News Corp sees Instagram as threat in fight for consumer eyes

How to win readers that 'automatically default into free'

News Corp believes it can monetize content and beat free alternative sources by providing easy-to-access and in-depth content, according to Darren Stein, general manager of insights, analytics and planning for News Corp Australia.

News Corp said in a recent filing at the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it experienced a 22 per cent decline in Australian newspaper revenues between July and September.

The company is up against both free user-generated content and free ad-funded content, Stein said in remarks to the ADMA Engage conference in Sydney on 12 November. “The challenge for us is that the brands [that are free] are huge global brands that everyone is familiar with,” he said.

Those brands include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. “You have to be so differentiated now… It’s a much tougher challenge than it’s ever been before,” he commented.

Instagram is especially a threat because, unlike with a tweet or other Facebook update, users are much less likely to verify a photograph’s truth by checking a news website, Stein said.

“If you see a photo, it has to be true,” he said. “That could be a risk factor if we don’t get our act together in that space.”

Companies still not strategic enough around social media: Report
Social media marketing on the rise as RPV value leaps
More Australians are using mobiles to connect to social media

Also, Stein referred to what he called the ‘WTF dilemma’, in which 18 to 34 year-old consumers are the most likely to pay for online content, but also the most likely to expect everything online to be free.

“No matter how good your offer is, they will automatically default into free,” he claimed.

That’s not to say people won’t pay for content ever, however. People will pay if content is always up to date and available, wherever and whenever they want it, he said. Also, they will pay if the content provides depth for when the consumer wants more information, and if the content is easy to access and find.

By monitoring consumer behaviour and understanding how they get the news, it is possible to trigger targeted content that is more likely to be relevant to the user, he said.

News Corp is still in the middle of a journey to better understand its market and the consumer experience, Stein said. “I don’t want anyone to think today that News has got it cracked.

“We now know more than ever before about the consumers of our products.” News Corp started from a “low base, but we’re not on a low base anymore,” he said.

One major trend News is watching is the explosion of connected devices, especially mobile ones, Stein said. By 2014, the number of networked devices will be double the global population, he said, citing a statistic from Intel.

In addition, video is the most popular kind of content, and “everyone is a content creator”, he said.

Adam Good, Telstra Media director of digital media and content, said in separate remarks that Telstra is focused on the multi-screen experience. He cited the four main screens as the smartphone, tablet, TV and PC/laptop, which together they represent 90 per cent of all media interactions. The remaining 10 per cent include radio, newspaper and magazines.

“You do have to think mobile first,” said Good. “It is the device that is on us all the time.”

While most people always carry their smartphone and always have it switched on, only about a quarter of tablet owners carry their tablet at all times of the day, he said. However, people are increasingly using tablets for things they used to do on smartphones and especially PCs.

Good agreed with Stein that video consumption is growing at a phenomenal rate. Most video consumption is on the PC but it is also growing on the tablet and smartphone, he said.

“We’re seeing our network inundated with content consumption.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Marketers are driving our innovation ecosystem

The Government's newly released National Innovation and Science Agenda shows that for economic growth to continue within Australia, an 'innovation ecosystem' must be fostered, where new businesses with new ideas are encouraged to grow and flourish. With every company wanting to increase, retain or improve their customers’ experiences, this makes marketing vital to fuelling Australia's ideas boom.

Lee Tonitto

CEO, Australian Marketing Institute

Putting experience design and strategy in the spotlight

​A few years ago, there was lots of chatter about the elusive UX unicorn; a mythical person capable of delivering everything from research to design to development. It became an obsession for the industry, sparking debate about whether this was the metaphor for how unreasonable our expectations of designers had become, while some felt it was what all designers should be aspiring to.

Tracy Brown

Experience design strategy director, DT

Making sense of artificial intelligence

When new trends and technologies burst onto the marketing scene, there’s always a frantic effort to either keep up or provide guidance, especially when serious amounts of money are involved. It happened with social media, it happened with personalisation and big data, and it’s happening now with artificial intelligence.

Phil Whitehouse

Asia-Pacific innovation lead, DigitasLB

Martech will definitely make everything better especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Any business not comfortable with it shou...

TapAnalytics

Marketo’s CEO talks martech industry consolidation and his enterprise customer ambitions

Read more

You can also try this leads to revenue calculator tool (it's free): https://www.strategic-ic.co.uk...

Fes Askari

​The dangers of misaligning your marketing budget with business goals

Read more

“We wanted to provide was a way for a customer to have a seamless experience as they went across channels,” Marrocco added. “So if your c...

Sarah

​Telstra’s mission to match the offline experience with online customer service

Read more

You have the right to know what happened that made AI possible, after all these years.I discovered and patented statistics on unstructure...

Ilya Geller

Making sense artificial intelligence - Food for thought - CMO Australia

Read more

I hope this trickles down to job opportunities and more analytics based careers on the government.

Ale Xandra

Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital fan engagement

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in