Seven’s Upfronts yesterday are the talk of media today. If you missed all the news, check out B&T’s reporting here. In this guest post, MediaCom’s chief investment officer, Claire Butterworth (pictured below), casts her expert eye over all of the announcements and has delivered these five key takeaways…
Seven’s upfronts are the final of the major FTA broadcasters. And after a challenging year in 2020 – all eyes are on what the networks will deliver in 2021.
Overall, it was a solid and confident 2021 presentation from Seven. It started with CEO James Warburton acknowledging the elephants in the room – namely their heavily speculated business health, the ongoing cricket negotiations, and that January-June did not deliver to their expectations.
News & sport: News and sport have underpinned Seven’s performance in recent years and this year has been no exception, with significant audience gains across both genres. Expanding within sport, 2021 will feature a full year of AFL, Supercars, Cricket, and as confirmed today, the Tokyo Olympics. It’s certainly an envious sport slate which will continue to reap rewards for advertisers in this highly engaged space.
Tentpole programming – rebooted: Seven’s news platform is expanding to include Spotlight Investigations, but the real focus was on their tentpole programming which in previous years has let them down. Seven’s success with the Big Brother reboot in 2020 has given them the confidence that a magic makeover of a tired series from a rival network is not a one off, so it’s notable that Seven has added The Voice to the 2021 tentpole slate on top of Farmer Wants a Wife and Big Brother. Looking ahead, a distinctive new look and feel for Australian Idol in 2022 will hopefully alleviate any audience fatigue with the singing genre.
New Content: Outside of the tentpoles, the breadth of Seven’s new content is impressive. Cooking is nowhere to be seen, replaced with high energy fun in Holey Moley, and drama with Australian Gangster and RFDS to name a few.
Data Intelligence: Seven’s evolution with data intelligence is also positive news. Improved audience capabilities with their BVOD platform 7+, 7REDiQ using various data points to understand consumer behaviour within Seven’s ecosystem and EAVE (Enhanced Advertiser and Viewer Experience) expanding to e-commerce are impressive.
Ratings: Mitigating risk through guaranteed predictive ratings is creative and forward thinking, but more analysis will need to be undertaken first. Overall, Seven offered a very confident presentation aiming to amplify what has been working well for them in recent months and carry it into 2021.
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