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  • Damien Terakes



In the whirlwind of Federal Election coverage, non-political topics unexpectedly dominated the trending news topics around Australia last week. According to Taboola, the spotlight was on Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, following his ongoing Twitter takeover attempt and recent comments regarding SpaceX and Russia. Musk had garnered nearly 640,000 page views over the past 7 days - a significant lead over the 500,000 page views of then Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Aside from the Morrison, only three other politicians cracked the top 100 topics for online readership interest: current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (456,000 views), WA Premier Mark McGowan (495,000 views) and Defence Minister Peter Dutton (207,000 views).

The news topics leading local trends over the past week included Seven Network reality show Big Brother (675,000 views), the AFL (502,000 views), the Queen and recent health fears (519,000 views), and former Mr Universe Callum von Moger’s tragic injury (425,000 views). Australians also searched for news of the ongoing Johnny Depp v Amber Heard court battle, the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus, and the death of renowned cricketer Andrew Symonds.

The popularity of these topics at such a significant time in Australian politics may point towards growing election fatigue and disinterest among consumers.

Consumer Confidence

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index has dropped by 1.2 points to 89.3 this week, bringing the index to its lowest point since August 2020 (88.6). This week marks the fourth consecutive weekly drop, the longest series of decline the index has recorded since Consumer Confidence dropped for seven consecutive weeks between June and August 2020.

Consumer Confidence is currently 7.5 points below the 2022 weekly average (96.8), and a significant 23.2 points below the index a year ago in May 2021 (112.5). There was not a consistent trend on a State-based basis with Consumer Confidence down in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, but up slightly in New South Wales and Queensland. The driver of the weekly fall was a decrease in confidence about personal financial situations compared to a year ago as well as less confidence that now is a good/bad time to buy major household items.

David Plank, ANZ Head of Economics, said ”...Consumer confidence dropped 1.3% last week, its third consecutive weekly loss. Last week’s decline was mainly driven by drops in the sub-indices that capture the financial situation compared to a year ago’ and whether it is a ‘good time to buy a major household item’. This suggests that cost of living concerns are front and centre for consumers. Among the respondents ‘paying off their home loan’, confidence dropped 0.6%, falling a cumulative 14.7% over the past three weeks. Confidence was 2.7% lower for people who ‘own their home’, while it rose 0.5% for people who are ‘renting’. Household inflation expectations rose 0.2ppt to 5.3% amid higher petrol prices.”

TV Landscape

Last week was another big week for Network Seven’s season 11 of The Voice with Part 2 of The Battles taking out the top entertainment program with 807K total metro viewers. Last night saw eight contestants sing their hearts out in the semi-final for one of four spots in the Grand Finale where they will have the opportunity to take home $100,000 prizemoney and a recording contract with Universal Music Australia. Whilst The Voice was the most watched entertainment program for the week, it is down -33% for TTL metro viewers YoY.

On Network Nine, the season 4 finale of Lego Masters saw the three surviving teams create their last build across a period of 28 hours. The announcement of winners, brothers Joss & Henry, reached 687K metro viewers and took out the #3 spot for P25-54 with an audience of 320K metro viewers. Additionally, Travel Guide’s topped Wednesday evening’s entertainment program pulling in 592K total metro viewers, placing Network Nine with the #2 network share at 35.14%.

Network Ten’s premiere of Have You Been Paying Attention aired on Monday night, bringing back old favourites’ Sam Pang and Ed Cavalee saw a total of 684K total metro viewers and was the top entertainment program for P25-54 with an audience of 358K metro viewers.

From Sunday 15th of May to Saturday 21st of May, Network Seven won the week with 36.19% share due to The Voice, Network Nine came in at 35.14%, Network Ten at 19.19% and finally SBS at 9.48%.

Source: eTam Top 50 Programming, Overnight Data WC 15.05. Share to Selected % audience 15.05-21.05, Network 7, 9, 10 & SBS, TTLPPL.

BVOD Audiences

In the week up to the 22nd of May, there were 964.1 million minutes of BVOD content consumed, reaching 6.0 million people nationally.

Unlike FTA, Network Seven held the first three spots with Big Brother, followed by The Voice and Home & Away then Network Nine’s Lego Masters.

Source: OzTam, Video Player Measurement Report 7 Day Rolling – 15/05/2022

Consumer spending

In conjunction with ANZ-Roy Morgan’s report on the decline in consumer confidence, the Westpac Consumer Sentiment Report for May stated that “the Index is now at its lowest level since August 2020 when households were unnerved by the ‘second wave’ lockdown in Victoria. The weakness in this survey is not related to another pandemic shock but to the combination of rising cost of living pressures and the prospect of rising interest rates.”

The Report indicates that confidence around the housing market is continuing to plummet. The ‘’time to buy a dwelling’ index, which was already 40% below its most recent peak in November 2020, fell a further 1.5% in May. The Index, which is principally affected by affordability, is now at its lowest level since April 2008 when, due to rising inflation, the RBA felt obliged to raise rates in both February and March despite the looming Global Financial Crisis.

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