Nine Entertainment Co. (General Discussion)


#1

NINE LOOKS TO LEAD THE WAY ON VIEWABILITY

Nine has announced a range of major changes to its digital advertising business, aimed at providing marketers and their agencies with greater transparency around issues such as viewability.

Central to the changes has been an ongoing overhaul of the advertising inventory across the nine.com.au websites, a commitment to meeting the MRC viewability standard, as well as providing advertisers with the ability to now transact on viewable impressions across display, with video to be available by the end of this quarter.

“The industry has struggled with viewability for a long time,” Alex Parsons, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Nine, said. “We want to lead the way in this discussion. We know that we are rapidly moving to a world where viewability – in terms of whether someone has seen your ad – can’t be an added extra. Rather, it should be a baseline marketer expectation.”

Amid the ongoing industry debate around viewability Nine also announced that it:
Is optimising its websites to load faster and therefore improve user experience and ad viewability
Has designed new sticky ad units to optimise viewability on nine.com.au websites to improve ad performance
Has partnered with two of the largest third-party verification vendors in Australia, Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Moat, to enable marketers using either vendor to have discrepancy-free reporting

“In making these changes our absolute commitment is to provide premium viewed impressions that will be seen by humans and will therefore deliver greater results for marketers,” said Ben Gunn, Director of Sales, Digital.

“We believe the solution needs to be broader and focused on what achieves the best results for our clients. In this way we will deliver a win/win for both marketers and their partners.”

Amid industry attention on transparency in the digital space, Nine is committed to providing marketers and their agencies with 100% confidence in their investment through third-party verification.

“When it comes to trust, digital players can’t mark their own homework,” said Gunn. “The solution must be that publishers and platforms work to provide more effective ad units and far greater transparency in terms of third-party verification.

“At Nine we will focus on two areas: great content and great products. It is a focus that will allow us to move to a world where viewabilty is no longer part of the conversation but should just be expected. A world where all publishers – regardless of who they are – should be held to these same standards.”

*Note: The MRC definition of a viewable impression is:
50% of the ad’s pixels in view for one continuous second for display
30% of pixels in view for one continuous second for large-canvas display formats
50% of pixels in view for two continuous seconds for video

Nine supports the IAB principles for transacting on viewable impressions.

https://www.iab.com/guidelines/state-of-viewability-transaction-2015/


#2

The Australian today reports that Fairfax Media is proposing to merge its metropolitan mastheads with free-to-air broadcaster Nine Entertainment Co. while selling off as much as 40% of its real estate listing arm the Domain Group.

The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review would be brought together with Nine’s broadcasting and website media operations in an effort to lift earnings and drive down costs for both parties through synergies and savings.


#3

makes sense, since they both own STAN.


#4

Nine Entertainment Company has reported a $237 million loss for the six months to December after reducing the value of the goodwill associated with the Nine Network from $422 million to $162 million.


#5

Nine said its ratings performance improved after the Olympics and that momentum had continued into 2017.

“Nine has recorded a markedly improved start to ratings season 2017, and this strength is expected to continue across much of the full calendar year,” Nine said in a statement.

“This should begin translating to revenues in Q4 FY17 and give Nine positive momentum into FY18.”


#6

Nine Entertainment Co. has reported the Company’s interim results for the 2017 financial year. For the six months, the Company reported Revenue of $659m, Group EBITDA of $120m and Net Profit After Tax, pre Specific Items, of $75m.

Specific Items of $312m after tax were also reported, primarily an accounting-led $260m non-cash impairment of goodwill and the $85m Warner Bros. settlement announced in August 2016. Net Loss After Tax, inclusive of Specific Items, was $237m.

Highlights for the period include:


- Dominant ratings performance post Olympics

**- Vastly improved ratings performance for the start of season 2017 **

- Continuing cost discipline across each division, with group-wide costs down 4%

**- Growth in affiliate revenue **

- 71% growth in registered users and 74% growth in catch up streams at 9Now across 6 months

- Strong subscriber additions at Stan, especially over summer

- 4.5 cent fully franked interim dividend

Hugh Marks, Chief Executive Officer of Nine Entertainment Co. said:

“We are very pleased with the progress we have made in the past six months and have delivered on our commitment to compete more effectively in Free To Air television at the start of the 2017 ratings year.

And the hard work we continue to do on costs means we are highly leveraged to benefit from the flow-on effect of our audience gains on revenue share.”

The more positive start to Nine’s ratings year should begin translating to revenues in Q4 FY17 and give Nine positive momentum into FY18.

In FY17, FTA reported costs are expected to be down 1.5%, as stated at the AGM in November. The Group is also progressing plans to achieve further efficiencies, with an additional $50m reduction in costs targeted by FY19. Digital expects to further progress recent initiatives in 9Now, 9Honey and Car Advice, with the second half focus turning to more effective monetization.

Hugh Marks added, “Our unique and complementary mix of television and digital assets continues to meet the changing needs of our audiences, providing an important and diverse foundation for Nine’s growth”.


#7

The House of Hancock miniseries will never be seen again after Gina Rinehart extracts ‘unreserved’ apology from Channel Nine, The Australian reports.


#8

Here’s the apology in full:

In February 2015, Nine broadcast a two-part mini-series, produced by Cordell Jigsaw, about in particular, Mrs Gina Rinehart and her parents, Hope and Lang Hancock, and her husband, Frank Rinehart.

That mini-series was a drama, not a documentary, and certain matters were fictionalised for dramatic purposes.

Nine and Cordell Jigsaw accept that Mrs Rinehart had a very loving and close relationship with her mother, father and husband, and has with Hope and Ginia.

They also acknowledge the significant contribution that Mrs Rinehart has made to Australia through her years of hard work and dedication and by her investment in this country, to its industry, economy and to the employment of Australians and by her longstanding support of elite sport and numerous worthwhile charities.

Nine and Cordell Jigsaw accept that Mrs Rinehart found the broadcast to be inaccurate. That was certainly not the intention of Nine or Cordell Jigsaw, and each unreservedly apologises to Mrs Rinehart and her family for any hurt or offence caused by the broadcast and its promotion.

House of Hancock aired on the Nine Network in February last year.


#9

#10

Nine Entertainment has a new address after announcing it would end its 50-year stay at Willoughby on Sydney’s north shore.

In a move flagged last year by Fairfax Media, Nine announced on Friday it would shift to the Winten Property Group’s development at Denison Street at North Sydney.


#11

Nine has appointed Pippa Leary to a new role leading digital sales, as commercial director – digital sales.

Leary has spent the past three years as CEO of Fairfax-Nine programmatic exchange APEX and prior to that held senior executive roles at Fairfax Media, including managing director of the publisher’s digital media division.

Leary will report to Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer and Nine’s chief digital and marketing officer, Alex Parsons.

The company also announced that the senior digital sales leadership team reporting to Leary would consist of Ben Gunn, who takes the key role of director of sales – agency, Amy Schubert, who takes the role of director of sales and content partnerships – 9Honey, Nathan Powell, director of sales – digital product, and Nine will announce shortly a new director of sales – programmatic to round out its senior digital leadership group.

In the Nine digital business, Alex Parsons announced that he was also creating two new executive roles, with Roxanne Hoad promoted to product and audience director and Anna Quinn becoming content and commercial strategy director.

Hoad has previously headed Nine’s digital marketing and was most recently head of product for Nine Digital, while Quinn joined Nine 10 months ago as head of content strategy, helping in the launch of Australia’s leading women’s network, 9Honey. Quinn previously held senior roles at Bauer Media and MaxMediaLab.


#12

Nine managing director Amanda Laing has resigned from her position and will leave the company in July.

Laing has had a long career with the Nine as group general counsel across the magazine, digital, ticketing and television businesses, before being promoted to commercial director and managing director in 2015.

“Amanda has made an indelible mark at the Network and is regarded with warmth and respect across the Nine family. We will of course miss her intellect and her enormous contribution to our business. I join with all at Nine in wishing Amanda the very best in the future," Nine CEO Hugh Marks says.

Laing adds: “It’s a privilege to have been part of a company as dynamic and successful as Nine over a period that has seen such profound change in the media landscape. I have worked with the best corporate and creative minds in the industry, navigating the business through major challenges and landmark deals. I intend to take a breath before launching into a new role. I’m leaving Nine at the top of its game and know the business will continue to thrive."


#13

Nine has announced a new strategic partnership with LiveRamp, an Acxiom company and leading global provider of data technology. With the partnership, Nine becomes the first wholly Australian-owned publisher to join LiveRamp’s ecosystem.

The partnership allows marketers and their agencies to use their own first party data, including rich offline data, to target known customers, in a privacy compliant manner, across the Nine Digital network.

Through LiveRamp, marketers will have access to Acxiom’s third party audience offerings including custom audience development and 600-plus custom audience segments that can be targeted across all of Nine’s major digital properties.

“We are very pleased to be the first local publisher to sign on to LiveRamp’s Connect Platform,” said Alex Parsons, chief digital and marketing officer at Nine. “Over the past two years we have reviewed our data strategy and completely rebuilt our offering with partnerships that include the likes of Data Republic, Red Planet and Adobe.

“This partnership gives Nine access to one of the world’s leading data technology infrastructure capabilities and enables marketers to achieve privacy-compliant precision targeting capabilities across Nine Digital’s inventory of display, mobile and video.”

“Nine is innovating to provide its consumers and advertising clients an enhanced data lead solution,” said Dean Capobianco, managing director for Acxiom’s APAC emerging markets.

“Advertisers in the Australian market can now develop high-value audiences from insight-rich offline CRM data and use LiveRamp to activate segments across Nine’s digital properties.”

Capobianco is a former ninemsn executive who worked in the digital business for six years and rose through the ranks to be group commercial director.


#14

NEC multiplatform push: Lizzie Young new group content strategy director

Nine has announced the promotion of Lizzie Young to the newly created role of group content strategy director.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks said Young would be charged with driving Nine’s approach to the distribution and commercialisation of Nine’s content assets across all the platforms now available to Nine as a business. This will ensure that Nine can continue to invest in the Australian news, sport, entertainment and lifestyle content that audiences are engaging with.

“The facts are that Australians are consuming more television content than ever before,” Marks said. “However, as audiences change the way they consume our content we too need to continue to innovate how we both create and distribute the unique premium Australian content that we invest more than $700 million every year on.

“Lizzie has played a key role at Nine over the past eight years, which has helped us bridge the gap between content and our commercial partners. She has the background, across both our content and sales divisions, to help drive not only greater effectiveness in our current business model, but also how we innovate the way we create, distribute and commercialise our content assets to adapt with changing audience behaviour.”

Young said she was excited about her new role and the challenge of finding new ways to engage both audiences and advertisers.

“We must innovate how and where we deliver our content,” Young said. “In a fragmenting media landscape, we have to work harder to grab consumer attention. Nine must continue to be at the forefront of our audience’s mind, and when they come to us we must deliver them an amazing experience.”

In the new role Young will report directly to Hugh Marks. Nine’s CEO said the appointment was a sign of the company’s emphasis on ensuring it is focused on building new revenue streams and exploring partnerships in key areas of audience growth.

“My challenge as CEO is to ensure our management team is fully equipped and ready to embrace change and the evolution of our business model,” he said.

“We must constantly adapt the business to address and commercialise the way people are consuming our content. Lizzie understands our content, the creators and the audience, as well as having a deep knowledge of our advertisers, and is more than equipped to build out what will be an important role in Nine’s future.”


#15

#16

Nine Launches 9Saver.Com.Au

Nine

Nine has launched a new website, called 9Saver, which is designed to help Australians save both time and money by giving consumers access to high-quality personal finance information and offers across a range of products including insurance, energy, telco and banking.

9Saver.com.au will aggregate the cost of living and hip-pocket segments run across Nine News, Today, Today Extra, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes every week, offering Australians a single destination for cost of living and money-saving tips. RevTech Media, the company behind One Big Switch and Fifty Up Club, will provide digital and technology services to 9Saver.

​ “In any given week we might have as many as 15 to 20 stories across Nine offering practical information to millions of Australians on how to save money on everyday household expenses,” said Darren Wick, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs.

“9Saver will be a one-stop destination where consumers can find this information or learn more about the solutions, products and services they have heard about.”

From the 9Saver website, consumers will be given direct access to providers and intermediaries who will help them pay less, or get more value, on their household bills.


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