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MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 15 June 2004

15 June 2004

TV3 Scores Brownie Points How to be a hero in a competitive marketplace: pitch your price increases below those of the market leader. TV3 have once again demonstrated their skill in that position by offering more modest increases for the September-December period. Peaktime increases for TV3 over the months are as follows:

* September up 5% YOY * October up 5% * November up 5% * December up 10% Not only that, but TV3 have gone one step further, and are lowering the prices on their kids' programmes: September down 30% YOY * October down 17% * November down 17% * December down 17%

They have also tinkered slightly with their regional ratecard, lowering the Southern region rates to 15% of the national rate (previously 20%), and increasing the cost of the satellite region - i.e. those spots broadcast only through Sky Digital retransmission - from 5% to 10% of the national rate.

This last increase, apparently based on demand, represents an interesting new trend - targeting those audiences who watch TV3 through the Sky decoder. Such a strategy is one way to compensate for the different audience patterns in Sky homes but to be properly effective would need additional support on other Sky channels.

Also released: the ratecard for C4, which has opted not to increase its rates. Rates remain at $750 per spot for Long Form Shows and Peak Music Programmes, while Run Of Station Music Programmes can be purchased for $450 per 30 second spot. C4 have high hopes for their new strand of Shock! Horror! programming purchased from MTV - we'll tell you the details if you're ready to be offended, otherwise remain in blissful ignorance of just what your children are being exposed to! PS The TV3/C4 booking deadline for the September to December period is 9am Wednesday 23 June.

Third Time Lucky? Life Magazine - the legendary US photojournalism magazine, born 1936, died 1972, reborn 1978, died again 2000 - is coming back as a Friday magazine that will be distributed throughout the US in leading daily newspapers. The official debut is slated for October. Publisher TimeWarner has already inked deals with more than 50 newspapers totalling 12 million in circulation.

The news about Life coincides with the arrival of Fairfax's new Sunday Magazine, which arrived with last weekend's Sunday StarTimes. By careful planning, the first issue of Sunday also coincided with a certain rugby victory, ensuring strong sales for that particular edition.

Life's reappearance is certainly a ringing endorsement of the power of newspaper-delivered magazines, coming as it does from one of the world's leading magazine publishers. And it is likely to be a shot in the arm for Fairfax as, inaugural issue behind them, they move into business-as-usual mode with their new Sunday title.

So what about the new Sunday Magazine? We must acknowledge that it certainly looks slick and professional, a credit to the publishing and editorial teams. But - and there is a but - the magazine didn't just skew female, it shouted the feminine touch from the rooftops!

Is that a bad thing? Not for L'Oreal, Maybelline, Skin Doctors, Diet Coke or Escada, who advertised in the first issue. But MasterCard, Volkswagen, Audi and other unisex advertisers who might have been expecting a more balanced readership mix may well be reconsidering their appearance (or at least their choice of products to feature) in what is rapidly shaping up as another weekly women's magazine. As noted elsewhere: another readership opportunity lost to blokedom.

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 $13 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 Essential Style Guide For Blokes Pity the poor Kiwi male. Only four local magazines for him to read (Nielsen's PRRADS Media Directory lists only Brass, FHM, Player and Businessman Today under Men's Magazines), versus 17 for women. Television programmes like Queer Eye For The Straight Guy and many of the other reality Makeover shows paint him a loser who doesn't even know how to dress himself. Scary new concepts like "metrosexual" threaten his very being. And the new male role model isn't a good, keen bloke like Colin Meads - it's David Beckham and others of his ilk. How can our hero adjust? Thankfully, coming in Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter: FQ Men, a new seasonal style guide for New Zealand men and women who care about their man's style. This GQ clone from ACP promises "more than 40 pages of the latest men's clothing, from corporate classics to weekend wear, plus fashionable accessories", accompanied by 25 pages of grooming products and professional advice, to "help New Zealand men look and smell even better".

Either this new mag will help Joe Kiwi reinvent himself as a new millennium male - or it'll drive him more deeply into a fin de siècle malaise from which few return! Vital Statistics for FQ Men: * Print run 15,000. * Core Target professional men, aged 30-49 * FP4C rate $5510 likely, not yet confirmed First Issue Spring / Summer issue 2004 * on sale date 20 September 2004 * booking deadline 3 August 2004 * material deadline 9 August 2004

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Video On Demand Hits The Net Starz Encore Group took its subscription video-on-demand concept to the Internet yesterday, partnering with RealNetworks to unveil a new premium movie service that lets high-speed broadband users download an unlimited number of movies for a flat rate of US$12.95 per month. Sadly, it's only available to US residents. The flat-rate service, called Starz! Ticket on Real Movies, differs from other authorized movie download destinations such as Movielink and CinemaNow, which require consumers to pay separately for each download. Customers can choose from more than 100 movies per month, including such recent hit titles as Chicago, Pirates of the Caribbean and Finding Nemo, as well as older library titles like Taxi Driver and The Poseidon Adventure.

The films can be downloaded to as many as three personal computers. Downloaded movies can either be viewed on a PC or laptop using the RealPlayer or RealVideo 10, or on a TV linked to one of those devices by an S-video cable. The RealPlayer and RealVideo 10 allow DVD-like functionality, including fast-forward, rewind and pause functions. Movies can be viewed in full screen or "theatre" mode, and downloads can be scheduled overnight to maximize bandwidth usage. Movies follow a sequential release schedule. About six to seven months after a film premieres, it goes to home video.

Traditionally, it then becomes available for pay-per-view about 50 days after that. Starz gets movies about a year after the theatrical debut. Is this the place for an extended whine about the poor penetration of broadband into New Zealand, as a result of certain dominant market forces, meaning that we miss out on yet another technology innovation? No? Maybe next time.

Friends: The Last Farewell (sort of) It came, they went, life goes on. Friends forever - and they're still on TV2's schedule! So how did the Friends final actually rate? For TV2's core audience, the 18-39s, the show delivered a 27 rating, a 50% increase on its average 18% delivery during the lead-up series. Was that enough to make the final worth buying at Special Event rates? Not for us.


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