SYDNEY: Australian media executives have hit back at technology competitors disrupting the local market, noting that their ability to scale is an advantage.

“Unfortunately we’re living in this period where there’s this massive disruption,” said Paul Anderson, CEO of embattled Australian broadcaster Network Ten, which went into voluntary administration earlier this year.

“Netflix is a great example of a disrupter that is a real pain in everyone’s bums,” he told the recent Inform News Media Summit in Sydney. (For more, read WARC’s report: Technology drives change for TV, print and radio.)

“These guys don’t make money. They’ve got massive debt,” he noted. “You don’t know whether the model’s going to survive long term, but that’s kind of irrelevant because we’re all playing in that same sandpit and we’ve got to deal with it on the way through.”

However, he acknowledged that video on-demand was an emerging trend at Ten. “Our video views have just gone through the roof this year because people are watching the content when they want it.”

Aside from the business model, Australian media brands also struggle to compete with international tech companies disrupting the market when it comes to scale, according to Michael Miller, News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman.

“When we look at our new competitors – the Googles, Facebooks, Amazons, and Twitters – you are seeing that they’ve got enormous scale,” he said.

Nor is it just scale of audiences, “which is how we’ve usually defined scale in the past”, he explained,

“It's scale in terms of data. Scale of brand. Scale of technology and efficiencies. That’s what Australian media companies are lacking.”

Sourced from WARC