traction. issue #5

AUSTRALIA’S MAGAZINE INDUSTRY IN TURMOIL, DAYS AFTER PACIFIC SELLS TO BAUER

Days after acquiring Seven West Media’s magazine publishing arm Pacific Magazines for $40m, Bauer Media laid off 60 of the 160 staff it inherited and stood down 15 more without pay.

Staff were told that several of the magazines, believed to be InStyle, Men’s Health and Women’s Health, would cease printing until further notice. The company has refused to comment on which titles it is suspending or to confirm the numbers of people affected.

Days earlier Bauer closed four of its own titles and sacked or stood down 140 staff, blaming the advertising downturn from the coronavirus pandemic.

In April the company walked away from its New Zealand operations throwing 237 staff into unemployment and closing titles New Zealand Listener and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

 

ROY MORGAN/ANZ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IMPROVES FOR FIFTH WEEK RUNNING

Roy Morgan data shows a week on week consumer confidence increase of 5.3% , which although low, is on a par with levels seen during the GFC. All the subcomponents gained except for ‘Time to buy a major household item’, which fell 2.5 per cent. ‘Current finances’ gained 5.3%, while ‘future finances’ gained 5.9%. ‘Current economic conditions’ rose 2.2 per, while ‘future economic conditions’ gained 13.7 per cent.

David Plank, Head of Australian Economics at ANZ commented: “The strength in confidence last week was encouraging. Overall sentiment is now around the levels seen during the global financial crisis,. We think the gain over the past week is predominantly attributable to the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions and optimism surrounding the daily new cases figure. There is a way to go before sentiment gets to levels that are optimistic however.”

Source: ANZ/Roy Morgan

LATEST ATTITUDES SHOW AN INCREASING OPENNESS TO EASING SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

In the latest Essential Vision survey, Australians are becoming increasingly open to easing the lockdown restrictions. Those who think it’s too soon to lift restrictions has fallen from 49% two weeks ago to 37%. One in five people think restrictions should be eased within the next month (21%).

Those aged over 55 are least likely to consider easing restrictions (44% say it’s too soon, compared to 28% of those aged 18-34).
Women are more likely than men to think it’s too soon to consider lifting restrictions (42% to 32%)

Source: Essential Vision

AS AUSTRALIANS SAY THAT THE GOVT IS DOING A “GOOD JOB” OF CONTAINING COVID-19 –UP TO 84% FROM 60% A MONTH AGO. AUSTRALIA SECOND ONLY TO INDIA IN POSITIVE SENTIMENT

Source: IPSOS

UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA UNVEILS LANDMARK STUDY SHOWING AUSTRALIANS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS COVID-19 NEWS REPORTING AND MISINFORMATION

The study of 2,196 Australians showed how trust in news about COVID-19 is higher than trust in news in general. In 2019, general trust in news was 44% according to the Digital News Report Australia 2019, compared to 53% during the pandemic. The full report can be downloaded here.

NEWS PROVIDES A TOPIC OF CONVERSATION BUT INCREASES ANXIETY

TV IS THE MAIN SOURCE FOR NEWS/INFORMATION DURING THE PANDEMIC

TV has become even more popular as a source of news during social isolation. According to the ACU’s Digital News Report Australia 2019, 42% used TV as their main source of news, but this has risen to 51% during the pandemic. Print and radio have decreased during this time and the use of online and social media for news have remained much the same. Meanwhile in the same 2019 study , roughly one-third (36%) of Australians used Facebook to access news. However, during the coronavirus outbreak, 49% of people say they are using Facebook to stay informed

DISNEY PLUS HITS 50 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS DESPITE $1.4 BILLION LOSS FROM PARENT COMPANY

Following the recent subscriber successes of Netflix and Amazon, Disney Plus has announced 54.5m subscribers, just 6 months after launch. On May 4th (Star Wars Day) came  the announcement of a new Star Wars movie as well as a new TV show to follow in the footsteps of The Mandalorian. Despite the impressive numbers, it wasn’t enough to avoid a 90% fall in last quarter profits announced by Walt Disney Co owing to Theme Park and Retail Store closures due to COVID-19 

AS FOXTEL EXTENDS CONTENT DEAL WITH HBO, WARNER BROS, BEATING STAN TO THE RIGHTS

Foxtel has secured a content deal with US entertainment giant WarnerMedia after a battle for the rights against Nine Entertainment Co’s streaming service Stan.

The news follows the planned launch of new streaming service Binge as detailed in last week’s Traction.

The pay TV operator announced on Wednesday it had signed a new exclusive multi-year agreement with the New-York based company, which owns HBO programs including Game of Thrones, Succession and Big Little Lies and Warner Bros shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Friends. Foxtel’s new deal includes the rights to all Warner Bros television shows and movies, HBO content and exclusive rights to new scripted dramas known as ‘Originals’, which will launch on new US streaming service HBO Max later this month. HBO Max Originals include a reboot of Gossip Girl, The Flight Attendant and Raised by Wolves. Foxtel has also extended its agreement for the Cartoon Network, Boomerang and CNN, and has agreed to work on scripted and non scripted local productions with WarnerMedia.

TREND OF THE WEEK : CORONAVIRUS TESTING LEAPS AS TESTING BECOMES WIDESPREAD

The top 5 “Can I” searches on Google in Australia this week were:

  1. Can I get tested for Coronavirus?
  2. Can I move interstate during Coronavirus? 
  3. Can I visit friends Coronavirus NSW?
  4. Can I visit friends Coronavirus VIC?
  5. Can I visit family during lockdown

Source: Google

THE WORLD’S TOP 10 “ISOLATION” SONGS HAVE BEEN REVEALED BY SPOTIFY

As featured in 95 of the 500 playlists analysed, Toxic by Britney Spears is the world’s favourite lockdown song. Britney’s iconic hit has over 407 million plays on Spotify to date. Using the methodology of searching the terms “Coronavirus’, ‘COVID-19’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘quarantine’ in Spotify, each Spotify playlist was cross compared to identify any duplicate songs, any of which with the highest number of occurrences across playlists were included in the final list of most popular songs.

In second place is the Bees Gees with Stayin’ Alive. The Saturday Night Fever classic appears in 87 playlists, with dark humour proving a suitable coping mechanism of choice for many of us. Stayin’ Alive has been played an impressive 16 million times on Spotify to date.

MC Hammer’s rap track U Can’t Touch This claims third place, appearing in 85 out of the 500 playlists and has a staggering 171 million streams. 

Source: Spotify

THE LONG READ: “IT’S OK TO LAUGH AGAIN” ADVERTISERS PREPARE FOR POST-COVID ECONOMY

“Sad piano chords, sombre shots of empty streets and close-ups of people staring out their windows. So prevalent were coronavirus-themed ads that followed a similar template just a few weeks ago, they were parodied in a YouTube compilation video: “Every COVID-19 Commercial is Exactly the Same.”

Sheila Dang, Journalist, Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-advertising/its-okay-to-laugh-again-advertisers-prepare-for-post-coronavirus-economy-idUSKBN22G130

COVID-19 VIRALTREND OF THE WEEK: MINI PANCAKE CEREAL

The latest food craze has taken over Instagram and TikTok with many savvy amateur cooks sharing their own creations on both platforms.

It’s difficult to determine where the original idea originated but on TikTok a number of videos have been shared demonstrating how to make the pancake cereal – one video has also exceeding more than a million views. 

The recipe can be found here.

 

Quote of the week

 

Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you.

(Michelle Obama: Becoming is now streaming on Netflix)

- Michelle Obama