Automotive Network Drive has announced its 2024 upfronts, its biggest in more than a decade, with a suite of more than 12 new products that underpin its vision to be the number one automotive network in Australia.
Now in its 27th year and with a monthly audience of 2.45 million, Drive is leveraging its reputation as Australia’s most authoritative destination for automotive content to diversify across topics and channels and address the rapidly evolving market.
“The Australian car market has seen unprecedented change in recent years with new brand entrants and electric vehicle sales growing each month. For most consumers, it’s been years since they last changed their car. Navigating the evolving market, the new technologies and brands can be daunting. Drive’s vision is to create the future of automotive in Australia and help consumers navigate what can at times seem like a challenging purchase,” said Drive CEO Simon Halfhide.
According to research by Drive, more than 70 per cent of consumers (72 per cent) turn to online research when purchasing a car, and more than 1 in 2 consumers (56 per cent) with children say information from online sources now has greater influence on final decisions than information provided by dealers.
“Drive recognises that consumers are seeking a breadth of information from a range of online sources before they purchase their next vehicle. In response, Drive has expanded its reach to meet consumers across a full range of channels. We are connecting data and insights from across the Drive network with a range of clever new content formats, interactive tools and technology, including AI, to deliver the most comprehensive information to help consumers next car research and buying process easier than ever,” Halfhide said.
As part of Drive’s Upfronts, Nine’s Chief Data Officer Suzie Cardwell also announced a Nine and Drive data partnership in 2024. A new Customer Data Platform will be introduced across the Nine group, which will integrate Drive’s data. This will give Drive advertisers access to unique data solutions and targeting capability to reach car buyers across the Nine family of brands which include nine.com.au, Nine now, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Pedestrian, Domain and Stan for example.
“Just as consumer content consumption is evolving, automotive brands are seeking new and innovative ways to reach and influence car buyers. The 12 new initiatives we have unveiled for 2024 are innovative automotive content products that will give brands the opportunity to connect with their target audiences in new and exciting ways,” said Halfhide.
Harnessing broadcast TV, data-driven marketing, the latest technologies in interactive video, A.I. and more, Drive has curated these upfronts to take new cars to experiential heights for future buyers.
Drive’s 2024 Upfront announcements include:
An all-new Drive Marketplace (H1 2024): A data-driven, integrated, and reimagined quality cars for sale marketplace.
Expansion of Drive TV: Nine has continued to help Drive support its broadcast TV expansion, with five new formats available to cater for the range of car topics consumers engage with – from deeper reviews, awards and latest new car launches, to aspirational escapes and lifestyle themes, there’s a format for all drivers now available through Drive TV on Nine.
- Drive TV’s first prime audience slots across both Nine and Nine Rush (Q1 2024)
- Drive F.A.S.T. Channel: Australia’s only 24/7 automotive video on demand channel) H2 2024)
- Drive TV and Getaway: An integrated Drive segment within Nine’s longest and most successful travel program, Getaway (Q1 2024)
- A new Drive TV series dedicated to editorial reviews (Q1 2024)
- A 2024 Drive Car of the Year Special featuring and promoting award winners at scale (Q1 2024)
Drive TV will also complete its Electric documentary series built from the ground up and conclude with the buyer’s guide in Q1 and Q2 respectively.
Nine Data Partnership (H2 2024): Nine and Drive will partner in 2024 to introduce a new Customer Data Platform across the Nine group. This partnership will look to provide Drive with greater capabilities and data solutions for advertisers looking to reach car buyers across the Nine family of brands.
Drive Brand Studios Expansion: Automotive brand-funded content has seen significant growth in volume and engagement in 2023, with further growth on the horizon. To showcase cars as exciting, immersive, and integral parts of our everyday life, Drive now has an upscaled video production team to create a range of video products to help every brand tell its own unique and differentiated story, regardless of the channel. Growing this offer further, Drive has announced:
- Discover 360: A new car viewing platform from Drive brand studios (Q1 2024)
- Brand content landing pages: A collation of each brand’s content in one handy page (Q1 2024)
- Drive digital out of home: In Partnership with Vista, amplified automotive content available on a national scale (available now)
- Drive and Fabulate influence network partnership: Drive and Fabulate talent helps brands reach TikTok and Instagram audiences (Q1 2024)
- Drive Brand Studios Attention Engine: Data-driven content briefs developed by an A.I. Analytics and Insights department to support advertisers in reaching their audiences (H1 2024)
“We’re aware of the responsibility we have as an automotive editorial leader to provide trusted advice to our consumers. These exciting announcements mean we can share this responsible content even more widely,” said Halfhide. “We look forward to reaching all of our audience in an impactful and helpful way in 2024”.
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