While everyone has been waiting with bated breath for the impending release of Neon, Sky this week released Fan Pass, a sports streaming service that will give viewers access to NRL, Formula One and Super Rugby. PLUS: the head of Fatso Cuan Gray has been given the reins to lead the new offering.
With the relatively recent advent of streaming services, watching TV shows is becoming less about being home at 7.30pm on a Wednesday and more about watching episode after episode until your eyes start to bleed. But what to choose given the time constraints? As Lightbox gets set to screen Better Call Saul exclusively in February, as Sky gets set to launch its long-awaited SVOD service Neon after a series of delays, and as TVNZ gets set to launch its rejigged OnDemand platform, there are more options than ever for Kiwi viewers. So here’s a handy guide from Nielsen that shows you how long it will take you to watch some of the world’s most popular shows, end-to-end.
Conventional knowledge will tell you that the Super Bowl involves an esoteric American game in which an egg-shaped ball is thrown around for a ridiculously long period of time. But everyone in the advertising industry knows that this isn’t what it’s about. It’s actually about the ads.
From March, Prime News, which airs on Sky-owned Prime, will be produced by the MediaWorks news division at their Auckland Flower Street Studios as part of a new deal between the two networks. And the deal comes with additional revenue potential for MediaWorks, because the network will also be selling advertising and sponsorship associated with the show. PLUS: Top Gear heads to TV3.
Sky has kicked off its promotional efforts in the lead up to the 2015 Cricket World Cup with an outdoor campaign that features the visages of real fans supporting their teams.
A girl with telekinetic powers didn’t end very well in Stephen King’s novel Carrie, but DDB and the Sweet Shop has given this literary reference a more positive spin in a new spot for Sky, which depicts the young protagonist seemingly controlling the movement of a murmuration of starlings.
On 26 November, TV3 celebrated its 25th year—or ½ half century, according to Jono and Ben—on air in New Zealand. And since joining the fray in 1989, it has come to represent a significant chunk of the time Kiwis spend in front of box in the living room. But the introduction of a new TV player isn’t the only thing that has changed in that time. These days, we have more screens to choose from than ever before, and this is changing the way we consume media. Interestingly, across 30 countries surveyed by Colmar Brunton on screen use, the denizens of only four—the UK, France, Spain and New Zealand—still spent more time consuming media on a TV than on a smartphone.
In recent months, Sky TV has been very active in the digital channel with a variety of promotions, including several Facebook campaigns and a pair of Buzzfeed-based efforts. And this trend is now continuing with the launch of a new competition called GameFace, which is designed to drive interest in the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Update: this campaign has been put on hold in respect to the passing of Philip Hughes.
Back when TV3 turned 20, Sarah Lang wrote a great piece in the Herald about the trials, tribulations and successes of the channel. Or, as the first paragraph says, how it grew “from an insecure infant into an assured adult”. The intervening five years have seen plenty more action at MediaWorks, which went through its second receivership, brought popular shows like The Block NZ, X Factor NZ, 7 Days and Jono & Ben at 10 to New Zealand screens and continued to focus on the reach its varied suite of media assets can offer advertisers (occasionally through the medium of music). But everyone knows the best thing about media anniversaries are the blooper reels. So here are some gems from the evening and morning news shows.
The last year has seen subscription video on demand (SVOD) become a major talking point, with various players vying to become the Netflix of New Zealand. However, claiming this title will now be difficult now following the recent announcement that the actual Netflix plans to launch in both Australia and New Zealand in March next year. PLUS: we look at Neon’s lineup.
At Auckland Airport on Friday night, something slightly interesting—albeit not altogether unexpected—happened. The Kiwis enjoying a last-minute meal at the Bach Alehouse asked the waiting staff to turn up the volume of the television, not for a sporting or international news event, but for a reality TV show. Despite now being three seasons deep, Kiwis had clearly not tired of The Block NZ and they still wanted to see the action unfold during the finale, which saw Alex and Corban Walls walk away with $307,000. And the popularity of the show wasn’t limited to a holiday house-themed pub at the airport on Friday night.
At an elaborate event hosted at the Civic last night, TVNZ unveiled its programming lineup for the year to come. At the outset of the event, TVNZ’s head of sales and marketing Jeremy O’Brien referred to the broadcaster’s success over the course of the previous year, and promised the advertisers and media owners in attendance that this trend would continue in 2015. And to do this, TVNZ has combined a range of favourites from this year with a lineup of fresh shows that it hopes will maintain TVNZ’s dominant performance, which has seen the broadcaster hold the majority of the positions in the top 20 most-watched shows over the course of the last few years.
Brands are increasingly looking to put their messages inside the content, rather than inbetween it. Formats like The Block NZ and Masterchef allow for what the broadcasters like to call ‘seamless integration’, even though it can sometimes be slightly gratuitous. And a rare few other shows, chief among them Jono and Ben at 10, are using their skills to weave brands into the content without annoying the audience or even creating content outside of the show. Chris Lloyd, sales manager at MediaWorks’ integration team, discusses its process.
At end of June, upon lifting lid of Lightbox, the Spark subsidiary’s head of programming and local content Maria Mahony told StopPress that she was in talks with local film distributors to secure a deal to screen several local shows. Shortly after Lightbox’s announcements, Quickflix sent out a release saying that it had snapped up pair of local shows, which Lightbox was thought to have been interested in, and this seemingly spoiled the party for the newcomer. Then, when Lightbox later revealed its lineup there was a clear Kiwi-shaped hole in its programming, leading to questions as to whether the subscription video on demand (SVOD) provider would in fact be adding any local shows to its lineup. However, these questions have now been answered by today’s announcement that Lightbox has added no less than 19 local shows to its catalogue. UPDATE: Quickflix ups its local game with seven more shows.
On Wednesday night, Belinda MacDonald and Neena Truscott, dubbed the Modern Day Hippies, were crowned the first winners of My Kitchen Rules New Zealand. This moment concluded the battle for New Zealand’s latest food porn crown, while simultaneously bringing an end to a ratings battle that has waged since TVNZ first decided to schedule its programme against MediaWorks’ The Block NZ. StopPress takes a look at how the two formats fared against each other.
Sky had a stunner last Friday when it announced great numbers, a new five year rugby deal and plans for some fancy new additions to its boxes. It also announced the launch of its much-discussed SVOD offering Neon, which is set to launch in December. Here’s what managing director Dave Joyce had to say about the strategy behind it.
Earlier today, Sky officially announced it has signed another five year deal with Sanzar and NZ Rugby, giving it the rights to the precious code until 2021. And at its AGM at the Langham, it had more good news for investors and subscribers, announcing some impressive numbers, detailing how it will soon be embracing internet-delivered television and launching its SVOD offering Neon.
What works on Netflix also works for TVNZ. Or at least that’s what the recent on-demand statistics for Orange is the New Black suggest. Over the month of September the first and second seasons of the hit dramedy, a Netflix original, were streamed by Kiwis via TVNZ Ondemand over a million times.
Orcon is taking a leaf out of the ‘Politician’s Handbook’ by attempting to mobilise the Kiwi masses through a petition, which aims to break Sky’s hold on the broadcasting rights for live rugby games. The petition is hosted at a microsite called FreeMyRugby.co.nz and draws attention to the fact that only New Zealanders with a Sky subscription—available for $74.75 a month on a Sky basic and sport package—are in a position to watch the All Blacks play live. And while sharing this common knowledge is unlikely to cause a riot, it does draw attention to how the media landscape is changing and how this might continue to impact Sky’s hold sports broadcasts.
TVNZ has confirmed that it plans to require users to register with a username and password to access its on-demand service later this year. Thor Bayer, the broadcaster’s head of digital, says that the registration requirement is being introduced, because TVNZ plans to launch a range of new features that will enhance the user experience. Included among these is a feature that enables users to start watching a show in one channel and then pick it up at the same time on a different channel.
Late last week, TVNZ sent out a release on its financials for the year ended 30 June 2014, showing an overall profit after tax of $18.1 million, up 25 percent on the figures posted the previous year. These results also came with the announcement that the company has sold its remaining stake in Igloo to Sky, which also took its financial report as an opportunity to reveal Igloo’s subscriber numbers for the first time.
TVNZ is bringing a Netflix original to Kiwi screens in the shape of Orange is the New Black, in a move that will see all the episodes of both seasons of the popular prison dramedy, which recently won three Emmy Awards, streamed via the TVNZ Ondemand service for the month of September. PLUS: we look at how Netflix decides on which shows to invest in.
Last night, the launch of the third season of The Block NZ kicked off a ratings war that will see the DIY-themed show take on TVNZ’s My Kitchen Rules over the next few months. And the overnight figures seem to indicate the first battle has gone to the side of DIY porn, with The Block NZ winning the lion’s share of the audience in the key demographic categories.
As the campaign promoting MediaWorks’ The Block NZ warms up, TVNZ has launched its campaign for the first local version of My Kitchen Rules (MKR), which will screen in the same 7.30pm primetime slot. And Genesis Energy has been announced as the show’s major sponsor.
There’s been plenty of discussion about the rise of subscription video ondemand services recently, with Spark’s Lightbox getting set to launch, Sky announcing it is planning a new Netflix-type service and Slingshot offering a controversial workaround allowing Kiwis to access overseas providers. But sitting relatively quietly in the background is Freeview, which is now being used in 67 percent of New Zealand homes and is hoping to launch an ondemand service later in the year that will cater to the increasing number of New Zealanders with connected TVs. General manager Sam Irvine says it will offer “the seamless integration of linear broadcast TV and TV over the internet”, so what does it mean for the gogglebox scene?
We live in a world where targeting individuals is becoming increasingly attainable, where streaming and ondemand services (and, in many cases, illegal downloads) give viewers much more control over what they watch, and where online video has become a major sucker of people’s time. As such, the sceptics tend to believe traditional, primarily ad-funded TV is an anachronism. But, according to NZ on Air and Colmar Brunton’s recent media consumption study, Kiwis are still watching plenty of linear TV; according to ASA ad spend figures, brands are still spending up large on TV advertising; and according to pretty much everyone, good video content still has the biggest emotional impact when it comes to branding. So, once again, we’re aiming to celebrate the efforts brands, agencies and production companies put into changing perceptions and/or selling more stuff over the past year and a bit with our annual StopPress/MediaWorks TVC of the Year.
On Sunday night, MediaWorks unveiled the four couples that will gain palm calluses, lose sleep and drink copious cups of Wild Bean Coffee during the third season of The Block NZ. And given the solid ratings the show attracted in previous seasons, MediaWorks has given the latest edition a strong promotional push across its entire offering. Here’s a breakdown of how the broadcaster aims to hold onto its stong fan base. PLUS: find out which brands are partnering with MediaWorks for this season.