Industry happenings at Facebook, GrownUps, Marketing Association, Fairfax, Ideas Shop, InMobi and Vizeum.
Marketing, advertising & media intelligence
The willingness of Kiwis to adopt new technology means that major publishers have to ensure that their online and mobile interfaces continue to offer a suitable user experience for readers. Failure to do so can lead to frustration that could drive readers to get their news fix on other sites. And given the importance of staying in touch with its readership's consumption methods, Fairfax recently launched the third version of its Stuff app. PLUS: a look at why apps are important for news publishers.
After launching halfway through last year Neighbourly is growing quickly, with 142,000 households now signed up and a number of big brands getting onboard too. Having just launched its business platform, we thought it was about time we caught up with Neighbourly to see what it’s up to and how these brand partnerships are coming along.
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine lights into dark places while also keeping their own lights on and looks at whether commercial realities are leading to editorial compromise. Next up, Damien Venuto talks with Bernadette Courtney, Fairfax's editor in chief for the central region, on the thinking behind the recent revamp of the community papers.
It's no secret Fairfax is reorienting its business around digital—and, specifically, mobile—with Stuff as the central pillar of that strategy. And while managing director Simon Tong recently told us in a fairly candid interview that the magazine division had largely been left to its own devices, its main magazine brands have now been swallowed by that content-hungry beast stuff.co.nz.
In what looks set to be another big blow for local news publishers, StopPress understands that Progressive Enterprises will be shifting a significant chunk of its ad spend from press advertising to other channels and is also thought to be trialling a reduction of unaddressed mailers in some areas as part of its media strategy for FY16, which commenced on 30 June. And Foodstuffs is paying close attention to the moves.
Listen: Airbnb user design experience manager Jenny Arden on design building trust, design-thinking and designer-founders
Last week, after a few months of subscribing to the print version of The Herald, my wife decided to cancel it (despite my initial reservations given we have access to the internet, I actually quite enjoyed getting the paper version). With the circulation declines in recent years, this certainly wouldn't have been an unusual conversation for those in the subscriptions department, but she said they sounded quite sad when she told them the news. And while there are a few areas of positivity in the latest readership numbers, putting a smiling man on the first page of the Nielsen readership report might have been overly optimistic. PLUS: Nielsen's figures on how readership is split across print and online.
As Sky TV continues to embrace digital marketing, it has brought the curtain down on Sky Sport - The Magazine.
Fairfax yesterday announced that it would be restructuring its business to align it more closely with a "modern newsroom," which is digital-centric and focused on audiences and content rather than traditional mastheads. This immediately led to interest from all major media outlets and speculation as to how many job cuts the changes could result in.
Facebook has become a hugely important traffic source for many publishers. And last week Facebook announced the launch of a new feature called Instant Articles, which allows users to view articles from other websites (particularly enhancing mobile experience) without leaving the site. This is hoped to make for a faster loading time, more data about what users like to consume and therefore an enhanced overall user experience. And there are also benefits for the publishers. It's very early days for the scheme, but we thought we’d find out a bit about the initiative and whether New Zealand’s main media outfits are keen on the idea.
Whenever large entities merge, there is generally an expectation from those outside the business—and often from those investing in it—that things will change faster than they practically can. NZME's group director digital Laura Maxwell-Hansen says that's certainly the case at the moment as it attempts to bring "three businesses [APN, TRN and GrabOne] that have three different everythings" together, but she says its digital strategy is beginning to bear fruit, with audience numbers on the up and revenue growing ahead of the market.
Changes at Adshel, NZME, Fairfax and Ooh! Media.
Last month, Fairfax announced some more changes to the structure of its newsroom, with a big focus on becoming a digital first media company. And Nielsen numbers show its hub stuff.co.nz continues to move up the top ten most popular site rankings while the majority have gone down year on year. But is this digital growth translating to dollars?
Fairfax has actively been tweaking its strategy to facilitate better digital storytelling. This has included a recent update of its content management system, training journalists on how to film video on their smartphones, investing in an experiential and events unit, running digital marketing campaigns, and purchasing stakes in Neighbourly and Pricemaker. Now, off the back of yesterday's ASA report showing that newspaper ad spend had dropped year on year by $25 million, Fairfax has announced a series of changes that will introduce more digital-centric approach to its news service. And these changes include news of the proposed de-establishment of seven editors' jobs and the introduction of 12 other senior positions.
Following this week's announcement that NZME had established events and experiential divisions and since Fairfax made a similar move last July, StopPress contacted Mark Pickering, the chair of the Experiential Marketing Association of New Zealand (EMANZ), to share his thoughts on how these moves might impact the Kiwi experiential market.