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MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 16 March 2004

MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 16 March 2004

16 MARCH 2004

TV Demand Runs Rampant

The TVNZ Ratecard for May to August 2004 was unleashed on the market in early February, with - as we noted at the time - special features which included rate increases of between 16 and 35 percent.

Despite this galloping inflation, demand is UP UP UP!

TVNZ have now analysed all the bookings they've received for the May-August period, and report that they're experiencing the same demand patterns as the last three Ratecard releases. In fact, they've received bookings for twice the number of spots compared to twelve months ago.

Overall demand for TVNZ Peak air time has exceeded supply by 40%. Some parts of the TVNZ schedule have been oversubscribed by up to 400%. Not surprisingly, many first choice requests for air time will be unavailable. TVNZ are (we quote) "releasing more inventory up front to try and satisfy demand and provide a greater breadth of alternatives for advertisers." Translation - the best time is hopelessly oversold, if you've missed out you'll have to make do with the dregs.

Unfortunately, this level of demand will simply reinforce the TV broadcasters' inflationary behaviour. The only way we're going to discourage such actions is by voting with our wallets. Economic forecasters are predicting a downturn of sorts going into 2005, but how low it'll go we won't really know until we get there ...

NZ IDOL

What's been happening to NZ Idol since its debut at the beginning of February? Have audiences continued to dwell on every word of our triumvirate of judges, and agonise along with the ever-hopeful contestants?

So far, yes - the programme's been holding up pretty well. It would be unrealistic to expect the ongoing series to continue to sustain the 31% of TV2's target audience who were there at the beginning. But NZ Idol has stabilized at around 20% of the 18-39 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research data - except for last Saturday's Meet The Idols/Discover The Wildcard special, which clearly demonstrated why Saturday night shouldn't be an Idol moment.

Even at this stage in proceedings, NZ Idol is rating well ahead of almost all episodes of Australian Idol, and most episodes of 2003's American Idol. Given that the final of Australian Idol delivered an increase to 14.7% of the target audience, while the American Idol final faceoff managed 22.3%, TVNZ will be hoping for a thirty-something-ratings denouement for NZ Idol.

If the Kiwi contestants can manage a chad-hanging, nail-biting sudden death playoff similar to the Ruben Stoddard/Clay Aitken duel, watch the ratings soar! And you can guarantee that's the very outcome the programme-makers will be aiming for.

RADIO

A quick update on the radio marketplace: there are now more than 270 commercial radio stations broadcasting across New Zealand. Most of them are aligned with one of the following broadcast groups:

The Radio Network Key Networks & Targets:

* Newstalk ZB - All 35 Plus

* Easy Listening i - Females 25-49

* Classic Hits - All 25-54

* Radio Sport - Males 25-54

* Hauraki - Males 30-54

* ZM - All 15-34

RadioWorks/CanWest Key Networks & Targets

* The Rock - Males 25-39

* Solid Gold - All 30-59

* The Edge - All 10-29

* Channel Z - All 15-29

* Pacific - All 35 Plus

* More FM - All 30-49

* LocalWorks All 25-49

BNet - Student Radio

iwi Network

Rhema Broadcasting Group Christian Radio

* Life FM All 18-24

* Radio Rhema All 35-54

* Southern Star All 50 Plus

Not so very long ago, every market had its own unique collection of radio station brands, and planning a radio buy required an encyclopaedic knowledge of every region. Despite the steady increase in station numbers, the targeting and branding has been standardised, to the benefit of almost everyone - except, perhaps, the radio purists who are still waiting for that All-Elvis format and despise "the commoditisation of the medium"!

ABOUT MEDIACOM

MEDIACOM, with offices in 80 countries, is one of the world's largest and most respected media service companies.

We create media solutions that build business for a wide range of local, regional and worldwide clients.

With $10 billion in global billings, a commitment to strategic insight, total communications planning, tactical media brilliance and tough but creative media negotiating, MEDIACOM provides unsurpassed value in today's chaotic media marketplace.

The buildup towards the launch of Maori Television on the 28th of March continues, and the broadcasters have now unveiled their programming and advertising details to the advertising community.

In its initial months, the channel will be broadcasting from 2.30pm until 10pm Monday through Thursday, 2.30-11pm Friday and 3pm till 11pm weekends.

Prime time broadcasts will be in te reo, with substantial portions of all programmes in te reo.

As the channel points out, 14% of the NZ population are Maori, with 4% of the total population Maori language learners. The new channel will have a footprint across 82% of the country with its UHF signal, and will also be available to all Sky Digital subscribers on Channel 33. They're not yet able to convert these assorted statistics into predicted audience levels, and aren't expecting to be included in Nielsen Peoplemeter figures for some time, so advertising support represents a leap of faith rather than a well-reasoned investment.

As you'd expect, advertising rates are pitched low for an untried medium, with individual peak (6-9pm) spots available for $350, late peak (9-close) $250 and afternoon just $125. A wide variety of packages are also available.

Programming for the first quarter includes:

* a 20 minute news programme in Maori, Te Kaea, at 8.30pm each day

* a weekly sports show compiled by Sky Sport

* Occasional Current Affairs - Heteeri

* Lifestyle programming, including Marae DIY (sponsored inevitably by Mitre 10), food show Kai Time

* Classic archive programmes featuring Billy T James and Prince Tui Teka

* a daily learning programme, Korero Mai

* shows for the tamariki, including Manu Rere, Pukana & Tiki Tiki

* shows for rangatahi, including The T-Sistaz, Aotearoa Skate and Cyberworld

* classic movies such as Moko Toa and Utu

Maori Television studios are in Newmarket, Auckland, opposite the Olympic Pool, and are deliberately accessible to the public. In a move inspired by city television in Toronto, Maori Television is planning weekend music shows where street parties and studio interact. Whether Auckland is quite ready for this innovation remains to be seen.

Putting aside all the hype, hopes, and even the heartbreaks of past CEOs, how does Maori Television stack up as an advertising vehicle? Like all new TV channels, Maori TV will attract an instant audience on its first few days, who will sample the channel and then revert to their normal viewing habits. The challenge for Maori Television after that initial honeymoon is to create regular viewing destinations that can build up over time.

Advertisers can treat this as just another TV channel, in which case it'll rise or fall on its cost efficiencies, which are unlikely to be too impressive at first. Or we can treat the medium as a unique opportunity to communicate to a highly specific segment of our community, with all the targeted benefits that implies.

What Worries New Zealanders

Twelve months ago, Tower New Zealand ran its first 'What Worries New Zealanders' survey. Now results from the second survey are in, and indicate that changing roles and responsibilities (at home and at work) are shifting the focus of our worries away from money towards the family.

This latest survey looks at the differences between men and women's worries in relation to family and work. Men are finding a change in roles and responsibilities at home and at work creates more worries for them, while women are feeling increased pressure to do everything.

Key statistics:

* 39% of working mums are definitely worried about the 'stay at home mum' being a thing of the past, even if not practical for some, compared with 19% of dads.

* One in five survey respondents felt they frequently worry about finding the right balance between work and home life, particularly for those with children.

* Females aged between 25 and 34 years worry most, with more than half frequently worrying about finding the right balance, compared with 32% of males in the same age group.

* One in five New Zealand men and women frequently worry about spending enough time with their kids

* An equal number frequently worry about being a good role model for their child - this was more prevalent amongst lower income families

* One in four women frequently worry about the sacrifices they have to make to have a family today, compared with one in five men

* Almost one in three females aged between 25 and 34 frequently worry about getting too old to have children

In the latest survey results women worry more than men about work, family, health, money, and time, while men out-worried women by 4% (39% men and 35% women) on societal issues. In general women worry more than men about earning more than their partner.

We are 16% less worried about money than in previous surveys, although money worries remain significant. Almost one in five New Zealand men and women worry about their level of personal or household debt today. Of those, the most worried are 27% of males and females aged between 25 and 34 living in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

Published by MEDIACOM (NZ) LIMITED, P O Box 3369 Auckland New Zealand, Phone 09 914 4940 Fax 09 914 4903 Editorial Comments or requests: newsletter@mediacom.co.nz To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to subscribe@mediacom.co.nz

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