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  • Harry Brownbill

The Week that was - W/C 21 March 2022

Updated: May 17, 2022


30 independent publishers went dark this week in protest to the outcome of Facebook’s Australian News Fund. The #WaitingOnZuck campaign aims to tell the world that medium-sized publishers are waiting on Facebook to pay for their content that appears on the platform.

Under the ‘News Media Bargaining Code’, passed over a year ago, digital platforms such as Facebook are legislated to enter negotiations with local media companies. Part of the issue with this is that Facebook is under no legal obligation to enter into any agreement with any publisher and has the right to choose who they enter into any agreement with. With this - the industry feels that medium sized publishers who haven’t entered into agreements “are at a significant competitive disadvantage and their futures are at real risk”.

The campaign created by D.O.A (Decade of Action) is intended as a “collective freeze to fight for the future of Australian news media”, as the publishers are wanting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make commercial deals that are “transparent and fair” in paying for quality independent journalism, also encouraging readers to contact treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Ebony Gaylor, managing partner at D.O.A said: “We are strong believers in the role of journalism, and independent journalism, in protecting a healthy democracy.  Without the right funding structures, independent journalism is under threat. We want Zuckerberg and anyone else profiting off the work journalists do to pay a reasonable price. That’s all.”

Consumer Confidence

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence dropped 4.6pts to 91.2 during the third week of March. Consumer Confidence is a significant 19.7pts below the same week a year ago, March 20/21, 2021 (110.4) and is now clearly below the 2022 weekly average of 99.7. Consumer Confidence is now at its lowest since Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 on September 5/6, 2020 (91.1).

ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank, commented Consumer confidence dropped 4.8% last week. It is now at its lowest since Victoria’s second COVID wave in early September 2020. The continued rapid increases in petrol prices saw inflation expectations rise to 6.0%. Increasing petrol prices have had a sharp impact on households’ confidence for both ‘current’ and ‘future financial conditions’ with the two subindices dropping 10.3% and 8.4% respectively over the last two weeks. We noted last week that the weakness in consumer sentiment is at odds with the strength in employment and reflects pressure on household budgets as nominal wage growth lags the jump in inflation. The weakness in consumer confidence presents a growing near-term risk to the outlook for household spending.

TV Landscape

Nine Network currently have the highest share for the week with 30% followed by Seven Network with 28%, Network Ten at 15% and SBS at 7%. Married at First Sight continues to dominate the ratings taking out 5 of the top 10 spots this past week. Sunday’s addition brought in a total audience of 1.14M (metro 5 cap).

Seven’s Sunday News also registered a high audience, at 900K, taking out the fourth highest spot for the week. With Nine News Sunday also maintaining a strong position in 7th with an audience of just under 800k.

It’s near the end of Q1 programming with MAFS, Survivor and other formats entering their final weeks. In the coming weeks we will start to see new formats being introduced and this is sure to change up ratings.

Source: Nielsen eTAM (March 2022)

BVOD Audiences

In the past week, 1.040 million minutes of BVOD content was consumed, reaching 6.1 million people nationally.

Nine Network dominated the top 10 programs, with 5 of the top 10 spots - the latest episodes of Married at First sight took the top spots totalling 1.39M BVOD audience. Seven’s Home and Away had 3 spots in the top 10, totalling 347K BVOD audience. Australian Survivor took out the 6th position with a BVOD audience of 116,000.

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