traction. issue #8

NEWS CORP CLOSES OVER 100 NEWSPAPERS AS MANY SHIFT TO DIGITAL ONLY EDITIONS

A total of 112 of Rupert Murdoch’s print newspapers will cease publication, consisting of  36 which will close altogether and 76 which will remain as online mastheads. News Corp will not specify how many staff each title will have or how much local reporting will continue. This brings to 92 the number of online titles published by the company after News Corp launched 16 new online titles in recent years.  

Out of 60 titles that were suspended in April, just 3 newspapers will resume print editions as they have healthy real estate advertising revenue. Executive Chairman of News Corp Australia, Michael Miller said “COVID-19 has impacted the sustainability of community and regional publishing,” he said. “Despite the audiences of News Corp’s digital mastheads growing more than 60% as Australians turned to trusted media sources during the peak of the recent COVID-19 lockdowns, print advertising spending, which contributes the majority of our revenues, has accelerated its decline.” Check if your local newspaper is affected by clicking here.

ROY MORGAN/ANZ CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IMPROVES FOR EIGHTH WEEK RUNNING

As expected with easing of restrictions, Consumer Confidence has increased for the 8th straight week to 92.7. Confidence is up 42% from its low point of 65.3 in March.

As far as current financial conditions are concerned, now 23% (down 1ppt) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year and 36% (unchanged) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially.

The time to buy a household item index also strengthened slightly. ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank said while still below average, sentiment has recovered strongly from its March low and is now only around 15% below its level at the end of February. “Government measures and signs that the job market is stabilising seem to be playing a key part in the recovery of the index despite recent concerns over trade with China and weak retail sales.”

 

LATEST STUDY SHOWS AUSTRALIANS LESS IMPACTED BY COVID-19 THAN MOST COUNTRIES

In a global poll of more than 16,000 people, about one third say the biggest impact they have faced during the pandemic has been lack of exercise because of COVID-19, with this sentiment highest in Japan  (38%) and  South Korea (37%), The second most cited health concern on the list is anxiety with at least about quarter of people saying they are suffering from this because of the pandemic. Overall however, most people ]said they were not affected by any of these conditions because of the pandemic. This sentiment was in the majority in Germany (53%), France (52%), followed by Japan (44%) and Australia (43%)

AS ABS STATS REVEALS THE VARYING IMPACT COVID-19 HAS ON AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS

WARC STUDY SUGGESTS THAT GLOBAL ADSPEND SLUMP TO BE LESS SEVERE THAN GFC

Global advertising spend is set to fall by 8.1% – USD $49.6bn – to USD $563bn this year, led by severe cuts in investment among major product sectors as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the latest WARC Global Advertising Trends report finds. Automotive (-11.4%) fares better than Retail (-15.2%), Financial Services (-18.2%) and Travel & Tourism which is facing a 31.2% slide YOY. As a comparison, 2009 saw a -12.7% fall.

SAME STUDY ALSO SHOWS ONLINE SPEND TO BE THE ONLY GROWTH CHANNEL YOY

 At a media level, this will be particularly challenging for traditional formats, which will see ad investment fall by 16.3% this year, equivalent to the removal of USD $51.4bn from 2019 levels. Though not nearly as hard hit, internet ad spend growth will likely be arrested at 0.6%, the result of a $36.5bn cut in projected spend. For context, WARC’s February forecast anticipated growth of 13.2% which seems a long time ago now. Key media declines include Cinema (-31.6%), OOH (-21.7%), Magazines (-21.5%), Newspapers (-19.5%), Radio (-16.2%), TV (-13.8%)

INSTAGRAM WILL PAY INFLUENCERS BY RUNNING ADS IN IGTV AND SHARING REVENUE

Creators have always been at the core of our community. Since the earliest days of Instagram, they have inspired people around the world with their talents, shared their lives and built their personal brands from the ground up.”

A statement on the Instagram website confirms the plan to help influencers monetize their content directly from the platform in a move that may help it compete better with the likes of TikTok and YouTube.

Instagram will reportedly share 55% of the revenues from the up-to-15-seconds-long IGTV ads with creators. Instagram plans to start testing the ads next week, launching the program with a small group of influencers. The new revenue streams are also likely to be a boon to Instagram, which has seen use of its video services—and particularly live video – spike during the lockdown. On an April earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that 800 million people now tune into live video on Instagram and Facebook daily. And in Wednesday’s blog post, Instagram noted that Live has posted a 70% increase in views from February to March.

AS FACEBOOK LAUNCHES APP “COLLAB” TO TAKE ON TIK TOK’S MUSIC DOMINANCE

Facebook’s experimental app division has launched a new product called Collab that promises to deliver a new approach to collaborative music making. The app, launching as an invite-only beta on iOS, is from Facebook’s NPE Division  (short for new product experimentation). If it sounds like another swing at the cultural and creative juggernaut that is TikTok, that’s because it is. It is Collab’s primary pitch is that you can create short-form videos split into three simultaneous sources, so you can perform a single song by playing three different instruments and stitching it all together.

 

EASING RESTRICTIONS : DRIVE IN CINEMAS IN SYDNEY, MELBOURNE AND BRISBANE ARE REOPENING NEXT WEEK

Although the previous page shows a  predicted 31.6% decline in global cinema ad revenue, there is welcome news for the industry at last. You can buy tickets here for Melbourne, here for Brisbane and here for Sydney.

 

FOXTEL CONFIRMS LAUNCH OF NEW STREAMING SERVICE NAMED “BINGE”

Starting at a competitive $10 a month, Foxtel’s new streaming service is a more stripped down version of Foxtel Now (from $25 a month) with its primary focus on scripted television as opposed to the sports proposition of Kayo and the broader offering including documentaries and music available via Foxtel Now. Binge is launching with a two week free trial including 800 movies and includes content from content from WarnerMedia, NBCU, FX, BBC and Sony. Despite launching as restrictions start to ease, Foxtel will be hoping that Binge will give the company a boost following a truncated sporting season that saw over 130,000 subscribers leave the Kayo platform recently.

MEANWHILE NINE AND FOXTEL ANNOUNCE DEAL WITH NRL AFTER PROLONGED TALKS

 

The ARLC has agreed to

new broadcast deals with Channel Nine through to 2022 and Foxtel through to the 2027 season. The new deal extends Foxtel’s for a further five years, with the previous rights agreement having covered the five-year period of 2018-2022. Foxtel will continue to broadcast all eight games a week this season, with Nine televising three matches per round plus exclusive coverage of the grand final on October 25 plus the State of Origin series in November.

ANALYSIS: TWITTER FACTS CHECKS TRUMP (BY ALLY COONEY, HEAD OF DIGITAL AT THE MEDIA STORE

 

In a Presidency of firsts, Trump has landed yet another in being the first President to be fact checked by Twitter.  Twitter chose an odd Presidential tweet as its first to fact-check.  Out of all the vitriol Trump expels into the Twittersphere, it was a false tweet about mail-in ballots leading to widespread voter fraud that got Twitter off of its perch.  

During this time of COVID, Twitter has come under increasing pressure to fact check the President who claimed at the beginning of the pandemic that COVID will “disappear” like a “miracle”, “anyone who wants a test can get one” and most recently on May 20 professing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as protection against coronavirus.  This despite American federal regulators warning of the potentially serious, even fatal, dangers of taking it as a precautionary measure (we should add that 3 days ago Trump announced that he has ‘finished his course’ of the anti-malaria drug). 

Twitter taking this action takes them one step towards them acting like a newsroom, an editor, if you will.  But now that they have taken this step, they will be under pressure to take this step again and again.  This action compared to the volume of tweets leaving the President’s exhausted mobile phone is the equivalent of taking a water pistol to Godzilla.  

As this issue of Traction heads to the virtual printers, Trump has threatened to ‘shut down’ Twitter via Executive Order.  The irony of this situation?  That during this pandemic, the President has massively under utilised the vast array of powers at his disposal to handle the spread of the virus more effectively.  Instead, he continues to claim powers that he doesn’t actually have. 

 

 

Quote of the week

 

There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.” 

(A star-studded line up including Ryan Reynolds is raising money for Covid-19 charities by reading chapters from the novel here)

- Roald Dahl

James & The Giant Peach