The Seven and Nine networks are locked in a fierce battle for ratings supremacy in TV land at the moment, but what is a somewhat less publicised battle is online. That is the battle between Yahoo!7 and NineMSN.
Yahoo!7 is a 50-50 partnership between Seven and Yahoo! Inc. Whilst NineMSN is a 50-50 partnership between PBL Media (majority owners of Nine) and Microsoft.
A recent Nielsen Company report found that Yahoo!7 had a unique browser audience of 6,732,000 (quarterly figure Jan-Mar 2010) with an average viewing time 1:18:13 per person in March 2010. Yahoo! Inc (across its international network) recorded an average viewing time of 1:16:42 per person in March.
Yahoo!7’s main competitor NineMSN had a unique browser audience of 10,015,000 and an average viewing time in March of 2:26:20 per person. NineMSN trailed Google in the Australian web space. Google was however the top online brand with a unique audience 12,816,000 for the March quarter, although Google’s March average viewing time trailed NineMSN. Google’s average viewing time was 1:19:31 per person.
The battle is over content that consumer want. NineMSN’s has two main content partners, namely, the Nine Network and ACP Magazines (both of which are owned by PBL Media). The agreement with the Nine Network provides NineMSN with news content (including exclusive online bulletins from the Nine newsroom) and the leveraging of Nine’s TV programs through NineMSN’s online catch-up service FIXPlay. Meanwhile, ACP Magazines provides NineMSN the opportunity to have network micro-sites for strong magazine brands such as the Australian Women’s Weekly and Top Gear. NineMSN also have a strong foothold in the online classified market with both CarPoint.com.au and BoatPoint.com.au sitting in NineMSN branded sites. It is no wonder then that NineMSN are the leading online portal in Australia. As a side note this may result in Bingle (Microsoft’s new search engine) continue to gain traction against Google.
Therefore what has Yahoo!7 done to bridge the gap between its arch online rival? According, to a Seven Network press release Yahoo!7
brings together the successful Australian internet business, Yahoo! Australia & NZ, and the online assets and television and magazine content of the Seven Network, one of Australia’s leading media companies. The company also combines the strengths of Yahoo! search and communications capabilities and its global internet network, with Seven’s rich media and entertainment content and marketing capabilities.
Recently, Yahoo!7 has gone on the offensive against NineMSN and other content portals such as news.com.au, smh.com.au and theage.com.au. Recent partnerships include Plus7 catch-up TV service, a content agreement with tribalfootball.com for news content, the availability of realestate.com.au branded content on Yahoo!7, and a premium content partnership between CNET.com.au and Yahoo!7. Yahoo!7 have also announced the launch of a new entertainment portal, known as The Hype and were the #1 online resource for the 2010 TV Week Logies Awards.
Tribal Football Content agreement
The agreement reached between tribalfootball.com and Yahoo!7 covers both Australian and New Zealand Yahoo! properties. The deal provides Yahoo!7 with, according to their press release, over 250 new stories each day from all major football leagues across the world, including Australian player news, English Premier League Football, Spanish Liga Serie A, Asian Leagues and World Cup Football.
According to Lou Sticca, CEO of tribalfootball.com, tribalfootball is delighted to partner with Yahoo!7 as it is a true acknowledgement that our brand has become the pre-eminent brand in global football web sites this deal will expose tribalfootball to a much wider audience across Australia and New Zealand and is the first of a wide range of global partnerships we are looking at creating.
Kath Hamilton, Yahoo!7 Audience Director said the partnership with tribalfootball allows us to offer our audience all the news, results, the drama and the rumours direct from the matches as the competition unfolds, she said.
Realestate.com.au is operated by the REA Group and reaches (through its local and international property websites) a reported 10.4 million unique browsers a month according to Nielsen/NetRatings. In March 6,566,114 unique browsers visited realestate.com.au.
The new agreement with Yahoo!7 will provide additional content to Yahoo!7 and entice users with new tools and enhanced features, as the press release states to help them find the right property to buy, rent or sell.
It is no surprise that property was high on Yahoo!7’s desired partnered portal list given Australians seem to never have enough of property whether buying or just watching TV shows such as Selling Houses Australia or Phil Down Under on XYZ network’s Lifestyle Channel.
The deal also appears to complete Yahoo!7’s classified build, as the portal now holds strategic partnerships with SEEK (employment), Carsales.com.au (motoring) and now realestate.com.au (property.)
Commenting on the new partnership, Emma Harrington, Director of Partnerships for Yahoo!7 the new deal complemented the existing portfolio of classified offerings now available for Yahoo!7 visitors. The partnership with realestate.com.au forms the final piece of a trifecta of listings agreements for Yahoo!7 encompassing employment and jobs, motoring and now property. Through this partnership with realestate.com.au our visitors will have access to Australia’s largest property listings portal.
CNET.com.au premium content partnership
CNET.com.au, a unit of CBS Interactive, has more than 700,000 unique browsers monthly and claims to provide advice to over 24,000 Australian’s each day in deciding what new piece of technology to buy.
The new deal with Yahoo!7 will see CNET Australia delivering a custom crossâpublishing model with dedicated editorial resources to repurpose and republish content directly to the co-branded Yahoo!7 |CNET Technology site.
The terms of the deal are expansive. Here are the key points:
- Customised content across four areas
- Digital home
- Tech on-the-go
- Delivering specific CNET content to Yahoo!7’s broad audience within a CNET branded channel
- CBS Interactive having the capacity to sell ad inventory on the CNET/Yahoo!7 branded channel
- Yahoo!7 will have access to monetise an allocation of inventory of both the co-branded site and the CNET Australia network as part of its Direct Response offering
The agreement will go live in late June 2010 and combines CNET Australia’s trusted brand name which has been built over six years in the local market, whilst at the same time allowing CNET to leverage its brand to a broader audience @ www.yahoo7.com.au/cnet.
The end result
Yahoo!7 has certainly over the recent months developed strong partnerships with well-respected and well-established online brands to drive its unique browser audience higher and direct online spend (both through advertising and classified spend) to its portal. The partnerships will also allow content/classified ad providers access to a broader audience profile and therefore a larger chunk of the online advertising pie, which continues to grow and steal market share from other media.
The digital age is certainly upon us. Until we see some further unique browser data on Yahoo!7 later in the year it is too early to speculate whether their new content/classified partners will increase their unique browser audience. The real test is whether the burgeoning portal will become the home page of millions of Australian web users.