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Media Week: Jars, master media agency & paywalls

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In this week’s column, The Advertiser’s new paywall strategy, Andrew Jarman offends just about everyone, InDaily rockets up the web ratings and the State Government decides on its master media agency.

MEC wins master media agency contract

MEC has won the tender to provide master media agency services to the State Government.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet announced today that “MEC will be the sole supplier of both brand and functional advertising services, overseeing the planning, placement and buying of advertising worth about $30 million a year”.

It’s a big win for MEC which has snaffled Starcom’s work handling functional ads as well as continuing its existing brand work.

The three-year contract begins on 1 July this year, with the potential for a two-year extension.

New RAH corporate boss moves to consultancy

Adelaide’s Hughes PR has scored a coup, adding respected former Leighton Contractors corporate affairs boss Cait Tynan to its team.

Until September last year, Tynan was Leighton’s national head of government and media relations. She was based in Adelaide because that’s where Leighton’s biggest project was being built – the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Tynan told Media Week she wanted to join a PR consultancy in Adelaide, and Tim Hughes’ Rundle Street outfit was her first choice.

“I knew the calibre of the work he was doing,” Tynan says.

Jodie and Soda peer into the crystal ball

“Just rumours,” is how Mix 102.3 management described reports that it had attempted to replace breakfast announcers Jodie Oddy and Mark Soderstrom with Nova’s Dylan Lewis and Shane Lowe.

Despite the denials, some industry insiders insist an approach was made to Lewis and Lowe.

And Jodie and “Soda” also seem to have an open mind about the true state of affairs.

They invited a psychic into the studio this morning and seemed most curious about their own futures.

“You don’t sense an all-male aura in this room?” Jodie asks.

It’s good to see they retain a sense of humour. Listen to the discussion below. (Reload the page if the audio bar doesn’t appear.)


Adelaide baiter not a must-read

Our favourite Australian Financial Review columnist Joe Aston, who loves a good Adelaide murder joke, comes in at at distant number eight on a leaked list of most-read authors on the AFR’s website.

The document, according to marketing website Mumbrella, shows the Fin’s Street Talk reporters take the top three spots.

Former Adelaide journo, Phil Coorey, comes in at number four with his political reports from Canberra.

InDaily shoots up the rankings

UPDATED: InDaily has made a huge surge in the latest monthly Nielsen rankings of Australian news websites.

The latest rankings show InDaily’s unique audience increased from 73,000 unique visitors March to 105,000 in April – putting us well inside the top 100 Australians news websites.

Neverthless, Nielsen is underestimating – significantly – the size of our readership, given it uses a “panel” survey for us rather than measuring real traffic data. Google analytics shows our monthly audience is sitting at more than 140,000 unique visitors.

Still, it’s good that the ongoing growth in our readership is being recognised.

It was also pleasing to see respected journalist and former Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes recognising our challenge to the Murdoch monopoly in Adelaide.

Speaking at a Sydney debate about new and old media, Holmes said it was still the “old media” with their “great big news rooms” that hold governments to account – with some exceptions.

“I’m not saying there can’t be start up websites and mobile platforms that detect a couple of localities and cities and states. Adelaide’s InDaily, for example, is trying to turn Adelaide from a one newspaper city into a two news website city. But all over the country, local newspapers are dying and not much is popping up in their place. Nothing besides ABC Rural and regional websites paid for by city taxpayers.”

Trying, Jonathan?

Tiser locks out more readers

The Advertiser and some other News Corp websites have tweaked their pay-wall, now locking non-subscribers out of “premium” content.

The previous model allowed non-subscribers to view five stories a day before they were locked out of the content and prompted to subscribe.

Now, stories selected by editorial managers are chosen to be locked immediately, with those enticed to click told that “only subscribers can access our premium articles and features”.

The new concept is designed to boost the Tiser’s mysterious number of digital subscribers (they don’t report the figures, unlike many other News Corp websites).

The Guardian has obtained an email from management of News Corp’s Melbourne tabloid, the Herald Sun, which explains the strategy.

And the email shows that the new scheme could be a blow to Murdoch’s best-performing Australian website, the overarching news.com.au.

“The stories we lock will not flow to news.com and can’t be used on the free site in their original form,” the email from the Herald Sun to staff says. “If a story is locked by another masthead, we can use it but it will remain locked on our site/mobile. News.com.au cannot use our premium content, but we can offer as a promo.”

An explanation could be that, previously, all Advertiser content could be easily located on news.com.au even after you’d been  locked out of the Tiser website.

ABC newspaper data

Quarterly Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures out today show that The Advertiser and Sunday Mail print sales continue to plummet.

In the January to March quarter, print sales of the Monday to Friday edition of the Tiser were down 8.6 per cent on the previous year and down 9.2 for the Saturday edition.

The Sunday Mail lost 9 per cent of sales, falling to 211,386 copies.

Local digital sales remain a mystery (see previous item).

Naughty Corner

Triple M drive announcer Andrew Jarman was suspended yesterday after the station inexplicably allowed an expletive-laden and offensive statement go to air on Wednesday.

The context appeared to be a discussion about inducing labour in pregnant women (although it is marked by the kind of incoherence typical of a Triple M blokefest).

In the course of musing about “pressure points” (yeah, no idea), Jarman throws in this suggestion: “Just f—- the guts out of them   with your big c—-“.

Charming.

I do have the uncensored audio, but no-one needs to hear this. It’s like being back in Year 9 when you were forced to sit next to the feral kid on the bus.

Jarman’s radio career must surely be in jeopardy.

Top of the class

This week’s notable performers are a couple of young guns.

Murray Valley Standard reporter Peri Strathearn has written a revealing piece about News Corp thunderer Andrew Bolt and his formative years in rural South Australia.

Former InDaily reporter Liam Mannix has finally been given the chance by The Age in Melbourne to get stuck into some innovative presentations of the news. This week he reported on amazing visualisations of Melbourne public transport moving in real-time. It’s strangely hypnotic, and the kind of work that won Mannix two Walkley Awards during his time with us.

Media Week is published on Fridays.

 

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