Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) on 26th November launched a new channel 9Life, and it kicked-off with a bang attracting large audiences from the start. Heralded as the newest lifestyle channel to complement their other multi-channel offerings, 9Life is skewed towards women, with programming being 100% US content, focused on lifestyle, home and interior decorating. Nine have left Gem skewed towards an older audience, and GO! as a younger targeted channel.
9Life has programming that runs on the Foxtel channel Arena, such as Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and New Jersey, Tiny House Big Living, Flip or Flop as well as many others. This type of programming appeals to the buying demographics Women 25-54 and Grocery Buyers with Children. This has been reflected in the station shares over the last week as it has beaten most of the other established multi-channels for a portion of TTPL share, and dominated against Women demos for multi-channels.
With audience flitting around channels, and programme loyalty not being what it once was, it’s hardly surprising TV networks are looking at ways to incorporate all buying demographics under their respective banners. To build loyalty and differentiate themselves, 9 have rebranded their network to ensure that their logo is incorporated across all channels, which is an established symbol for consumers.
NEC are first to move to launch other channels and be able to capture all target audiences, the other networks will surely follow suit and launch more channels, focused on various demographics. This will give the viewer many more options with which to flip around with, all without needing a Pay TV subscription. However, this will only split audiences more than it has over the last 12 months. It is becoming harder and harder to find a solid audience week to week, and the introduction of more channels will only make this more difficult.
While the majority of viewers were on 9 Main watching the first Day/Night Cricket Test, 6% of W25-54 and 7% of W18-39 tuned in for 9Life’s first Sunday night of existence which was a fantastic result. For its first full week against the other established multi channels, 9Life faired extremely well when looking at Womens demographics.
Whilst the new channel may take time to settle as its audience discovers it properly, it has already managed to take share away from the established multi-channels. Given this strong start, 9Life is in a good position to become the premier female skewed multichannel, akin to 7Mate for the Male demographics. There is the distinct possibility it may also pick up some first run programming moving forward, which would hurt Foxtel as it uses first run programming as one of its main drawcards. 9Life offers a strong alternative, which may be niche, but ‘something different’ is what TV audiences are crying out for.