The Commercial Experience 21.04 - the ad recovery, the power of Bluey and the emergence of Binge.
Analysis from the intersection of media, technology and commerce.
Intersection 1: The great ad recovery. Coming to you from November 2021
I wrote a big piece for Mumbrella this week on the signals I’m seeing that suggest (to me anyway) that the advertising market from November/December this year will see a boom in spend.
If you want to read it in full, here it is.
In a nutshell, my view is we are likely to see some strong momentum in the advertising market from mid November onwards.
The reason is multi-faceted. It starts with vaccination, which flows into confidence, which flows into consumers unlocking 20 months of well above average savings, which then flows into both the unlocking of current dormant categories (travel, tourism, entertainment) as well as increase jostling from the largest spending categories (retail, technology, automotive) to be the beneficiaries of this increased spending.
Overseas examples have shown that once vaccines start to allow for more control over the virus, consumer confidence can rebound quickly. The likely date for this in Australia is mid November. Until then, it’s definitely bear territory.
The other big factor is we’ve been saving at well above average levels since the pandemic began. It’s inevitable people will start spending this when they feel the outlook is more positive than negative.
There are other supporting points, but my view is December onwards will see significant year on year gains for advertising spend overall.
The unknown is around which channels, and specifically which companies, will see above average benefits. My hypothesis right now is that the gains will not be evenly distributed, and a handful of media companies will see the majority of the benefits of this increase ad spend.
But more of that across the next few weeks.
Intersection 2: The unstoppable Bluey
Bluey ran a Fathers Day special episode on Sunday on ABC Kids, which saw 459,000 people tune in across the 5 metro markets.
This made it the number one program on multi-channels for the night, and the tenth most watched program overall.
Add regional numbers and then on-demand, and it’s likely that this special episode of Bluey will crack 1m viewers. Incredible.
There are approximately 1.9m kids aged 4-9 in Australia. And 4-9 is the Bluey heartland. My rough maths on this suggests that Bluey has around 40-50% of all kids aged 4-9 watching it.
This would make it, as a ratio of audience, the most consumed program in Australia. No other program can deliver 40-50% of a demographic.
There are programs with viewers ranging from 16-80 that would be happy with doing 459k metro 5 cap city. Bluey is doing it with a very narrow demographic.
Goes to show that linear TV can absolutely deliver on big audience numbers when the content is stuff the audience wants to watch en masse. The Bluey figure from Fathers Day will certainly seed some optimism in our TV network CEO’s that big TARP’s can be achieved, you just need shows a lot of people want to watch.
Intersection 3: Are we about to see Binge subscriptions dramatically accelerate?
Newscorp’s streaming service, Binge, has been making solid progress since its launch last year.
It’s easy to see why - it takes the best of Foxtel’s non sport content and gives it to you at $10 a month. The depth of content across the platform is huge, and across 2021 Binge has done a commendable job of leading new customer acquisition efforts with marquee titles.
The next few months will see Binge launch a stack of bigtime programs that have the potential to boost subscribers and make Binge the home of the programs everyone talks about this spring.
This month it will launch the new American Crime Story, Impeachment, based on the Clinton and Lewinsky affair. 25 years on this is a story that still has huge pull with audiences, and viewers will remember that the American Crime Story franchise delivered a great series when it tackled the OJ Simpson trial (including an amazing performance by David Schwimmer).
It also has the exclusive rights to Season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Whilst not massive, Curb has a significant cult like following with audiences, and the new episodes will be the first in years. Season 11 comes off the back of a very strong season 10.
Scenes from a Marriage also launches in September, and has been hugely hyped by critics.
And the biggest of all is season 3 of Succession in October, in many ways the most celebrated drama series of the last few years. Plus in October there’s a new series of The Walking Dead.
September and October are unprecedented in terms of new programming, but Binge seems to have its strongest slate of brand new titles that it’s ever had in its brief history. It’s hard to not see how this won’t convert to new subscribers.
Finished? Here’s some more for you.
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