traction. issue #25

LATEST MEDIA SPEND FIGURES SHOW STRONGEST IMPROVEMENT IN 4 MONTHS

Australia’s media industry is continuing to show more signs of recovery as it emerges from the COVID period, with August ad spend back just 17.2% in what has been the strongest improvement in ad market demand since the depths of the crisis, reports SMI (Standard Media Index), the company that reports on advertising spend booked through media agencies. The result is the third consecutive month of lower declines but also the best improvement with the level of decline improving by 13 percentage points . Digital media reported the lowest YOY fall of 4.7%, driven by growth among Social Media and Video-based websites. TV also reported a better result (-11%).

An important driver of the market improvement in August was the second month of stronger spending from retailers, mostly supermarkets, chemists, and online retailers. Retail category spending was up 20% in August. All SMI product categories reported growth, a big turnaround from two months ago when the ad spend for all 40categories was in decline.

US LAWMAKERS RECOMMEND BIG 4 TECH GIANTS SHOULD BE “BROKEN UP”

A report backed by Democratic lawmakers in the US has urged changes that could lead to the break-up of some of America’s biggest tech companies. The recommendation follows a 16-month congressional investigation into Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. “These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in,” Democratic lawmakers working on the probe wrote.

US tech companies have faced increased scrutiny in Washington over their size and power in recent years. The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee is just one of multiple probes firms such as Facebook and Apple are facing. The 449-page report accused the companies of charging high fees, forcing smaller customers into unfavourable contracts and of using “killer acquisitions” to hobble rivals. “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog start-ups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” it said. Apple responded by saying: “We always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate but we disagree with the conclusions reached in this report with respect to Apple. Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP FOR FIFTH WEEK PRIOR TO BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence increased 0.7 pts to 95.7 last weekend and is now 16.6pts lower on the comparable weekend a year ago but above the 2020 weekly average of 93.8.

Consumer Confidence has now increased for five straight weeks and is up 5.5 pts since ending August at 90.2. Driving this week’s small increase was more confidence about people’s personal financial situation compared to this time a year ago. Adelaide was the city with the highest leap in confidence, up 8.2 points to 99.7 points whereas Melbourne was up 4.5 points as COVID cases continue to fall.

ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said “Continued improvement in the local news around the pandemic and talk of early tax cuts and other fiscal measures in the Budget led to a gain in consumer confidence for the fifth straight week. Consumers are still pessimistic, but confidence is at its highest level since June. Melbourne saw a sharp uptick in confidence as the removal of the curfew helped in lifting sentiment, although it is still 8.6% below the neutral level of 100.

Today’s announcement on the fiscal details will heavily influence the direction of the index in the coming weekend.”

Source: ANZ/Roy Morgan

MEANWHILE AUSTRALIA SLIPS FROM 2ND TO 6TH HAPPIEST COUNTRY IN LATEST POLL

Source: IPSOS

THE VOICE AUSTRALIA RUMOURED TO BE SIGNING TONES & I AS JUDGE

The Seven Network is on a mission to make sure its most recent acquisition reinvigorates the musical talent show.

The network surprised the market by snatching The Voice from Channel 9, who say the format was costing them $40- million a season (although that figure did include marketing costs). Channel 7 are openly saying they will do it for half the price.

The program hit the news last week after it was revealed singer Mariah Carey is in discussion to be one of the four judges.

And word is Aussie singer Tones and I will be filling one of those chairs alongside Ricki-Lee Coulter.

It’s currently unclear whether Guy Sebastian, Delta Goodrem, Kelly Rowland or Boy George will return, with Kylie Minogue and Keith Urban also emerging as hot tips to join the cast.

Minogue has previously appeared on both the Australian and UK versions of the franchise, and Urban was part of the original line-up in Australia, before being replaced by Ricky Martin.

SEVEN AND SWIMMING AUSTRALIA AGREE TO TERMINATE BROADCAST PARTNERSHIP

The decision by Seven to terminate the agreement as a result of the pandemic comes at a time when the network is looking to cut costs across the business. Earlier this year the network managed to secure a two-year extension on its AFL deal at a reduced price. Seven has also just signed a new Supercars deal for a price lower than what previous rights holder 10 was paying. Seven is also trying to renegotiate its cricket broadcast rights, with the dispute with Cricket Australia now in arbitration. Seven has been the broadcaster of Australian Swimming since 2016.

 

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

Ranking

Program Network Projection
1

THE BLOCK -SUN-ROOM WINNER

Network 9

1,058,128

2

SEVEN NEWS

Network 7

983,916

3

THE BLOCK -SUN

Network 9

981,417

4

SEVEN NEWS AT 6.30

Network 7

962,121

5

SEVEN NEWS – SAT

Network 7

960,007

6

NINE NEWS SUNDAY

Network 9

954,085

7

SEVEN’S AFL: FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FINALS

Network 7

947,628

8

SEVEN’S AFL: THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FINALS

Network 7

943,925

9

THE BLOCK – MON

Network 9

942,650

10

NINE NEWS

Network 9

914,295

Source: Oztam

CHART OF THE WEEK: ZOOM AND SLACK SHARE DIFFERING FORTUNES IN PANDEMIC

It’s not that Slack has had a bad year —its most recent quarter saw the company grow its revenues by 50% —but it just hasn’t had the explosive acceleration in demand that a company like Zoom has seen.

The problem is more to do with Microsoft Teams. Slack has slapped Microsoft with antitrust complaints in the EU, accusing Microsoft of unfairly tying Teams to its enormously successful productivity suite. This week Google also upped the ante by introducing Workspace which places further pressure on Slack.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Chartr

GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES NEW APP CALLED AUSTRALIA WEEKEND

Guardian Australia has launched Australia Weekend, a digital version of the traditional weekend newspaper, offering a new way for readers to experience Guardian journalism in Australia.

Available to download at 6am (AEDT) every Saturday morning, each week’s edition replicates the experience of reading the weekend newspaper, but with the added convenience and portability of mobile devices.

Lenore Taylor, editor, Guardian Australia, said: “Australia Weekend combines the best bits of a print weekend newspaper with the convenience and style of the digital medium. It’s the best of both worlds—the weekend paper in the palm of your hand.”

THE NIGHT DRIVER RISES TO #1 IN AUSTRALIAN PODCAST CHARTS

Tweet of the week

Apple announces news of the iPhone 12 launch which is set to be revealed on October 14 that 4am AEDT. The tagline for the event is “Hi-Speed” which is expected to be a reference to the inclusion of 5G on the new device.

INSTAGRAM EXPANDS SHOPPING ON IGTV AND WILL INTRODUCE ECOMMERCE TO REELS

Instagram has announced the global expansion of its Instagram Shopping service across IGTV. The product, which lets you watch a video then check out with a few taps, offers creators and influencers a way to more directly monetise their user base on Instagram, while also giving brands a way to sell merchandise to their followers. Instagram said it would also soon begin testing shopping within its newer feature and TikTok rival, Reels.

The new feature will boost eCommerce activity from brands and comes as more brands rely on online shopping with the decline in foot traffic due to physical distancing.

GOOGLE TREND OF THE WEEK :FEDERAL BUDGET DOMINATES SEARCH ACTIVITY

THE LONG READ: COVID-19 SET TO BE THE NEXT INSPIRATION FOR HORROR FILMS

“The horror genre has always been a highly socially attuned genre because it draws on what we’re afraid of, and what we’re afraid of changes from era to era. Basic fears remain the same, but the specific elements of what we’re afraid of ebb and flow at different times https://time.com/5891305/horror-movies-coronavirus-history-genre/”

FACEBOOK CRACKS DOWN ON QANON CONSPIRACY THEORY ACCOUNTS

Facebook has banned all accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement from its platforms. “Starting today, we will remove Facebook Pages, Groups, and Instagram accounts,” the company said. The move is a significant escalation to Facebook’s earlier decision to remove or restrict groups and accounts sharing and promoting QAnon material.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Facebook said its staff had begun removing content and deleting groups and pages, but that “this work will take time and will continue in the coming days and weeks”. “Our Dangerous Organizations Operations team will continue to enforce this policy and proactively detect content for removal instead of relying on user reports,” the statement added.

 

Quote of the week

“There are really three parts to the creative process. First there is inspiration, then there is the execution, and finally there is the release.”

Eddie Van Halen, legendary guitarist and founder of Van Halen who passed away this week from cancer at the age of 65.