Paramount on brand safety, Total TV and the 2024 ad market

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 1 December 2023
Rod Prosser and Daniel Monaghan.

With economic challenges on the horizon and global geopolitical events looking likely to continue into next year, brands are prioritising showing up in environments that are brand safe, according to Rod Prosser, chief sales officer at Paramount Australia.

“With what's going on in the world, having an advertising environment that brands know that they're not going to be butting up against something that's inappropriate or that’s misinformation is really key,” he said.

“The other part is transparency and measurement, partly due to the launch of VOZ, and I think advertisers are really keen to ensure that there are other media or publishers that are delivering transparent and honest measurement as well.”

In terms of the ad market itself, Prosser said he sees 2024 as being a story of two halves.

“The first half will present its challenges just because the economic situation that we're faced with: sluggish across this back quarter, uncertainty around interest rates and some results happening in the retail sector across this Christmas trade and into the early new year,” he told AdNews.

He predicts the latter part of the year will start to look different however, with Paramount currently having a lot of discussions with buyers around a positive second half.

“There's going to be a lot of competition in the market, particularly for TV; that's the wonderful thing about what we will bring to the market at some point next year is that you can access pretty much all TV platforms within the Paramount ecosystem, so the competitive nature of the market will continue and I think we're well poised to capitalise on that competition as well,” he said.

With the likes of a BVOD platform (10 Play), an SVOD platform (Paramount Plus) and an AVOD offering to complement a free-to-air product, Prosser said that a Total TV proposition is critical to any broadcaster’s success.

“The future of Total TV, in my view, is a world where you can pull all that together and effectively chase a CPM and/or deliver a broad audience across various platforms,” he said.

“How we've been able to bring all of that together and take it into market will again evolve next year as we talk to the market about what an ad tier will look like on Paramount Plus and the connectivity of all those platforms in a centralised trading space.

“All these platforms have great audiences that are slightly different from the other platforms. Our FAST offering is a great demonstration of how we're pulling younger viewers back into our ecosystem.

On the content front, Paramount is leaning on entertainment shows to drive success going forward.

With the official OzTAM ratings period due to wrap up tomorrow, Channel 10 will finish the year with nine of the top 15 entertainment shows in both under 50s and 16 to 39s, as well as eight of the top 15 entertainment shows in 25 to 54s.

“We have some staples in Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Cheap Seats and Gogglebox, but we also launched some new returning brands with Thank God You’re Here, Taskmaster and the Inspired Unemployed, so we really are cementing the place on 10 and Paramount Plus to make you laugh, which has been a really successful beat for us this year," said Daniel Monaghan, SVP of content and programming at Paramount Australia.

“This year we also launched Nickelodeon on free to air, bringing a pay brand across to the linear channel, and grew the linear channel across the back half of this year. Since its launch, prime time audience has grown 14%, daytime audience has grown 41%, year-on-year, and it is the #1 commercial multi-channel in kids in daytime."

On what viewers can look forward to in 2024, the content slate for 10 will kick off with Gladiators launching on January 8.

“From there, we go straight into Survivor; we've got I'm A Celebrity with a new partner for Julia launching on March 24; new Taskmaster and new Gogglebox; and that's all before we even get to Masterchef, so we are coming out of the gate strong," he told AdNews.

“We're going to go hot over the Olympics period with Dessert Masters too, so we've got a really good suite of shows that take you right from January 8 through to the end of next year. We had some good successes this year with a rebooted Amazing Race, that'll be back next year too.

“Deal or No Deal is also a really important piece of the puzzle for us to give an alternative to news from and a good lead out from the news and lead into The Project.”

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