traction. issue #20

FACEBOOK THREATENS TO BAN SHARING OF NEWS IN AUSTRALIA

Just weeks after Google warned users that its search services could be “dramatically worse“ if it was forced to pay publishers for their articles, Facebook has threatened to stop users from sharing news content in Australia should a proposed code to compensate traditional news outlets go ahead. In a blog post, Facebook’s MD for Australia and New Zealand, Will Easton, said the draft law “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect”. Easton added that Facebook sent 2.3bn clicks from its newsfeed back to Australian news websites, worth around A$200m during the first five months of the year.

The blocking of news “is not our first choice -it is our last,” he said, adding that Facebook’s other services that allow family and friends to connect will not be affected.

The ACCC, which developed the code, responded by saying the announcement was “ill-timed and misconceived,” in a statement issued shortly after. It also referenced a study by the University of Canberra that revealed 39% of Australians used Facebook for general news whilst 49% used Facebook for specific COVID-19 news. Facebook has suggested it will have to pay for every bit of news that appears on its platforms. In fact, the code allows for the private values of each news media business to be revealed during negotiations, which may end up in a price that is actually very low for Facebook, or even free. The ACCC allows for both the news media businesses and platform businesses to negotiate but Facebook’s threat suggests they are in no mood for negotiation.

THE MEDIA STORE’S ALLY COONEY: 5 NIGGLES CONCERNING THE DRAFT CODE

Niggle 1: Let’s take a step back from this week’s announcement and remember what the founding tenet was of the ACCC’s DPI was in the first place… Improving the ability of news media businesses to fund the production of news and journalism, thereby delivering diversity and quality news and journalism. I hope that the ACCC is not just giving priority to the big Australian Media conglomerates, but is also considering the small to medium content providers. Is the ACCC losing sight of this? I hope not.

Niggle 2: Murdoch has had it out for Facebook and Google for a while –this is no secret. But as time has gone by, from the announcement of the ACCC’s Digital Platform Inquiry until now, I can’t help but feel this is playing right into his agenda. Must one choose between Murdoch and Google + Facebook? Ummm…. what’s the 3rd choice?

Niggle 3: Once arbitration occurs, as per the draft Code, and a value of the content in question is determined, what happens to the money? Are there rules to determine how this additional revenue should be invested? This links back to Niggle 1 above.

Niggle 4: Why are the ABC and SBS not included?

Niggle 5: How will the ACCC define news? The draft legislation touches on this, but what does it mean practically? Would content produced by Vogue about Christian Dior’s Fall 2020 Collection be considered news? How is sports content vs sports news defined? The digitisation of ‘news’ has made the differences in content genres more difficult to discern.

Ally Cooney is Digital Director at The Media Store

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE DROPS BY 2.5 POINTS AS NEW COVID OUTBREAKS CONTINUE

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence dropped 2.5pts to 90.2 last weekend after two successive gains as outbreaks continued in NSW and Queensland. There were falls in confidence in both NSW and Queensland but confidence remains lowest in Melbourne.

Driving the fall in the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan data was decreasing confidence across all five indices led by confidence dropping about personal financial situations. There was also a slight fall in the number of consumers wanting to purchase a major household item.

ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank said the weakness was due to declines outside of Victoria and New South Wales. “Confidence is now below the neutral level of 100 in all the major cities, but encouragingly, confidence actually rose in Victoria. The continued drop in new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne may be giving hope that the severity of the lockdown can be eased as planned,” he said. However, confidence may be challenged by the expected confirmation this week that Australia’s economy contracted at a record rate in the second quarter, Plank added.

COMMBANK CARD SPENDING DATA SHOWS SPENDING INCREASED JUST 1% YOY

CommBank household credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 28 August was up 1% from the same period a year ago. In the previous week, the year-on-year lift was 5%

Evidence suggests that weak spending in Victoria may be spilling over to other jurisdictions

Online spending is still strong, up 20% over the year, while in-store spending continued to ease and is down about 5.5% from the same time last year. Data also showed that spending on goods was up 12% from the same week last year, while spending on services was down 9%.

Source: CBA

THE VOICE FOLLOWS BIG BROTHER AND FARMER WANTS A WIFE TO SEVEN

Days after both Seven and Nine announced hefty losses for FY20 (see last week’s Traction), Seven has surprised the market by snaring The Voice from rival Nine. It is expected there will be a reduced episode format to ensure costs stay low whilst Sonia Kruger (pictured) will host the show. Seven has demonstrated success in rebooting both Big Brother and Farmer Wants A Wife and will be confident of similar success with The Voice.

Director of Programming at Seven, Angus Ross said: “We couldn’t resist the opportunity to responsibly reimagine the format for The Voice 2021. We’ll deliver an established franchise ramped up for newer and bigger audiences, in a lean production format that speaks to modern viewers.”

A Nine spokeswoman declared The Voice the ‘poorest financial performer’ on its line-up in a parting shot at its largest free-to-air TV rival. Seven have also wasted little time in announcing their line up of farmers for the next season of Farmer Wants A Wife due to air in 2021. Partner auditions are still open by clicking here.

TOP 10 METRO TELEVISION PROGRAMS (TOTAL PEOPLE, 7 DAYS TO SEPTEMBER 3rd)

Ranking

Program

Network

Projection

1

SEVEN NEWS – SUN

Network 7

1,168,043

2

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

1,058,831

3

THE BLOCK -ROOM WINNER

Network 9

1,021,650

4

NINE NEWS SUNDAY

Network 9

1,010,709

5

SEVEN NEWS AT 6.30

Network 7

992,652

6

SEVEN NEWS – SAT

Network 7

959,310

7

NINE NEWS

Network 9

955,368

8

THE BLOCK -SUN

Network 9

941,505

9

THE MASKED SINGER AUSTRALIA MON –

REVEAL

Network 10

938,422

10

NINE NEWS 6:30

Network 9

919,099

Source: Oztam

CHART OF THE WEEK: 9 IN 10 AUSTRALIANS WOULD GET COVID-19 VACCINE IF AVAILABLE

Source: Ipsos

DAVID BLAINE BREAKS YOUTUBE LIVESTREAM RECORD WITH “ASCENSION” STUNT

David Blaine’s latest stunt, ascending nearly 7,620 metres above the desert while hanging from a cluster of balloons, has set a new YouTube record with over 770,000 viewers. “David Blaine exceeded expectations once again!” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, “What an inspirational moment for viewers all around the world and we’re so thrilled with what he accomplished.” You can watch the broadcast here.

TRUE CRIME DRAMA “THE NIGHT DRIVER” REMAINS #1 IN AUSTRALIAN PODCAST CHARTS

Source: ITunes

Tweet of the week: Tribute to the late actor Chadwick Boseman becomes Twitter’s most liked Tweet of all time

SNAPCHAT REVEALS SURGE IN DOWNLOADS WITH NEARLY 30M NEW INSTALLS LAST MONTH

The ongoing uncertainty around TikTok’s future may have provided a big boost to Snapchat in August. Preliminary estimates from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower indicate that Snapchat’s mobile app across both iOS and Android saw approximately 28.5 million new installs last month —its single largest month for first-time downloads since May 2019, when it had then seen 41.2 million new installs. It’s unclear what combination of trends or changes may have shaped Snapchat’s download data over the past month.

As talk continues about a US ban on TikTok, it is thought that this may have led to an increase in Snapchat downloads. Even though the two platforms have different propositions, Snapchat recently announced a new feature that lets users set their Snaps to music (see Traction#16)

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK :AUSTRALIA IN RECESSION FOR FIRST TIME IN 29 YEARS

Interest over time

THE LONG READ: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN OPENS UP ABOUT THE RELEASE OF “TENET”

“I want the audience to have an entertaining time, have a real ride, and feel that they can understand and go along with what they need to while they are watching the film. And then maybe after they’ve seen the film, think more about the ideas.“

https://tinyurl.com/y4bhld68

AS “TENET” BOOSTS AUSTRALIAN BOX OFFICE IN BIGGEST WEEKEND SINCE CINEMAS REOPENED

 

 

 

 

 

Source: CineTAM

 

Quote of the week

People say to me, you could die happy now, you’re a gold medallist! And I’m like, ‘Nah, are you serious? I’ve got so much more to do!”

(Ellie Cole, the Australian star of the new Netflix documentary “Rising Phoenix” about the Paralympic Games and its most inspiring athletes. You can watch the series here)

 

Ellie Cole

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO, STEPHEN LEEDS

Over the three week period from 29 August to 19 September I am participating in the JDRF Virtual One Ride, raising funds for Type 1 Diabetes and I would love your support.

Why am I doing this?

Five years ago, my then 13 year old son Harrison was diagnosed with T1D. It was a total shock –he was active in sport as a swimmer for his school, played club AFL and basketball, and was active around the house as the middle of three boys. Diabetes does not run in our family so there was no indication that genetics had a role to play. We had to accept it was just bad luck. Life for us as a family but more importantly for him has changed forever. I have watched him test his blood sugar levels through a needle prick, and then inject his insulin up to 5 times a day. He has to constantly monitor his carbohydrate intake with every meal and snack, and even playing sport now, requires him to monitor his levels as his blood sugar levels decrease with activity and can send him into a hypo. On Christmas Day 2019 I experienced this when his levels dropped so low, he had a seizure and collapsed in my arms. The 10 minute wait for an ambulance was the longest ten minutes of my life. I thought I had lost him.

The vigilance required would be difficult for any person let alone an 18 year old who is supposed to be in the prime of his life. Harrison’s daily wish is for a cure to be discovered and he is optimistic this will happen. In support of him, I joined the JDRF State Leadership Group as I feel like I need to be part of the journey in finding a cure. This year due to COVID restrictions, the Committee has had to be creative in how we raise funds, and the usual bike ride from Adelaide to Melbourne has been replaced with a virtual ride. My goal is to ride 500 km’s over the three week period and to raise in excess of $2,000.

If you would like to support me on this journey please visit my home page https://ride.jdrf.org.au/fundraisers/stephenleeds/virtual.

If the timing is not great for you now then even your moral support with a “like” on my linked in page would be appreciated https://www.linkedin.com/posts/stephenleeds1_cross-boarder-alliance-activity-6704610850172473345-3AAX

Thanking you all for your support.