traction. issue #24

GOOGLE RECRUITS COMEDIAN TO FIGHT PROPOSED NEWS BARGAINING CODE

Google has recruited Australian comedian Greta Lee Jackson in its latest efforts to fight the proposed news media bargaining code before it becomes law. Announcing the video in a blog post, this is the latest effort by the tech giant to argue against the draft code which aims to govern how Google and Facebook pay news publishers for their content.

In the video, which is meant to help the public understand the “confusing” proposed law, Jackson says forcing the digital platforms, which drive traffic to news sites, to pay for news stories is similar to asking a bus driver who drops off passengers at a restaurant to also pay the restaurant owner.

Mel Silva, MD of Google Australia and NZ said: We are happy to negotiate fairly and, if needed, see a standard dispute resolution scheme in place.” At the time of writing, the ACCC has yet to comment on the latest actions by Google.

BAUER REBRANDS AS “ARE MEDIA”, MAKES ONGOING COMMITMENT TO PRINT

Bauer, the country’s biggest magazine publisher has rebranded as Are Media, with the company committing to print as part of its future.

The company’s previous owners Bauer Media exited Australia in June after selling its assets to Mercury Capital and has since closed several titles including Elle and Harpers Bazaar as it battles with the downturn of pandemic affected ad revenue and declining readership across the category.

Brendon Hill, CEO of Are Media, said: “With new ownership and a new identity comes a refreshed and reinvigorated focus, one which embraces our existing strengths while allowing us to innovate and move into new areas.”

Hill added: “We will continue to deliver captivating, premium magazine content and experiences across print, digital, books, rewards, events and TV. “We’re going to do a lot more above the line. We’re really going to put money behind our brands and to help them become more visual in the market. And also we’re going to invest in the whole category now. So we’re going to invest in magazines, really push the magazine messaging in market now that we’re the market leader.”

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP FOR FOURTH WEEK RUNNING BUT DIPS IN MELBOURNE

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence increased 1.5pts to 95.0 last weekend and is now 19.7pts lower on the comparable weekend a year ago but above the 2020 weekly average of 93.7.

Consumer Confidence has now increased for four straight weeks and is up 4.8pts since ending August at 90.2. Driving this week’s increase was more confidence about the economic prospects for Australia over the next year and over the longer-term of the next five years. Sydney was the city with the highest leap in confidence, up 5.7 points to 96.0 points whereas Melbourne was the only city to dip, down 4.8 points to 86.9 points in total.

ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch said “By far the largest contribution came from “current economic conditions”, which has jumped almost 20% over the past fortnight. This reflects expectations for additional spending to be announced in next week’s federal budget. In the Treasurer’s speech last week, he outlined an updated fiscal strategy focussing on jobs and economic recovery, rather than repairing the fiscal position, until the unemployment rate is “comfortably” back under 6%. In contrast, “current financial conditions” has effectively plateaued for several weeks. This indicator will be one to watch as JobSeekerand JobKeeperpayments are reduced.”

Source: ANZ/Roy Morgan

COMMBANK CARD SPENDING DATA SHOWS 14% LIFT ON SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR

CommBank household credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 25 September showed spending on goods was up 14% from the same week last year, while spending on services was down 6%. Annual spending growth across the states has been broadly tracking sideways in September. WA and Queensland continue to outperform new South Wales, as well as Victoria, which is still lagging behind. A gradual easing of restrictions in Victoria should see a pick-up in consumer spending but this isn’t expected in a meaningful way until November. An accelerated reopening could bring this timeline forward.

Source: CBA

10 TO BID FOR RUGBY BROADCAST RIGHTS AFTER MISSING OUT ON SUPERCARS

10 has reportedly lodged a bid to extend its existing agreement to broadcast Rugby in Australia in a deal that would see it paying considerably less than what it is currently. Nine is understood to also be interested in securing Rugby rights but is yet to submit a formal bid and would likely only do so ifRugby Australia was willing to accept an advertising revenue share agreement. The ability to secure full digital rights is also a key priority for Nine.

As seen in last week’s Traction, Rugby Australia is missing out on much-needed revenue following the decision by QANTAS to end its long-standing sponsorship. The current Rugby broadcast agreement is due to expire on December 31.

After 12 months of unsuccessful talks with existing partners, Rugby Australia took its next media rights package to the open market in early August. At the time the code hoped all bids would be submitted by Sept 4, however, a lack of competitive bids has caused the process to be extended.

FOXTEL AND SEVEN PAY OUTSTANDING MONIES TO CRICKET AUSTRALIA

The dispute between Cricket Australia and broadcasters Seven and Foxtel (see Traction #22) appears to have smoothed ahead of talks between

the entities next week. Seven has paid the $10 million it owed Cricket Australiawhilst Foxtel has paid in full

the $33 million installment it was due to make over a fortnight ago. The dispute centres around the broadcasters‘ belief it was paying too much for a Summer of Cricket impacted by COVID-19. The reduced international talent pool in the BBL as well as lack of atmosphere will impact on viewer experience and overall viewing numbers the broadcasters say.

TOP 10 METRO TELEVISION PROGRAMS (TOTAL PEOPLE, 7 DAYS TO SEPTEMBER 30th)

Ranking

Program

Network

Projection

1

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

1,036,959

2

SEVEN NEWS AT 6.30

Network 7

992,964

3

NINE NEWS

Network 9

954,983

4

NINE NEWS 6:30

Network 9

926,993

5

SEVEN NEWS – SAT

Network 7

882,643

6

THE BACHELOR AUSTRALIA GRAND FINALETHE FINAL

DECISION

Network 10

879,437

7

NINE NEWS SATURDAY

Network 9

864,480

8

THE BLOCK -MON

Network 9

836,910

9

THE BLOCK -WED

Network 9

827,717

10

THE BLOCK -TUE

Network 9

808,732

 

Source: Oztam

CHART OF THE WEEK: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EMOJI

Following the 117 new emojis released this year, a further 217 varieties are expected in 2021, bringing the total count to 3,353. You can preview the new selection here.

Incidentally, the most popular emoji used on Facebook is 😂 while on Instagram it is ♥️

Sources: Unicode Consortium, Statista, Emojipedia

AMAZON ANNOUNCES NEW PAYMENT METHOD “AMAZON ONE” USING YOUR HAND

Amazon has announced a new payment system for its physical stores which uses a simple wave of the hand.

Its new Amazon One scanner registers an image of the user’s palm, letting them pay by hovering their hand in mid-air “for about a second or so”, it says.

The product will be trialed at two of Amazon’s stores in Seattle. The company said it is also “in active discussions with several potential customers” about rolling it out to other shops in the future.

Amazon has not detailed exactly how its version of the technology will work, beyond saying it will use “custom-built algorithms and hardware” and scan “distinct features on and below the surface” of the hand.

LIFE UNCUT RISES TO #1 IN AUSTRALIAN PODCAST CHARTS

Source: ITunes

Tweet of the week

Netflix announces its first Australian made documentary, the nature film Microworlds: Reef. Currently, in production in Queensland and due for completion next March, the one-hour program will feature ultra-high-definition footage of the tiny plants and animals that live below the surface on the Great Barrier Reef.

FACEBOOK LAUNCHES CROSS PLATFORM MESSAGING ON INSTAGRAM AND MESSENGER

Facebook has announced its biggest step yet in integrating its various messaging platforms, allowing users on Messenger and Instagram to message one another app to app. In addition to the launch of cross-platform messaging, Instagram is also getting a major overhaul of its DM system, which will be expanded with features taken from Messenger.

New Instagram messaging tools include vanishing messages, selfie stickers, custom emoji, chat colors, new ways to block unwanted messages, and the introduction of Messenger’sWatch Together feature, which lets you watch videos with friends during a video call.

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK :BIDEN TRENDS OVER TRUMP IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

THE LONG READ: IT’S TIME FOR NETFLIX TO STUMP UP IN AUSTRALIA

“Our laws and support systems for Australian screen content don’t yet reflect the way in which all of us are consuming content. Some content providers have formalised requirements to carry Australian content, while others do not, creating an unfair imbalance.”

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/sep/24/netflix-has-been-getting-a-free-ride-from-australia-its-time-for-them-to-stump-up

COMMERCIAL TV TO AXE LOCAL KIDS CONTENT (BUT GOOD NEWS FOR BLUEY)

As an accompanying piece to this week’s Long Read, Australian TV productions will be getting a boost in the federal budget but children’s content on commercial networks will be reduced as commercial broadcasters will no longer be obligated to produce this under the 55% local content quota mandate. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said “Almost nobody watches children’s content on commercial television anymore.”

The government is injecting $53 million into the development and production of local film and television as part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget. Networks are expected to invest further into local dramas and documentaries with this new flexibility.

In good news for children’s TV, however, it was announced that Bluey is returning for a new series with the ABC to start production later this year.

 

Quote of the week

 

This film represents the culmination of tens of thousands of hours of research by scientists around the world who have finally cracked the code on managing climate change –before it’s too late.

Director Josh Tickell on his new documentary about regenerative agriculture which has been hailed as a “game changer” in the fight to preserve the planet. You can watch the documentary here.