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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How can organisations debias their decisions?

​People whose personal details and experiences signal they come from racially diverse backgrounds are less likely than anglo or Caucasian candidates to make it through the first cut in recruitment processes. Even if the organisation says it values diversity.

Dr Karen Morley

Author, commentator

​ Coronavirus is rapidly changing customer behaviour: Is your marketing team adapting quickly enough?

The impact of coronavirus is far reaching with the true impact on the economy and businesses is unknown. While there are a few categories and brands experiencing growth, for the most part the crisis is wreaking havoc for large and small operators across many sectors including entertainment, tourism, retail, fitness, services and the list goes on.

Teresa Sperti

Founder, Arktic Fox

Why COVID-19 makes it more important than ever to move at the speed of the consumer

There is no doubt the challenges we are facing as businesses, advertisers and audiences with COVID-19 are all unprecedented. But with this comes an opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate current strategies, plans and processes to drive efficiencies and relevance in today's market.

Emma Macey

General manager, SuperNova Media

Great article. Well said!Https://www.virtualtradesho...Virtual conference

Curtis Okeefe

Can virtual events fill the digital conference gap?

Read more

Why these voice assistants are so popular nowadays? Maybe I should get one too? I am really curious.

Jill Kim

Aussie brands jump on voice-interaction bandwagon following Amazon Alexa's local launch

Read more

We encourage you to share your thoughts on your favorite social platform. Digital Marketing Consultant HyderabadDigital Marketing Analyst...

Chaitanya Nandigam

CMO interview: Charting a new customer course at a NFP fintech

Read more

Extremely insightful and well written. Thanks for the great article!

Nicole Brodie Nahum

Why COVID-19 makes it more important than ever to move at the speed of the consumer

Read more

Blockchain is one of the fastest growing technology in today's digital era. Industries like banking and finance are already using blockch...

Aniket Singh

Can blockchain deliver on its big advertising promises?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in