Why The Sydney Morning Herald And The Age Dominate The Digital Space

Why The Sydney Morning Herald And The Age Dominate The Digital Space
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The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are doing the goods in the digital world (by which we mean are killing it in the digital space), all thanks to premium and engaging content.

In partnership with ThinkPremiumDigital, B&T is exploring how premium content—which reaches a whopping 17.4 million Australians per month—drives better business results for advertisers.

As one of ThinkPremiumDigital’s shareholders, Nine (which owns the The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) has a staggering 13 million users across its data ecosystem, a big part of its reach is spearheaded by its Sydney and Melbourne mastheads, which both dish out premium content on the reg.

In fact, a recent Nielsen Consumer and MediaView Survey shows The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age alone see a combined total of 5.22 million people (source: Nielsen Digital Panel, Duplication Report, August 2020, people 2+). That’s a huge number of eyeballs, and massive win for Nine’s advertising partners.

But look, it’s not always about the numbers. According to Publishing at Nine director of partnerships Lisa Day the fact that this audience influences and changes the opinions of others is massive.

“People often underestimate how useful the audience is,” Day told B&T.

Breaking it down, around a quarter of readers of the The Herald and The Age are aged between 25 and 39 years old, while another 25 per cent are between 40 and 54 years old. The remainder are over 50.

Both mastheads’ digital audiences have nearly identical gender splits, with around 45 per cent of readers women and 55 per cent men. Perhaps most importantly, both mastheads’ audiences have cash to splash. The average household income of a Herald or Age reader is around $100,000.

“In reality, if you want to change a conversation or an opinion, these are the people in the community who have the means to put their money where their mouth is,” Day said.

“The interesting thing is that we’re always balancing what is a great experience for our readers so that they feel engaged and trust what we’re doing.

“Of course, we have high impact media offerings—hero ads, immersive, bespoke integration—all within this trusted environment that is purposefully low ad clutter … because we have paid subscribers who expect a certain experience.”

According to Day, this gives both the Herald and The Age an edge by giving ads great cut through, which is added to by smart targeting and Nine’s audience segmentation, 9TRIBES.

“When you look at our smart targeting over an environment that’s trusted, with numbers that are practically double our nearest competitor, it’s a really strong offering,” Day told B&T.

She added: “Core to the DNA of the mastheads is ‘independent, always’ … and what is fascinating to me is that more and more advertisers and agencies are really identifying that with The Herald and The Age.

“We get three times the level of engagement with our ads because people trust what they see—they’re in an open mind when they get to our products, because we’re not smashing them with lots of ads.

“We’ve got the airspace to do that … so, therefore, it’s brand safe. It’s an audience that can influence others, and is affluent enough to purchase the product itself, or influence or change opinions.

“It’s pretty cliché, but premium content is the biggest driver of ad attention,” Day said.

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