Connecting the Dots

  • Date 24th September 2021
  • Author SUE CANT
Connecting the Dots

The Nine Network were the first cab off the rank for the annual Upfront season. They promised to ‘Connect the Dots’ and that they did! 

Key take outs:

  • Nine leading the way in measuring audience engagement – more accountability for your investment
  • Commitment to data & technology including Salesforce will boost ability to target
  • Sadly no hugely novel shows – sticking with a winning formula in content
  • Masterclass in first mover advantage – Nine is adapting and leading the pack in changing times

I love an Upfront season! If you’re not familiar with the term, an “Upfront” is media industry lingo for a season launch. And traditionally, these have been all-singing, all-dancing IRL events, complete with rollercoasters (literally) and in-person selfies with celebs. Nonetheless, Nine’s virtual party was super slick as always.

They opened with a beautiful film encapsulating key Australian events, programming moments, sporting event snapshots, news, emotional snippets, as well as light hearted recaps. And I don’t mind saying that it reinvigorated and reinforced for me just how much Nine can offer and does offer, whilst also reminding us of the year that has been.

Nine is the real powerhouse on the media landscape, with unmatched scale and innovation. and they’re not slowing down in 2022. They promised to connect the dots, and this is how they delivered just that:

Effectiveness and delivering outcomes is always front and centre of what we do at AFFINITY, so it was great to see a big focus on Nine’s Data & Tech offerings. 

Along with presenting some great case studies, they announced a partnership with Dr Karen Nelson-Field (founder of Amplified Intelligence and author of The Attention Economy), with a focus on measuring genuine attention. This will surely drive their Attention Measurement credibility even further, and personally, I can’t wait to see this initiative unfold.

Another key announcement in this regard was the launch of Attention-based Trading. Powered (Nine’s marketing solutions team) are investing in independent research to understand where the greatest attention is paid across the Nine inventory.

We also heard how they’re further strengthening their data capabilities with the introduction of Salesforce. This has the potential to enhance accessibility to their 14 million-strong addressable audience via Nine’s Audience Match product.

In terms of delivering outcomes for our clients, partnering with Nine seems a no-brainer and definitely opens up a whole brighter world of measurement which has quite often been a little hazy. 


Still the one for content?

Whilst the ‘TV is STILL the one’ claim can be true, I was a little disappointed there was not much announced by way of new content. Maybe this is because Nine do have a winning formula currently with The Block, MAFS, Lego Masters and Love Island – and if it ain't broke, don’t fix it. However, merely dusting off some more golden oldies such as Underbelly was a little underwhelming. 

There were a few new additions, but the one that stuck with me the most, and probably not for the right reason, is Snack Masters? It just made me think of a MasterChef for the eat little and often snackers! Not entirely convinced on this one, but happy to be proved wrong on the ratings!

And of course it was a case of “same-same” within Sport, with the NRL, Australian Open, and Rugby Union all remaining, and an announcement that the US Open Tennis would be returning to complete the network’s Grand Slam coverage. Plus of course a hero mention for picking up the Australian broadcast rights for the 2023 Ashes Series in the UK.

Lastly, I loved the challenge Nine set us to ‘Rethink Ink.’ As a firm believer in the power of print, it gave me plenty of food for thought on how to better utilise the greatness of killer titles such as The AFR (which is unrivalled IMO), The SMH and The Age to maximise on audience and deliver engaging, thought-provoking, emotional content. Never has Australia been as emotional as we are right now, and leveraging these great assets to re-connect, reset and reunite with our audiences, is a truly powerful opportunity.

Nine have definitely proved their worth across all formats – and I can honestly say that now we can do it all in one transaction with them, from TV, to Audio, to Print, to Content and Innovation, to Tech and Measurement. They are constantly thinking about their clients, their brands, their agencies and their partners by continuing to make our lives easier. And I for one am a fan of that! It means we can be more efficient and focus on delivering for our clients – like you. BRAVO NINE!

If you’re interested in seeing how the other networks compare, I’ll be posting on the 7 Upfront after it drops on October 12. In addition, Nine also announced some updates to its Galaxy trading platform and the further integration of VOZ, but that deserves a whole post in itself, so watch this space. 


In the meantime if you’d like further information on the latest from our media partners, to discuss how AFFINITY can help deliver amazing outcomes through Media, or even just reminisce about the good old days of real-life media events, please get in touch – you can reach me on

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