‘Increasingly audiences come to Australian drama across multiple platforms,’ says Nine’s drama boss

Australians have a growing appetite for local drama – and they are finding it across a variety of platforms, Nine’s co-head of drama, Andy Ryan, explains. 

Speaking about the strength of Australian drama for on-demand platforms, such as 9Now, Ryan notes the growth of binge-watching means viewers are often watching an episode on television and then seeking additional episodes online.  

“Increasingly audiences come to drama across different platforms,” says Ryan, referencing the likes of Love Child, Doctor Doctor and Here Come the Habibs as examples. 


“Nine’s dramas are successful across all platforms – and they consistently win their timeslots on overnight numbers. However, audiences are also engaging with these shows on time-shifted viewing and additionally on demand through 9Now.”

Ryan argues that this reflects a growing desire to watch content at a time of the viewer’s own choosing. 

“We find audiences gravitate to shows at times convenient to them,” he says. “We are finding drama really resonates on 9Now. Audiences come to the platform because of convenience and also because of the ability to go back and binge on previous episodes they may have missed.

“As a broadcaster we want to give drama a life outside overnight broadcasts,” he adds, noting  shows such as Love Child Nine create fresh online content. 

“With drama we are also trying to leverage online specific content,” says Ryan. “This year with Love Child we have created a number of ‘webisodes’ called ‘Living in the 70s with Martha’ featuring the character played by Miranda Tapsell who takes viewers on a journey through 1970s fashion, mod cons and so on. We are increasingly looking to do things like this where we drive viewers to 9Now for additional content.”

Lizzie Young, ‎director of innovation, partnerships and experience at Nine, believes unique online content is just one area where Nine seeks to innovate and find new ways to engage audiences. 

She notes the broadcaster has launched its new Story+ product, offering advertisers new ways to integrate brands around Nine’s drama offerings. 

“The challenge for us this year was finding something that innovates our drama offerings and the way brands can fit in with our content,” explains Young. 

“We are well known for what we do with our reality formats but the other great play in local storytelling is drama and we’re launching a product, through Story+, that enables brands to tell stories using drama, digital and their own assets, so extend the amount of content we produce in those shows.”

“They give marketers something unique to own because you see extended storylines and there is an opportunity to have alternative endings to a story and the potential to bridge a gap between seasons one and two that the audience would otherwise not get to see. 

“What we know from doing those types of exclusives is that they are incredibly popular and  sharable. They’re the new watercooler moments.”

Ryan expects strong audience numbers for dramas and comedies such as Doctor Doctor.

“Nine has been very successful with shows such as Here Come the Habibs, Doctor Doctor and Love Child and I think one of the reasons is that Australian audiences just love watching Australian stories,” he maintains. 

“The power of local stories for an Australian local audience is profound there is a lot of drama out there from a lot of sources for audiences to choose from – but there are not that many who tell local stories that are relevant and pertinent to Australians. At Nine we can do that in a way that is comparable to the best in the world.” 

Ryan observes that commercial television for many years steered away from comedy but last year’s decision by Nine to experiment with Here Come the Habibs had been a real success, often drawing audiences of over 1m viewers.  

“Here Come the Habibs was really a breakout hit last year,” Ryan continues. “We hadn’t done a scripted comedy for about 20 years on Nine and so the time was right for a show that was topical, a bit hard-hitting but also just a lot of fun. 

The Nine drama boss says he’s also keenly looking forward to examining reaction to the return of Doctor Doctor. 

“Doctor Doctor was another great breakout hit from 2016 and we are back with more this year,” reveals Ryan. “Our lead character, played by Rodger Corser, was nominated for a gold and silver Logie which is unprecedented for show in its first run. 

“This season we’re turning up the pressure on Dr Hugh, Roger Corser’s character, and we’re making life much more difficult for him. 

“But it’ll be the same characters and same world, though we touch on some contemporary issues while still being laugh-out-loud-funny and a bit outrageous.” 

Australians Spend More Time with Nine Online

The latest Nielsen ratings for April 2017 have revealed more Australians are spending time with Nine’s digital news network than any other publisher, with nine.com.au driving average time spent per person up to 59 minutes, nearly 5 minutes more than the closest competitor.

Nielsen’s April monthly news rankings also saw nine.com.au remain as the 2nd most visited commercial news website in Australia, reaching a unique audience 4.698 million.


The 9Honey Network reached a unique audience of 1.582 million in April, and within the network delivered:

• 9Honey News reached a unique audience of 760K
• 9Kitchen reached a unique audience of 271K
• 9Homes reached a unique audience of 182K
• 9Coach reached a unique audience of 216K
• 9Style reached a unique audience of 282K
• 9Elsewhere reached a unique audience of 328K
• 9The Fix (excl. TV Guide) reached a unique audience of 1.006 million

Source: Nielsen Digital Ratings Monthly, April 2017.

Carat Takes Out Agency Of Origin Three Years Running

Carat has taken out the win of the annual Wide World of Sports Agency of Origin tournament, taking home the trophy with a 3-1 lead over rival agency Blue 449. 

The annual event took place at North Sydney Oval to mark the launch of the 2017 Holden State of Origin series, which kicks off on Nine’s Wide World of Sports from May 31. The win was Carat’s third consecutive win in the agency series, and saw teams from a number of Sydney agencies go head to head, including Mindshare, MEC Global, MediaCom, IPG Mediabrands, Publicis, Ikon, Dentsu Aegis, OMD, M2M and PHD.


The Voice EP: The New Season Is ‘Revitalising The Shiny-Floor Genre’

The Executive Producer of The Voice says the newest season of Australia’s favourite light entertainment format is helping to breathe new life into the wider “shiny-floor” television genre. 

Speaking in the wake of last week’s successful launch of season six of The Voice, John Walsh noted that this year the program has significantly broadened its talent search with a focus on regional areas. 

“This is the biggest version of The Voice in all six seasons,” said Walsh. “This year we have changed a number of the coaches and undertaken the biggest talent search in the history of the program, especially in regional areas.

The Voice 2017

“The result is that we expect to have a much larger engagement with younger audiences this season, revitalising not just The Voice but the ‘shiny floor’ genre itself.”

Walsh pointed to audience figures for The Voice, which consistently attracts 1.1 million viewers-plus and is regularly the most watched entertainment show on Australian TV. 

He also attributed its success to this year’s choice of coaches, with Nine bringing back Delta Goodrem and Seal and adding Boy George and Kelly Rowland to the mix with surprising results. 

“We have already found with Kelly Rowland and Boy George that the engagement level is really, really high,” said Walsh.  

“I think people had a fixed idea of what they thought Boy George would be like, and when they see him they are realising how authentic and genuine he is. He is also appealing to a lot of young artists, which quite surprised us. 

“The coaches are a hugely important part of what we do. Their status is what sets this show apart from anything else on television, they become a focal point of our pre-launch campaign, and they are the core cast of the whole show.”

Lizzie Young, Nine’s Director of Innovation, Partnerships & Experience, noted that The Voice was unique in many ways because of its engagement with viewers, which is having a flow-on effect for advertisers. 

“What we know about The Voice fans is that they are incredibly passionate,” Young said. “Every year we get sent pictures of families sitting at home in their red chairs that they have dressed up, spinning around.” 

This year a number of major brands signed on as sponsors of The Voice, including Arnott’s Shapes, KFC, Mazda, Nick Scali Furniture and Blossom Manuka Honey.

Young says these brands are seeing incredible engagement: “We see more than one million people come to our app and play along with us every night. 

“Because of their passion for the content, the artists and the music, they are also passionate and genuinely motivated to find out what our brand partners are doing, who they are, and how they can be a part of their world.”

Walsh added that The Voice had a key formula for success. 

“I think what keeps people coming back to The Voice year after year is a combination of all the elements. They get really invested in the journey of the artists and want to follow them through and see how far they go. They also enjoy a lot of the interplay between the coaches, and most of all what they really get is some great singing.”