nine Entertainment Company –one of several companies that would benefit if the Code came into effect also responded to the letter. “At Nine we maintain our position, which, at its core, means our premium journalism and content have a clear monetary value which these platforms should remunerate us for. We look forward to working with the ACCC on finalising the Code and then negotiating a fair outcome for our business with the digital platforms who will be subject to the Code.”

THE MEDIA STORE’S ALLY COONEY: LIKE SWATTING FLIES WITH SCUD MISSILES

This is a very questionable move from Google. To bring Australian users into what was meant to be a stage of consultation between the ACCC, digital platforms (including Google) and local news media is eyebrow-raising, to say the least. It’s like swatting flies with scud missiles. To follow that theme, Google has weaponised its own platforms in this consultation to push its own agenda and now we’re left scratching our heads and reaching for the popcorn.

The fact that the notice is shown with the yellow symbol synonymous with a ‘warning’ is obviously meant to alarm, grab attention and then from our review, provide alarmist information to Google users via the Open Letter. Those who have not been following the development of this bargaining code, as we have, will most likely BE alarmed with the potential repercussions outlined in the Letter. So it has achieved its purpose.

However, the ACCC does not seem phased by this move from Google –although it is no doubt perplexing. As quoted in their formal response to Google “we will continue to consult on the draft code with interested parties, including Google”

We’ll be staying tuned…

Ally Cooney is Digital Director at The Media Store

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE FINALLY INCREASES BY 2.1 PTS AFTER WEEKS OF DECLINE

Finally some good news. As the COVID cases in Victoria continue to decline, ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence increased 2.1pts to 88.6 on August 15/16 –this is the first increase in the index for more than two months since mid-June. From a state perspective, Melbourne increased 5.1pts to 86.1 -still the lowest Consumer Confidence of all major capital cities. Sydney increased 3.3pts to 88.4, Brisbane fell 2.6pts to 88.9, Adelaide increased 4.9pts to 90.1 whilst Perth increased 2.4pts to 97.3 –the highest of all major capital cities.

ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank commented: “The positive July labour market data, which was better than market expectations, may have contributed to the lift in sentiment. The confidence of Melbourne consumers lifted the most but is still the lowest of the major capital cities. The move higher follows seven straight weeks of falls, so a tick up was due. With confidence remaining at a level that is well below average we aren’t getting too carried away by the positive result. Consumers are still very cautious about the outlook.” he added.

SPENDING EASES VS LAST WEEK AS IN-STORE SPEND SOFTENS ON CARDS

CommBank’shousehold credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 14 August eased to be just 4% higher than a year ago. In the previous week, the year-on-year lift was 8%. Online spending is still rising sharply but a fall in in-store spending is driving the easing in total spending growth.

Card spending in Victoria is down 15% from a year ago, with in-store spending almost 40% lower than last year’s levels amid stage 4 restrictions. Household spending on goods has eased a little but it is still up 15% on year-ago levels.

SEVEN ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY LINE UP FOR NEW SAS REALITY SHOW

The Seven Network has confirmed Schapelle Corby as one of the celebrities to be cast in upcoming reality series SAS Australia.

Other names include Merrick Watts, Candice Warner, Nick Cummins and Roxy Jacenko. Production was moved from NZ to the Blue Mountains following filming restrictions linked to COVID earlier this year. Seven will be hoping to end the year with a ratings success when the show airs in October.

 

Meanwhile Seven has announced that the anticipated Plate of Origin will air next Sunday 30th August.

The new show sees ex MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan team up with MKR’s Manu Feildel in what is called the “World Cup of Cooking.”

Nine have already announced that the 16th season of The Block will start this Sunday at 7pm and Ten have also revealed the new series of Gogglebox will air next Thu 27th August, a day after the premiere on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel.

SEVEN ANNOUNCES CELEBRITY LINE UP FOR NEW SAS REALITY SHOW

Ranking

Program

Network

Projection

1

SEVEN NEWS – SUN

Network 7

1,155,731

2

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

1,107,717

3

NINE NEWS SUNDAY

Network 9

1,059,883

4

SEVEN NEWS AT 6.30

Network 7

1,055,571

5

NINE NEWS

Network 9

1,010,069

6

NINE NEWS 6:30

Network 9

955,917

7

THE MASKED SINGER

AUSTRALIA MON – REVEAL

Network 10

930,264

8

SEVEN NEWS – SAT

Network 7

916,827

9

THE MASKED SINGER

AUSTRALIA TUES – REVEAL

Network 10

914,925

10

AUSTRALIAN NINJA WARRIOR –

STATE OF ORIGIN -SUN

Network 9

876,883

Source: Oztam

STUDY SHOWS AUSTRALIANS HAVE 37M SUBSCRIPTIONS TO STREAMING PLATFORMS

Australians added 5.6 million new subscriptions to the end of June 2020, an increase of 18 per cent from a year ago. This growth was across streaming video on demand (SVOD), streaming music, and games related subscription services.

The total number of subscriptions reached almost 37 million and is forecast to grow to 58 million by 2024.

TheTelsyte Australian Entertainment Subscriptions Study 2020 found SVOD and streaming music remained the top two largest categories with 16 million and 12 million subscriptions respectively.

Source: ITunes

ORACLE IS LATEST COMPANY TO BE LINKED TO TIKTOK’S ACQUISITION OUTSIDE CHINA

Following Twitter’s interest in purchasing the US operations of TikTok (see last week’s Traction), multinational software company Oracle has been backed by Donald Trump to complete a deal that would also see it manage the ANZ and Canadian operations.

The company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Larry Ellison is a public supporter of Trump. Trump said Oracle would be “a great company” to take over TikTok’s US operations earlier this week. Meanwhile, Trump has joined TikTok rival Triller this week too which claims to have 140m downloads (TikTok has passed 2bn downloads).

ABC TRUE CRIME DRAMA “TRACE” TAKES TOP SPOT IN AUSTRALIAN PODCAST CHARTS

Source: ITunes

 

Tweet of the week: Australian media owners hit back at Google

CHART OF THE WEEK: FACEBOOK REMOVED 23M PIECES OF HATE SPEECH IN Q2

With QAnon trending again this week, Facebook has reported they took down more than 23 million pieces of hate speech content –the majority of which they found and removed before any user had to report it. That works out to more than 250,000 pieces of hate speech being removed every single day.

You can read more about the report here which Facebook will update each quarter.

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER CLOSES AFTER 159 YEARS OF OPERATIONS

After 159 years in publishing, Mount Gambier’s The Border Watch Newsgroup is closing its doors. Management of the media group has blamed a downward spiral in advertising revenue, along with the pandemic, for its shock demise. The Border Watch, South Eastern Times, which covers Millicent and The Pennant in Penola will all close as of this Friday, Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin (pictured) has called for investors to rally behind the newspaper and resurrect a new model saying: “It is a shame we are the second-largest city in South Australia and we will not have this independent voice.”

THE LONG READ: WHY BRANDS NEED TO STOP CULTURE-JACKING

“It seems brands are jumping on the bandwagon in droves and releasing content or campaigns capitalising on whatever pop culture event is dominating the headlines or flooding social media.

While some brands nail it, culture-jacking is often the lowest form of advertising, and we’ve seen over the years just how wrong it can go.”.

https://www.smartcompany.com.au/marketing/brands-culture-jacking/

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK :AFTERPAY DAY LAUNCHES WITH 48 HOUR SALE

 

Quote of the week

“Lockdown Boredom. We didn’t waste our time just baking sourdough and banana bread

(Director Rob Savage on the inspiration for his new movie shot entirely on Zoom that has caught the attention of Hollywood)

 

Rob Savage