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Media agencies on Foxtel’s 2022 showcase, content and ad experimentation – AdNews

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Patrick Delany and Mark Frain.

Media agencies drilled into Foxtel’s new streaming future, with addressable tv at its core, backed by a strong suite of content in 2022.

Foxtel clearly differentiated itself from the three commercial networks, say industry insiders. It’s all digital and streaming.

And the latest advertising initiative was welcomed, with clear appeal to agencies.  Foxtest allows brands to run experiments across advertising content, experience, and data. The new offering represents a $3 million investment from the media company

Mark Coad, CEO, IPG Mediabrands Australia: “They are doing a great job moving from a subscription to streaming model.

“With an ambition to serve all ads digitally there are many exciting things to be done executing with precision, at scale against their 4 million subscribers. They have a good story there, and it was well told and will (or should) interest many advertisers.

“Foxtest is an idea I loved, and it shows a great appetite to shift some traditional approaches and work with new metrics, new currencies, new approaches, etc.

“I also really liked the way they delivered this session – showcasing and sharing the stage with some of their broader talent, great to see.”

Wayne Jarvis, Mindshare Sydney Investment Lead: “Positioning themselves as a house of brands and transforming to a streaming company, Foxtel is moving away from legacy perceptions and priming for success.

“Personally, from a content perspective they could had started and ended with House of Dragon and that would have been enough. More seriously, they presented a strong spine across multiple platforms, with focus and investment in local content, sport and must watch international programming. The most interesting new development is Flash, it’s a unique proposition that should deliver new eyeballs, scale and unique audience segments.

“The upcoming innovations in Foxtel’s ad deployment capabilities are interesting, with potential new formats, and ease of cross platform buying and campaign delivery. Advertisers will welcome these developments and the $3m commitment to campaign effectiveness and innovation via Foxtest will improve trial of their platform, and lead to some strong innovation outcomes.”

Ben Willee, general manager and media director, Spinach: “What’s not to love about upfronts. Action, excitement, sports and more musical montages than an 80’s movie.

“It’s clear Foxtel is going through a period of rapid change. They have worked very hard to strike a balance between audience needs and advertiser needs, and it shows.

“Their key strength is they are one of the few dual revenue businesses (advertising and subscription revenue) and that means they can be nimble and flexible.

“Having 70% of their campaigns traded dynamically enables salespeople to spend less time on trading, and more on upstream thinking.

“Foxtest looks like a really interesting proposition that I think will really appeal to full service agencies and creative agencies. The more focus we can put on ‘test and learn’ in high engagement environments will deliver better outcomes.

“We’re all looking forward to taking advantage of their ability to deliver addressability at scale.”

Daniel Cutrone, head of media, Avenue C: “The Foxtel upfronts gave us a peek under the hood of Australian SVOD viewers, stating that 85% of homes will have an SVOD service by 2025. So, for advertisers, this means we need to find ways to access this premium and rapidly growing audience, who are migrating from more traditional linear models.

“Foxtel’s ambition is to adapt their entire business to be 100% addressable – it’s a big task, but if they pull it off, it will mean their offering becomes a must include for many clients.

“There is a compelling 2.6m combined audience, who are considered the “unreachable” in the FTA TV landscape. The replacement of Foxtel’s traditional cabled boxes with cordless IQ5 brings them closer to the end goal of 100% addressable, however, roll-out may be slower than anticipated. There was a focus on their ability to take the stress out of TV audience delivery with their 97% campaign achievement average, a smart move when linear audiences are declining each year.

“International long-awaited programming like House of Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel and freshened local favourites like Love it or List It, Selling Houses Australia, Great Australian Bake Off and Celebrity Gogglebox, plus new local franchises Repair Shop and Selling in the City, and the most robust sport offering in the market, will keep audiences engaged in 2022.”

Seb Rennie, chief investment officer, GroupM: “The energy and confidence from the team was clear, and it was a strong and entertaining showcase this year from Foxtel.

“Foxtel focused on the transformation their business is undergoing; from a subscription TV business to subscription streaming video business. It’s a unique proposition with a future-focussed ambition to serve every ad digitally and drive innovation.

“Flash is a compelling news content proposition across a multi-screen environment – delivering on the demands of this audience, and the investment in Foxtest to drive innovation is impressive.

“When it comes to content, Foxtel’s strength in sport is clear, and it’s premium lifestyle programming, along with a slate of home-grown drama and Docos, mean that it has a diverse and varied line up to draw in new subscribers and keep existing audiences entertained.”

James Lucas, group trading director, OMD Brisbane: “The 2022 showcase didn’t feel like the typical Foxtel upfront. As to be expected, it was a slick, balanced and well-paced showcase covering the highlights of the year that was and an overview of what’s ahead. However, it was the content of the presentation that made it feel less like a 2022 upfront and more like a broader update from Foxtel, covering the strategic roadmap for the business.

“At the core of this is building a business that is customer focused and IP led, with a clear ambition of becoming Australia’s most dynamic streaming company. To achieve this, Foxtel believes it needs to move away from being a single group TV brand to become an offering of genre lead streaming services. It is a strategy that appears to be working, evident in the company’s FY21 financial statements and significant growth in subscribers across their entire product range. The launch of Flash looks set to continue to build on this further, as does the network’s overall programming strategy which remains well-rounded and covers a wide spectrum of genres.

“Where free-to-air networks spoke to their ‘total TV’ product offering, we instead saw Foxtel refer to their bread and butter as ‘intelligent video’. This will be their differentiation in the premium video market. Foxtel’s product offering, or where it will end up, is addressable media as the network is actively working to a goal of serving every single ad digitally.

“Foxtel’s ambition of delivering 100% of ads digitally is an achievable goal and is already underway as the network begins rolling out their iQ5 box. The technology in this device has now made connecting to a cable or satellite a thing of the past. Foxtel’s ‘linear broadcast’ now has the framework in place ready for digital ad insertion down the track. A cross-device, premium video solution will be incredibly enticing to advertisers seeking engaged audiences leaning in to advertising supported content. With more than four million subscribers this is now something Foxtel will be able to do at scale. From a media execution perspective, this would be a powerful selling point for Foxtel especially when considering the advanced measurement and targeting solutions this would offer.

“With the advancement in technology and customer demand also evident, Foxtel’s focus now needs to move to combining the two and continuing…

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