Fox News Media targets new subscribers and advertisers

  • Fox News aims to accelerate a series of branded extensions to broaden its appeal as news fatigue sets in.
  • It adds more warm and patriotic food alongside opinion content.
  • It is also stepping up its efforts to develop the Fox Nation streaming app, which has more than one million subscribers.

After President Trump, a raging pandemic, social justice riots and an attack on Capitol Hill catapulted Fox News into record-breaking audience territory last year, the odds fell back on Earth.

But the Murdochs are not standing still. Rupert Murdoch and his son, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, have spent the last few weeks at the company’s New York headquarters, focused on making the multi-billion dollar Fox News palatable to a wider group of viewers and of advertisers.

As the network enters its 25th year, they are expanding outside of news and opinion at a positive and patriotic rate to attract a younger audience and those who don’t even consider themselves conservatives. Marketers who might have turned pale having their posts sandwiched between Judge Jeanine and MyPillow’s ads run by Mike Lindell, infamous for his allegations of electoral fraud, can now choose the homier tariff.

In April, the network launched a right-wing late-night comedy show with Greg Gutfeld. In September, Fox Business swapped prime-time opinion broadcasts for documentary-style programming on American Engineering Wonders and dream homes.

In prime time, Fox News is larger than CNN and MSNBC combined, with an average total audience of 2.37 million in the third trimester, according to Nielsen. According to Nielsen, coverage of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, immigration issues at the southern border, anger over vaccination warrants and segments of the cancellation culture have boosted his share of cable news to 50%, compared to 45% in the third quarter of last year. data until September 22.

News fatigue hits the cable in all areas. Fox’s flagship network is down 32% in prime time from a year ago. Fox News hopes to capture viewers on TV, online, or through a podcast or radio show, maybe even a book. Fox is also betting that its new weather channel, Fox Weather, slated to launch this month, will allow the company to make brand links for products such as flu drugs that its news networks cannot. not to do.

“The next phase is to expand genres,” said Jeff Collins, executive vice president of ad sales for Fox News Media. “What this means for customers is that we can reach consumers in different contextual environments.”

Fox bets lighter fare will win over new viewers

Fox Nation was chock-full of opinion content when it launched in November 2018, and the $ 5.99-per-month streaming app recently added Clint Eastwood movies and a “Cops” reality show in addition to a Lifestyle interview show presented by Tucker Carlson and controversial series host Piers Morgan. Holiday-themed wellness films are also on the way.

“We are focused on creating a complementary experience to expand the reach of Fox News Media,” said Fox Nation President Jason Klarman, adding that Fox Nation attracts people from all political backgrounds. “Part of that is getting other people in through the door.”

With around 1 million subscribers, according to estimates, Fox Nation has a challenge of scale, however. “They need to add some compelling original content for Fox News superfans,” said independent research analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson. “It’s not the same model as SVOD entertainment which uses big movies and expensive series and in-depth libraries to compete.”

Some advertisers remain suspicious of the network, however

Katerina Eva Matsa, Associate Director at Bench search, pointed out that more Democrats and Independents already watch Fox News than people realize, and its viewers aren’t as right-wing as other TV stations like NewsMax and OANN. Whether they trust the content is another matter, she added.

Collins maintains that news is always powerful in attracting a live audience, which has helped Fox attract hundreds of new customers last year.

And data from measurement firm SMI suggests Fox News may charge more than its rivals. A Fox News CPM, or cost per thousand viewers, is $ 20, while CNN is $ 15 and MSNBC is $ 13, according to data through July 2021. Average cable programming, excluding sports , is $ 17. In digital video, Fox is also able to charge more than its competitors, at $ 27 per CPM.

But Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at ad-buying giant GroupM, said that while some advertisers only want eyes, others will be reluctant to direct dollars to Fox, even its content with no opinion. . He wondered where a Fox-branded weather channel on climate change, for example, would be.

Asked how he persuades skeptical New York-based media buyers to spend on Fox News, Collins said, “The vast majority of customers put their emotions aside and make the best decisions for their customers. What we’re trying to do is present the facts and take the analysis. and numbers and take the emotion out of decisions. “

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