Nine Entertainment’s executive creative director has said streamlining its channels under the Nine banner will help combat the increased competition in the TV market and lead to far more effective cross-channel marketing.
Andrew Peace, who has been instrumental in bringing Nine’s new-look together, made the remarks as its new lifestyle channel, 9Life, took to the air and Nine’s main channel began broadcasting in high definition with 9HD.
The shake-up, unveiled at Nine’s upfront event last month, will enable the network to remain at the forefront in the “fight for recognition”.
Cross promotion of its channels has already started on Nine and 9Life – which kicked off today with 11 back-to-back episodes of The Block – with marketing packages set to roll out across Nine’s other channels, 9Go and 9Gem in the next month. It will be extended to Nine’s newly branded catch-up TV platform, 9Now, from early 2016.
Peace said the feedback from the streamlined approach has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People have agreed it was the right way to go. By introducing the Nine balls to our channels connects them all to the strong Nine brand,” he said. “The balls are locked in one position so we can go from one channel to another seamlessly and guide the viewers to stick within our network.”
Each channel has a new “presentation, look and feel” and will cross promote.
“It will be a fantastic way of cross promoting between the different brands with a common link,” Peace said. “They are all successful brands in their own right…but the purpose is to combat increased competition. TV is a different landscape from when we first launched multi channels. We have to fight for recognition.
“If viewers are going to leave a channel we’d like them to stay within our network. That is what this is all about.”
Asked about the launch of 9Life, Peace said: “We believe there is a need for a lifestyle genre channel in the free-to-air landscape and the programming guys have done a fabulous job buying for this channel. It will be very targeted and focused on 25 to 54-year-old women.”
The success will only be known once the schedule settled down, he added.
Foxtel content chief Brian Walsh had earlier questioned Nine’s decision to source content from US broadcaster Scripps, suggesting content designed for an American audience won’t resonate with Australians.
As well as keeping viewers in the Nine network, Peace said aligning the channels, and focusing more clearly on their positioning, “will make the options for advertisers far more clear”.
“I believe we are quite unique in that we have very different brands that appeal to different audiences,” he continued. “It’s been a massive undertaking as we are effectively relaunching five channels.”
He admitted it has been difficult to cross-promote such has been the disparate nature of its brands.
“Absolutely (this is a new era for Nine),” he said. “And it goes beyond TV. This package goes across mediums, we can navigate viewers around the Nine distribution family.”
The changes will be heavily promoted through its own channels, with radio, out of home and social media campaigns also part of the marketing mix.
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