Nine acquires CarAdvice to fuel growth in digital business

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 14 September 2016
Andrew Beecher and Alex Parsons

Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) has finalised an offer to acquire 100% of over three years.

CarAdvice is an editorial website that covers the new car market - the largest advertiser in TV and digital. It provides a 'premium targeted advertising environment' and has a large volume of video content and advertising inventory.

The acquisition sees CarAdvice prepare for its next stage of growth with an equity injection comprising cash and media contra across Nine’s assets. As part of the deal, CarAdvice will operate as a standalone business but its assets will tie in with Nine's dgital network.

Nine chief digital and marketing officer Alex Parsons tells AdNews aspects of CarAdvice will be integrated where possible, but the deal will ultimately mirror Nine’s deal with Pedestrian TV in 2015. Since CarAdvice will operate as a standalone unit of Nine, there is unlikely to be any redundancies at this time.

Parsons says Nine’s decision to invest in an automotive media brand fills a hole in the network’s offering, ending its relationship with Bauer in 2012 that previously presented car and motorbike content.

“Automotive as a big area where we didn’t have a proposition,” Parson says. “You can’t build that offering overnight, which is why we saw CarAdvice as a good fit for our business.”

Parsons says Nine will build cross-promotional capabilities across TV and digital for the automotive sector. And, expect to see the award-winning CarAdvice campaign by The Monkeys return to Nine as part of the acquisition.

CarAdvice CEO Andrew Beecher tells AdNews the deal with Nine allows the “fast, furious and fertile” growth of the brand.

“We are automotive marketing specialists working with 19 of the top 20 car brands in Australia, such as Holden, Ford, Mazda, Mercedes… Petrol is in the veins of our business,” he says.

“Our objective is to eventually become the most consumed media brand in the world.”

Fuelling the future of Nine

Nine’s rebrand, announced in June, has kicked off a new approach to the media company’s wider strategy.

Parsons says Nine is considering completing a 100% acquisition of Pedestrian TV in the future; it now owns 60% of the millennial-focused news site.

It is also looking to invest in the finance category, where Parsons says there is a “great opportunity”.

The investment in other verticals, such as real estate, travel and food, have been widely targeted by Australian publishers in recent times.

Parsons says despite the parallels being drawn between Nine and News Corp’s strategy, it doesn’t liken itself to its competitors.

“We run our own race and we feel like we are in a good place looking at our competitors," he adds.

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