Business of Media
Netflix loses subscribers in Australia for first time since 2015
Netflix has lost Australian subscribers for the first time since it launched locally in 2015, in a sign streaming growth is stalling and platforms are nearing a consumer ceiling amid increasing cost-of-living pressures, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.
Research firm Telsyte’s annual industry survey has found the rate of growth slowed for the seven most popular streaming services, which are increasingly battling for attention from the same cohort of customers. There are eight platforms with more than one million subscribers in Australia.
“Profits, partnerships, and more aggressive behaviour. There’s going to be increasing competition to win people over from other platforms,” Telsyte’s managing director, Foad Fodaghi, said. “If the market’s growing strongly, it’s growth, ‘co-opetition’ – all that. When it starts to tighten down, that’s when we see individual companies get more aggressive.”
Netflix had 6.1 million subscribers, down 3 per cent, while Amazon Prime Video was up 9 per cent to 4.5 million. Disney+ crept up 1 per cent to 3.1 million, and Stan rose 2 per cent to 2.6 million. Foxtel’s Binge rose 22 per cent to 1.5 million, Paramount+ rose 41 per cent to 1.5 million and Kayo Sports jumped 8 per cent to 1.4 million. These figures include unpaid subscriptions.
‘Not walking away because of racism’: Stan Grant on ABC exit
Recently departed ABC star Stan Grant says to conflate his exit from the broadcaster as being down solely to racism would be wrong, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
“People wanted to frame this as me stepping away because of racism. That was not the case,” Grant said. “I’m not walking away because of racism, I’m walking away because of the media.”
After Grant stepped away from Q+A in May, a number of his colleagues at the broadcaster shared their experiences of racism, with rallies breaking out in support of Grant and against racism.
However, Grant, who is transitioning into academia, says pinning his departure purely on racism is to misunderstand and “misread” the events following the ABC’s controversial coronation coverage, and the treatment he faced leading up to his decision to quit.
Telstra escalates platform wars with $50m Fetch TV bet
Telstra kicked off its $50 million bet on entertainment and content aggregation, relaunching streaming platform Fetch to replace Telstra TV for its 700,000 users, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.
In April last year, Telstra bought a 51 per cent stake in Fetch TV, which combines multiple streaming services and channels into one home screen for televisions.
Over the next year, the telco will reach out to its Telstra TV customers to move them onto a Fetch device instead. Telstra TV has previously operated on a platform provided by US firm Roku. Adding Telstra TV’s existing customers, there will be 1.3 million Australian homes using Fetch.
How new Snapchat boss plans to increase its reach
Snapchat’s new Australian boss says the multimedia messaging platform is more than just an app for kids, releasing data showing 45 per cent of its eight million monthly active users in Australia are older than 25, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
Tony Keusgen joined Snap, the parent company of the 12-year-old multimedia messaging app, in May, ending a 20-month stint as data and tech company Quantium’s global chief customer officer. Despite perceptions the app is just for teens, Keusgen claims Snapchat “owns the under 40 space”.
About 75 per cent of Australians aged between 13-24 use Snapchat on a monthly basis, he says, with users opening the app 40 times a day on average. Of its eight million monthly active users in Australia, 45 per cent are above 25 years of age, new data from the company shows.
At 81, outgoing ABC chief boasts a CV for the ages
Any way you care to cut it, Ita Clare Buttrose has had a terrific career. Think longevity, think variety, think influence, think challenge; on all of these measures the outgoing chair of the ABC has had a hell of a ride in her working life, reports The Australian’s Helen Trinca.
At 81 she looks back at great years, at years when she had to gather herself and push on, and at years when she found herself in high demand while her peers slipped into retirement.
Which is to say that while it has not always been plain sailing for Buttrose, whose CV includes creator of the then-radical magazine Cleo, more than 50 years ago; editor and editor-in-chief of the then-women’s bible The Australian Women’s Weekly in the 1970s, and first female editor-in chief of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph in the 1980s. She is a case study in how to meld talent and tenacity when negotiating the highs and lows of the workplace.
The quiet reappointment of the men who run Australia’s public broadcasters
SBS’ board has reappointed managing director James Taylor, who will lead the public broadcaster until 2028. Taylor’s appointment, signed off by the board in November 2022, was not publicly announced, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
The broadcaster confirmed the appointment to this masthead in the same week it was revealed that the tenure of ABC managing director David Anderson had been extended earlier this year until 2028.
“Mr Taylor is managing director of SBS and his term is due to conclude in October 2028,” an SBS spokesperson said.
Anderson and Taylor are the highest-paid executives at their publicly funded media organisations, with Taylor’s total remuneration, as revealed in SBS’ 2021-22 annual report, at $951,833. Anderson’s current salary is $1.03 million, marginally down from $1.09 million the year before.
Nine Entertainment gives staff advice on how to avoid misgendering people and use pronouns correctly
Nine Entertainment has issued staff with a step-by-step guide on how to avoid misgendering people and use inclusive language whenever possible, for instance when they open a meeting, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.
Employees at the media company, which includes the publishing arm comprising The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review, were last week given a guide on using inclusive language in their conversations, which advised, “you cannot tell what pronouns people use by looking at them”.
“Don’t question or make assumptions about someone’s gender, sexuality or relationship,” the guidance said. “Accept and respect how people define their gender and sexuality.”
It also explains how to open meetings without offending anyone. “You can easily include everyone and every gender by saying things like, ‘welcome everyone’ or ‘good morning folks’,” the document explained.
“Look, I was surprised”: Jason Donovan on Neighbours revival
Jason Donovan has now commented on the revival of Neighbours, after his cameo appearance with Kylie Minogue on what was previously the soap’s last-ever episode, reports TV Tonight.
Asked on Virgin Radio if he felt “the dirty” had been done to him, he replied, “I think you can look at it two ways. You can look at it that way… or you can look at it the way that we created such a storm that there was only one way for it to go, and that was to bow down to public pressure and Amazon’s Mr Bezos… is that his name? Bow down to The Bezos and bring it back.”
He added: “Look, I was surprised. I’m not gonna lie to you. I think it happened very quickly! But quick is good!”
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