Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Motivated reporting

Do a Google News search for Tony Faure and witness some of the worst local digital media coverage (about his resignation from ninemsn) you will see.

Especially interesting to see competitors, Fairfax and News, sink the boots in. B&T and AdNews haven't been much better.

According to Lara Sinclair - ninemsn is on the "brink of collapse"


Witness the hard hitting coverage here -,25197,23806518-7582,00.html

Sinclair is quoting a topline audience decline and some 'analyst' expectations that ninemsn will miss their revenue targets.

I can say with some assurity I think most of the big 5 publishers will miss their initial FY08 rev. targets. Why? Well, to be honest, they were probably unrealistic to begin with.

But ... If we're talking topline audience declines it's probably worth taking a look at some others publishers traffic levels (source: Netview, April 08).

April 07 to April 08 ninemsn lost 4.9% of their audience

April 07 to April 08 Fairfax Digital lost 5.8% of their audience

April 07 to April 08 Yahoo!7 lost 5.3% of their audience

April 07 to April 08 News Digital Media gained 5.1% of their audience

Local media have been shitcanning ninemsn (especially their competitors funnily enough) for the past year citing Nielsen and Frost and Sullivan data generally out of context and claiming that News, Fairfax and Yahoo are catching up. I haven't seen the above figures rolled out for anyone BUT ninemsn. Funny that!

Interestingly, none actually ask clients or agencies ... those who are dealing with these companies. Funny that ... you have to ask ... are they really catching up? It only appears numbers wise News is catching up - FD and Yahoo have had larger losses than ninemsn ... but, to be honest, numbers aren't everything ... the ability to sell your audience is the key.

However, the worst coverage goes to Smart House - the online news source so respected Media Watch dedicated a whole episode to showcasing the way they source their content (article -


andrew pascoe said...

Is that clip-art used in the SmartHouse story?!

Zac Zavos said...

Fair enough, the coverage has been a little hysterical.

But the substance remains that the big portals are losing ground as more choice emerges in the Australian online landscape.

Look to the US and you see a huge choice of quality publications; many of which have massive traffic (eg, techcrunch, etc).

This traffic slide will continue. The portals are in serious trouble as consumers in OZ awake to choice. (This blog, btw, being a prime example of a quality publication offering something the majors don't / can't.)

Ben Shepherd said...

I agree Zac. The portals are losing ground, I just think it's pretty lousy reporting to focus on one when it's an issue that is facing all of them, everywhere!