Pearman Pulse


The month of October has been “Television Upfront” season.  Each Network shows their content along with their bells & whistles for 2022.  Traditionally these have been elaborate and over-the-top presentations on the media schmoozing calendar where the Networks spend well north of $250,000 on one event to show media buyers and clients that the next year will be a success.  Given they have had to present the Upfronts via zoom in 2021, and therefore save a fortune, perhaps future events won’t be as big and expensive.

So why are the Upfronts necessary? They grew out of America in the 1960s when an enormous percentage of client’s Television money was committed “upfront” for the year. In Australia today, the percentage of committed funds upfront are not quite what they used to be and the deals are now far more flexible.  A big part of the Upfronts is a PR exercise for each Network to give advertisers confidence in the year ahead.

In the past few weeks, Seven / Nine / Ten & Foxtel have each presented their pitch and outlined how they will attract (hopefully) larger audiences in 2022. SBS are delaying their Upfront to have a live event. These days the presentations cover considerably more and more than just free to air (FTA) telecasting, tech stacks and vendor partnerships are the call of today, mostly for the big end of town. However, refined targeting is also the battle ground, especially with both Smart TV and BVOD (i.e. addressable audiences).

After a solid and modestly increased audience in 2020, which was against recent trends, FTA TV has had a pretty torrid time in 2021 as people continued their uptake of SVOD, and BVOD offerings. Total FTA Peak Night 16-54 Audiences (those where most Advertisers demographics lie within) YTD are down by 9.7%. Now to their presented offerings.

Seven seems to be in the best position as they are coming off a year where their 16-54 YTD 2021 Peak audience is up 3%+. Our take is that they have a solid strategy overall, after a catch-up year of hits and misses.  They have more the greatest depth of programming (local and overseas and we think Seven will close the Peak Average Audience gap on Nine in 2022. A combination of Seven adding audience, and Nine slipping.

Nine’s 16-54 YTD 2021 Peak Audience is down 5%+. Our take on Nines offering is that it is largely a ‘steady as she goes’ strategy. They do have a solid slate and no big series failures in 2021 however it seems a little short of programming.  Nine might hold audience, although it probably depends on Seven’s success or otherwise.

Unfortunately, Network Ten did not put up much new programming despite their 16-54 YTD 2021 Peak Audience being down 21+%.  Although Ten have not performed well in ratings in 2021 they have done very well in gaining additional advertising revenue.  They are presently up around 29% compared to 2020 and even 20% ahead of their 2019 revenue.  With TEN’s presented offerings we cannot see any significant uplift in audience.

Foxtel has so much content it makes it difficult to concentrate on any particular programming.  Their upfront was very much about their streaming capability and made the point that in 2016 only 8% of their subscribers came from streaming whereas today 50%+ come from streaming. They made the point that Foxtel Go & Now, Kayo, Binge and Flash (a new News channel) are driving their growth.

We now have to wait a year to see if the TV Upfronts will once again take the number one position in the media socialising calendar.


In the early days of advertising (think 1950s), advertisers gave their money to the media with very little measurement of the audience.  Then came the various audience measurement companies such as AGB McNair and Roy Morgan. This gave media buyers the ability to measure their advertising campaigns by the number of people they reached and how often they reached them. Once computers started gathering pace, the amount of data collected grew astronomically.  Data (in all its forms) became a big thing to measure audiences with especially from the early 2000s. As customers went online, advertisers could use cookies to gather a wealth of additional data to overlay with the traditional audience measurements.

There is now talk around measuring audiences based on Neuro insights to tap into human motivation and desire to maximise the bought media.  New research metrics around attention and engagement are challenging previous media measurement currencies. In the last few weeks we have seen both ARN and Foxtel introduce potential new ways of measuring their audience.

The ARN Audio Connections Planner is designed to bring together data on audience metrics, category involvement and mental availability.  ARN suggest it gives advertisers the best possible chance to connect with consumers at their most receptive moments of the day. The ARN Audio Connections Planner evaluates activity across three key data segments to better understand the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘what’ of consumer audio engagement.  Apparently ARN have an in-house Neuro Lab to crunch the data to understand what listeners will respond best to at the moments that matter most.

At Foxtel’s Upfronts last week they launched ‘Foxtest’ as an experimentation platform which they say will help advertisers explore the future frontiers of advertising (a big statement). FoxTest will conduct a variety of tests and experiments which could include topics such as the impact of context, the power of engagement, levels of attention, new ad formats, servicing models or the revelation of standard metrics.

Naturally the holy grail in media buying is for the campaign to be the most effective in achieving the goals required. If new ways of measuring an audience can help achieve that then it will be an invaluable step for media planning.


Have you ever opened Google Analytics and wondered where to look and what it all means to your business.  Hopefully the following will make it a little easier to appreciate the value of GA.

The data collected by Google Analytics can be used to optimise your website and increase overall traffic and viewers to paying customer conversions. Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for understanding and adapting your business to your consumer preferences and behaviours, so let’s dive in and learn how to make the best use of Google Analytics.

As a user of Google Analytics, it is important to be aware that it not only tracks the number of views, it also supplies demographic data and information on the people who visit your site daily.  It will show which page they spend most amount of time on and why you may not be converting and much more. The Google ‘segments’ feature is something you should ensure you make full use of. This feature will allow you to view a wide array of demographic data about your visitors including their age, gender and location. It also gives key information about Bounce rates and helps to find out any problems associated with conversions.

In addition to segments, it is important to understand how to use the ‘goals’ feature inside of Google Analytics. This feature is crucial to facilitate your business progress and should not be overlooked. An example of a goal can be as simple as “make a sale” or “place an order”. You can create what is called a funnel and track a user’s progress toward a specified goal. From the goal setting process you also identify any issues or bottlenecks encountered by the user. This feature is like a revelation in that it allows you to identify any user interface viewers have when using your website and particularly those which the consequence ends up losing you revenue. In this way, Google Analytics can help not only improve the quality of your website but also facilitate the money-making potential of your business.

Another powerful and fascinating feature of Google Analytics are access to what are known as conversion paths. Every user who visits your site is different, and understanding their behaviour is crucial to making your website a success. The conversion paths feature allows you to see which pages your users click on and in what order before they make a purchase from your site. This data can be used to better optimise your website and more efficiently direct users to the buy button.

These tips should give you a better understanding of how best to make use of Google Analytics. In the right hands, Google Analytics should help you to not only improve the quality of your website but also grow your business and revenue.


The September SMI spend of $700.2 million is up 15.5% compared to Sep’20. Due to 2020 being such an anomaly, it is prudent to compare the months against 2019. Since May this year each monthly spend has either been in line with or greater than 2019. However, Sep’21 was down 9.2% compared to Sep’19 and was also the biggest fall since Jan’21 which was down 13.3%. Therefore, the September result is showing reduced momentum particularly considering the AFL and NRL finals series were back in September after being moved to October last year. The Jan-Sep YTD is still up 27% (vs ’20) and slightly higher than 2019.

Over the past 5 months Government spend has increased an average of 60%+ but in September that dropped to a 14.4% increase.  The football finals meant that Gambling had a large category increase with 53.2% while Communications was up 66.1%.  Automotive advertising put the break on a little and was down 6.6%.  Given the issues in trying to buy a car at present perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. As retail is such a large category ($76mil) it was good to see that increased by 10.5%.

Television (+17.1%) and Digital (+20.1%) were the best performing media. TV had another good month of $310 million while $259 million was spent on Digital. Remembering there is a huge amount more spent on Digital outside of the media agencies represented in the SMI panel. Radio is looking healthier and its $50 million represented a 12.8% increase on 2020. Magazines had a strong lift and were up 19.6% while Newspapers were down slightly compared to last year. Outdoor only had a 3.8% lift and was still down 56% compared to Sep’19.  There is hope for Cinemas as they increased 231% (off a small base) and with lockdowns lifting things must be getting back on track for them.  Especially given the run towards Christmas and the new James Bond movie in November.


  1. Mozambique gives you the highest score in scrabble of any country in the world
  2. The Sydney to Perth Indian Pacific train line has the longest straight line of railway (478 km) in the world
  3. Approximately 1.8 million Australians smoke, this is down 20% from FY17
  4. The feeling of getting lost inside a mall is known as the Gruen transfer
  5. Greenland Sharks can live for 250 – 500 years
  6. We breathe through one nostril at a time and switch to the other nostril every few hours
  7. World Kindness Day is Saturday 13th November – be kind to each other, yourself, and the world.