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SWM

Acquisition of Prime Media

By Seven West Media

Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today announced that it has entered into a conditional Share Sale Agreement to acquire all the business and related assets of Prime Media Group (ASX: PRT) via the acquisition of Prime Television (Holdings) Pty Ltd, Seven Affiliate Sales Pty Ltd and all their subsidiaries (“PRT Business”).

As a sale of a main undertaking for ASX Listing Rules purposes, the acquisition will be subject to a vote of the PRT shareholders to be held in December 2021.

SWM strongly believes in the rationale of a combined SWM-PRT Business, which will create the leading wholly-owned commercial premium broadcast, video and news network across Australia, reaching more than 90% of the Australian population every month.

This proposal is an important step forward for both companies. SWM and PRT are great partners and have a long, successful relationship. Together, they will offer the best content for our national audience and unmatchable premium revenue opportunities for our clients.

The acquisition means SWM will become Australia’s leading commercial premium broadcast, video and news network, with the potential to reach more than 90% of Australia’s population each month.

The proposed transaction is an exciting and transformative development for advertisers and media buyers. It means we will be able to give advertisers easy and seamless access via a single platform to capital city and regional markets.

James Warburton, SWM Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Seven appoints Head of Convergence Audience Trading

By Seven West Media

Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today announced the appointment of Alex Tansley as Head of Convergence Audience Trading, effective immediately.

Mr Tansley’s appointment follows Seven’s recent announcement of its Australia-first project with Salesforce, the global leaders in CRM, to transform and enhance its media trading platform as a key component in the launch of CODE 7+.

In the newly created position, Mr Tansley will be responsible for developing and delivering Seven’s strategy across dynamic and converged audience trading solutions through CODE 7+, CRM and developing new operating models and products. 

Mr Tansley has extensive industry experience in commercial strategy roles, having previously held senior positions at MCN, Foxtel Media and, most recently, at Seven West Media as Revenue Strategy Manager, where he was responsible for driving a range of advanced advertising projects as part of Seven’s Enhanced Advertiser and Viewer Experience [E.A.V.E.] initiative.

Mr Tansley reports to Seven West Media Network Director of Sales, Natalie Harvey, and Network Digital Sales Director, Nicole Bence.

Alex comes to this role with a deep knowledge, brilliant strategic thinking and the capability to help drive Seven’s future capabilities in dynamic, converged television buying through CODE 7+.

This new, innovative role will support Seven’s transformation and our ambition to enable customers to engage and execute with ease and speed across Seven, 7plus and other audience platforms. Seven is the most watched free-to-air broadcaster across all screens, which means we have the biggest audience to gain insights from and connect our partners with, which we do in a multitude of ways using best-in-market technology, processes and people.

Kurt Burnette, Seven West Media Chief Revenue Officer

There is no more strategic or passionate media professional in the industry than Alex Tansley. His appointment to this crucial role is further proof of Seven’s commitment to being audience-led and platform agnostic in our pursuit of delivering more effective and better outcomes for our client and agency partners. The future of television is here and Seven is leading the way.

Natalie Harvey, Seven West Media Network Director of Sales

Having spent over eight years working across commercial strategy in the television industry, I’m passionate about delivering the best experience for advertisers, partners and viewers, and look forward to taking Seven’s successful converged audience buying solution to the next level.

Alex Tansley

Seven’s new state-of-the-art digital and broadcast converged media trading platform, CODE 7+, will be underpinned by the latest industry total audience measurement VOZ, along with Seven’s market-leading audience intelligence platform 7REDiQ.

Total TV tells the total story

By Seven West Media

By James Warburton, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Seven West Media

It was more than 16 years ago, but I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was 8.35am the morning after Desperate Housewives had launched on Seven. The OzTAM overnight audience numbers arrived, and we had a huge hit our hands: 2.5 million viewers in metropolitan markets alone. The rebirth of Seven had begun.

Fast forward almost two decades and, until a couple of weeks ago, the TV industry was still obsessing about overnight audience numbers. What that meant, of course, was that we were leading the public discussion about free-to-air TV audiences with the smallest number we had. Never mind the rise of time-shifted viewing, BVOD and live streaming: as an industry we were ignoring the dramatic change in how our content is consumed and pushing overnight numbers which were, not surprisingly, in steady decline.

Overnight audience numbers are very misleading. In some cases, they represent less than 70% of a TV program’s true audience. When catch-up viewing in its various forms and live streaming are added, some programs add hundreds of thousands of “new” viewers. Not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands.

For years, self-appointed experts have proclaimed that TV is dying. They are, of course, wrong (and, in many cases, biased). TV isn’t dying. It is changing. It is adapting to changes in how, where and when people want to watch video content.

The free-to-air TV networks are constantly being told we need to innovate in how we create and sell our content, how we use data, how we trade with our commercial partners, and so on.

And yet, until very recently, we were clinging to antiquated audience numbers that undersold our innovation and painted us in the worst possible light. We were our own worst enemy. Would Google and Facebook go to market with archaic audience numbers? No. They put out the biggest numbers they can, even when there are questions about how real or commercially relevant they are (does anyone really believe two seconds is a video view?).

On 13 September, after more than six months of debate, cajoling and setbacks, we finally went public with daily total audience numbers covering seven days of viewing, that is, overnight audience numbers plus time-shifted viewing, BVOD and live streaming. Sure, at this stage, we are only distributing two top 30 program tables each day – one ranking programs by total people, the other by 25 to 54s – but it is a great first step.

The total audience numbers are sent to media just after 9.00am every day, followed by the overnight numbers at about 10.00am. The vast majority of the journalists who write about TV are ignoring the total audience numbers and still focusing on overnights. That is not even remotely surprising. As an industry, we spent decades feeding the media reporting of the overnight ratings. The only way to stop that is to stop the public distribution of the overnight ratings. That isn’t going to happen, at least, not yet.

The overnight ratings are not what we trade on with media buyers or for our clients, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. The seven-day total audience numbers are an important currency and show the real reach and impact of our content.

Take the new season of SAS Australia. So far, its series total audience numbers are about 30% bigger than its overnight numbers. Its first episode had 968,000 viewers overnight. Over the following seven days, that climbed to 1.36 million (including SAS Uncensored on 7plus), an increase of 41% or 392,000 viewers. The increase among 25 to 54s was even bigger, at 58%. In a very different genre, Home and Away routinely sees increases of about 20% from overnight to total audience numbers, representing up to 200,000 additional viewers.

Other shows on air now are seeing similar, albeit smaller, gains as SAS Australia, including The Block, The Newsreader and The Masked Singer. Their increases reflect how our consumers – and therefore our industry – are changing. Total audience numbers will only become more important, as BVOD and live streaming continue to grow.

As an industry, we need to increase our focus on total audience numbers. That includes convincing the media who report on TV to focus on the total audience numbers. Of course, the solution is to stop publicly releasing overnight numbers. For some, that is brave step, so we will keep working to help them take it.

Seven appoints new Head of Research and Insights

By Seven West Media

As Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) continues to accelerate its digital transformation and market-leading data offering, the business has strengthened its Insights team with the appointment of Craig Johnson as Head of Research and Insights, effective immediately.

A key member of Seven’s Audience Intelligence team, Mr Johnson is responsible for measuring and analysing data and insights from Seven’s audiences across all platforms, including broadcast television and online streaming on 7plus. He reports to Director of Audience Intelligence, Andrew Brain.

Mr Johnson has previously held senior roles in international and Australian media companies and was most recently embedded at Facebook’s Californian head office as a Senior Vice President – Global Business Partner Leader at Nielsen, where he managed and grew the global alliance between Facebook and Nielsen.

Craig is an accomplished leader in data and his extensive background in media and previous senior roles at Nielsen across multiple territories will be a tremendous asset to Seven.

As a strategic partner to our marketing, programming, commercial, corporate and strategy teams, Craig will bring new thinking and innovative approaches to data measurement that will help inform critical business decisions. He also joins us at an exceptional time for the industry, following the recent roll out of VOZ, OzTAM’s Total TV reporting and the newly announced IAB measurement partner, Ipsos.

Andrew Brain, Director of Audience Intelligence

I am thrilled to join Seven West Media during such an exciting time of growth for the company. I look forward to working with the team to drive new measurement solutions under Seven’s market-leading first-party data assets, including 7REDiQ, and unifying insights and data analytics across the company.

Craig Johnson, Head of Research and Insights

Mr Johnson’s appointment follows the departure of Emelia Millward, who is moving to a new role overseas.

Seven West Media signs Google and Facebook agreements

By SEVEN, Seven West Media

Provides FY21 trading and debt update

Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today confirmed it has finalised its partnership with Google and has also signed a long-form agreement with Facebook awaiting signature by the latter overnight. 

The agreements are consistent with the respective Letters of Intent announced in February. The agreement with Google is five years and the agreement with Facebook is three years. 

Completion of the two agreements confirms the strong recognition of the quality and credibility of our leading television and newspaper news brands and entertainment content. Together, they underpin our sustainability and enable us to continue to build our digital platform. 

These partnerships have been made possible by the introduction of the Media Bargaining Code. This has been an important reform led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

James Warburton, SWM Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

SWM anticipates the digital revenue associated with the agreements will commence before the end of FY21, with the majority to be derived in FY22. Minimal incremental costs are required to deliver the revenue.

With regards to trading, Seven’s Q3 FY21 advertising revenue grew at the upper end of the 7-10% range provided at the first-half results briefing in February.

Net debt is forecast to be approximately $270 million to $280 million by the end of FY21. Net proceeds of $45 million from the Airtasker IPO in March were used to retire debt, bringing total debt retirement to $195 million in the second half to date.   

The transformation of SWM continues. Finalisation of the Google and Facebook agreements completes one of the key objectives outlined in our February results, delivering further digital transformation, and realising the true value of our news and current affairs product on third-party digital platforms. 

Our balance sheet is now in a much stronger position and our FY21 Q4 content is positioned to deliver audience and share growth, particularly among people 25 to 54 and on 7plus.

James Warburton, SWM Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

This release has been authorised to be given to the ASX by the Managing Director and CEO of Seven West Media Limited.

Nicole Bence Appointed Chair of IAB Australia Board

By SEVEN, Seven West Media

Nicole Bence, Network Digital Sales Director at Seven West Media, has been appointed Chair of the IAB Australia Board, effective immediately.

Ms Bence succeeds Matt Rowley, CEO of Pedestrian Group, who has been Chair since January 2019. She has been a member of the IAB Australia Board since 2020.

As Chair, Ms Bence will work closely with IAB Australia CEO, Gai Le Roy, on initiatives and programs to address key industry matters.

It has been a delight working with Matt over the last two years driving some amazing initiatives including diversifying the board as well as significantly expanding the member base. Nicole is a passionate leader with such a strong knowledge of digital media and data, but she is also a true cross media leader. Nicole will lead the Board into what is an incredibly busy and important time for the digital advertising industry.

Gai Le Roy, IAB Australia CEO

It’s a great privilege to take on the Chair role at IAB Australia and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to build on Matt’s great work. IAB Australia’s key purpose to grow sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising in Australia has never been more important. The digital advertising and technology ecosystem is changing rapidly and constantly, and I’m honoured to be able to play a part in its evolution and growth. One of my key priorities is to champion the power and efficacy of digital advertising. A trusted, robust and effective measurement metric, with standards that inspire confidence across the entire media and marketing sector, is critical for our industry.

Nicole Bence, Network Digital Sales Director at Seven West Media

Seven West Media and Google strike long-term partnership

By 7NEWS, SEVEN, Seven West Media

Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today announced it has entered into a LOU to form a long-term partnership with Google to provide news content to the Google Showcase product which launched in Australia in early February.

The agreement will be subject to executing a long form agreement within the next 30 days.

This is a great outcome for Seven West Media and for Google. Our new partnership recognises the value, credibility and trust of our leading news brands and entertainment content across Seven and West Australian Newspapers.

I’d like to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, with particular recognition of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has been instrumental in the outcome of this ground-breaking agreement.

Their outstanding leadership on the implementation of the proposed News Media Bargaining Code has resulted in us being able to conclude negotiations that result in fair payment and ensure our digital future.

The negotiations with Google recognise the value of quality and original journalism throughout the country and, in particular, in regional areas.

Google is to be congratulated for taking a leadership position in Australia and we believe their team is committed to the spirit of the proposed code.

Kerry Stokes AC, Seven West Media Chairman

We are proud to support original, trusted, and quality journalism and are excited to welcome Seven West Media today as a major Australian publishing partner to join Google News Showcase.

Seven West Media is one of Australia’s leading integrated media companies across broadcast, print and digital news and joins with 21 publications across a variety of titles as diverse as The West Australian, 7NEWS, PerthNow, the Albany Advertiser, the Geraldton Guardian and the Broome Advertiser.

Our partnership with Seven West Media sees us make a substantial investment in the future of journalism not just across the metropolitan areas, but importantly in regional areas too where titles like the Kalgoorlie Miner and the Harvey-Waroona Reporter are at the heart of the local community.

Showcase has been very well received since its launch in Australia a little over a week ago with our publisher partners receiving one million views of their content in just eight days, demonstrating that Showcase offers a constructive path forward for publishers, readers, and Google.

Mel Silva, Managing Director for Google Australia and New Zealand

Seven West Media Managing Director and CEO, James Warburton, welcomed today’s announcement.

This is another significant step in Seven West Media’s transformation journey.

Google recognises the strength of our audiences through our engaging content and leading platforms. We are excited to be partnering with them as we pursue the next stage of our strategy.

James Warburton, Seven West Media Managing Director and CEO

Seven West Media will advise more details following the execution of the long form agreement.

This release has been authorised to be given to ASX by the Managing Director and CEO of Seven West Media Limited.

Seven West Media implement Magnite’s new ad solution for CTV

By 7plus, Seven West Media

7plus are driving further innovation in the BVOD market with bold new moves – including testing underway of Magnite’s (a leading Programmatic technology) Universal Decisioning solution which will allow all advertisers (Programmatic & Direct) improved access to all our growing addressable audience. In addition to this, new rules on placements will ensure advertisers receive the most impactful spread of their impressions across the stream regardless of how they buy.

Magnite has been a long-trusted partner and has a history of delivering innovative solutions to support our continued growth.

We look forward to continuing that partnership with the use of the Unified Decisioning across our BVOD business.

Luke Smith, Head of Programmatic Sales at Seven West Media

Initial results are encouraging and we’re looking forward to bringing more improvements to advertisers so they can connect to our audience more effectively and with greater impact.

Seven West Media and Taboola

SWM and Taboola strike multi-year partnership deal

By SEVEN, Seven West Media

Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) today announced that it had signed an innovative, multi-year partnership with Taboola, the world’s leading content discovery tool, to enhance activation opportunities across SWM’s digital platforms.

Integrated across all SWM’s relevant cross-platform assets, including 7NEWS.com.au, The West Australian, PerthNow and numerous regional titles, the partnership will drive the activation of a raft of different content experiences, capabilities and insight tools. As a result, it allows SWM to maximise traffic, grow subscribers and increase audience engagement across the network.

At this heart of the partnership is 7NEWS.com.au, which will be championing Taboola’s content discovery platform. To respond to 7NEWS.com.au’s growing desire for better content personalisation, as well as the prioritisation of user experience, the partnership will also incorporate the “Taboola Feed” product. This is a vertical-scrolling feed that enables users to access more of the content they love, such as feature articles or in-feed video. This experience mirrors how users consume content across social networks, encouraging them to stay on site longer by delivering a more relevant feed, better reflecting what the individual is interested in and ensuring users can find more of what they love on 7NEWS.com.au.

SWM will also showcase “Taboola Newsroom” as part of the partnership. This provides SWM’s news editorial teams with unrivalled and actionable real-time data about content performance, as well as unique insights on trending topics from Taboola’s publisher network. Taboola’s “Audience Exchange” will round out the suite of services, offering an infrastructure that helps publishers manage and optimise the flow of traffic across their network of sister and partner sites.

We’re thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Taboola, strengthening our digital portfolio and offering in market. Taboola’s discovery platform will be a headline feature as we expand our presence in the delivery of branded content. With 7RED’s recent expansion into short form and native content production fueled by insights from 7REDiQ, we are now creating more content than ever before. This partnership not only helps us scale our production capabilities and delivery across all screens and devices but will create necessary efficiencies through the addition of Taboola’s actionable data and smart insights into our eco-system.

Nicole Bence, SWM Digital Network Sales Director

We are excited to partner with a powerful media group like SWM, and work together to drive engagement, revenue, and audience growth across all of the various digital properties. There is a massive opportunity for premium publishers and content creators to engage with audiences in a way that is deeply personal and creates long-term digital relationships that are based on value and trust. We are looking forward to collaborating on the journey with SWM and power those ‘moments of next’ where users are open to discover things they may like and never knew existed.

Adam Singolda, CEO and Founder at Taboola
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