Is the Millennial generation the most import demographic to consider in your content strategy? Junkee founder and CEO, Neil Ackland, sits down to discuss why this generation has grabbed our attention and how we can grab theirs.
Rakhal: Neil, you’ve pioneered one of Australia’s leading media companies, Junkee Media. A result of the rebrand by Sound Alliance, which in 2015 last year you announced its intent to focus on delivering lifestyle content for an audience of 18 to 35-year-olds. Not much more than a year later we now see Junkee as well and truly delivering on that and is one of the leading media publishers for millennials in Australia. Junkee Media now owns and operates Junkee, of course, FasterLouder, in the mix, and now as we discussed, AWOL.com.au.
You’ve really made your mark on that audience of Australian millennials. Neil, can you tell us a little bit about Junkee’s transformation from Sound Alliance. What made you, I guess make that decision to form Junkee Media as it is today?
Neil: There were some big forks in the road, if you like, that we’d seen with the business and it felt like it was time for a change. The main things that changed was the audience and how they were consuming content had fundamentally changed and our mobile usage was sitting around 65-70% of all of our traffic was coming from mobile so that felt like a fundamental difference.
The other thing that was really different was our business model. For the first decade that we’d been in business was primarily selling display banner advertising around our content and what had fundamentally changed with the launch of Junkee was that Junkee had a native content model to support it, so we were moving away from the display.
I think for the first time last year we tipped over more than 50% of our revenue was coming from native content, so that felt like a real tipping point for us. Lastly, the business had started with music which was the sound of Sound Alliance, if you like, and a bit more recently we diversified beyond music and we were in pop culture and travel and the future of the business was gonna be still to have music at the core, but cater to much broader interests that young people are into, so the sound of Sound Alliance no longer really reflected what we were about.
Junkee had been a phenomenal success for us winning awards and explosive growth and we just felt like the Junkee attitude was the right attitude for the entire business. Junkee is all about being smart, ballsy, funny and interesting. It’s about the things that matter and the things that don’t, and we wanted to take that entirety of thoughts and apply it across our broader business.