How do we value media? What is the value proposition that it carries? Is it readership or viewership? Is it the income of the audience? Is it audience reach? Is it the cost of operations for the media brand and the media format? Or does supply and demand give the media value?
And the value of Tiso Blackstar (media business) is?
Is the value of the Sunday Times and it is siblings worth R800 million? Tiso Blackstar recently sold its African media brands for R800 million and for an additional R250 million the deal would include radio assets as well to private equity firm, Lebashe Investment Group.
Lebashe chair Tshepo Mahloele said at the time: “Media technology platforms are playing an ever-increasing role in the manner in which retailers and brands engage with consumers”. He also stated the acquired media assets reach around 20 million South African consumers.
Are they valuing media brands based on reach? Or the ability to reach targeted consumers?
According to Bloomberg, Caxton has a market cap of R2.63 billion and MultiChoice is worth R58.2 billion.
From a consumer perspective, when the economy is down and the cost of living is high, households tend to cut back on media entertainment. Published or broadcast media with the least capital-intensive operations (radio) generate stable audiences during these times.
How do we value the method in which media is consumed? Do we value readership higher? Alternatively, listenership better? Or viewership of the masses, or do we place emphasis on conversions and follow the user online and hyper target them?
Or do we value media by attention? Do we place the highest margin of budget to media that holds the longest attention? And how do we value it? Do we value it by average time spent listening? Or do we value it by average time spent viewing? Or do we use average time on apps?
Or do we value media by the amount or level of interest of the content produced. Netflix is an ads free platform with a market cap of $133 billion, which is R1.9 trillion. Internationally, media giants are investing billions of US dollars to create content and these companies are worth trillions of rands. Disney is trading with a market cap worth R3.6 trillion rand, which is 87 times the South African total above-the-line value by rate card, referencing Nielsen ad spend.
The attention economy
Netflix has 151 million paying subscribers with no advertising. Does this mean the future of attention is a world of seamless flow of content as on-demand breeds a culture of bingeing? Thanks to Netflix we are getting used to watching an entire series over a weekend, which means it took the production company months to create the content, which will be binged in a single weekend.
The attention economy report, published by Dentsu Aegis Network in June 2019, revealed that only one third of ads get the targeted audience’s attention. I believe this is why Netflix has 151 million paying subscribers. The report also found that when people are given the opportunity to skip ads they often do, when they cannot, they look away.
The digital human liberation of the internet has given us the ability to block or filter out advertising from our lives. YouTube offers ad free subscription of its platform, Spotify Premium has no advertising as well. Is the future of audio, subscription-based podcasts published with no advertising?
So how do we value media?
Is it attention?
Readership, listenership, opportunity to see, viewership? Or the user? The attention economy report highlighted that advertising has been slow to react to the ad avoidance challenge due to media currencies measurement metrics, e.g. impressions, and reach opportunity to see.
A 2015 study by Microsoft Corp stated that the attention span of a human is below that of a goldfish at 8 seconds. I think we all know this, but now imagine in 2020, 5 years later how much shorter the attention span of a human will be.
So how do we value media?
Ask yourself, is it attention? Or media currency?
You can read Dentsu Aegis Network’s attention economy report, here.
To watch the shorter attention span than a goldfish video, click here.
Nkateko Mongwe is professional a media analytics, market research and data insights specialist. He is one the few industry hybrid media insights strategist with all round experience from leading media owners, leading media agency group and at client side leading national brand. He is a contributing member of the IAB research council and the Publisher Research Council research committee. He was one of the judges of the yearly AMASA 2018 Awards. He featured on the Media magazine is MOST Awards edition. A passionate opinionated writer and media analytics presenter/speaker. His Twitter handle @datainsights88
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