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Navigating TV’s industrial revolution – the Ticker way

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Ticker began in 2019, with a goal to create a platform for thought leaders. Now in its fifth year, the company is growing and scaling, writes Ticker Founder Ahron Young.

I had an awkward phone conversation when I started Ticker. It was with a potential investor who had lost money investing in media before.

I expected a relaxed chat – Maybe some advice or some inspirational insights. But she was far more direct.

“What’s your revenue strategy?” She inquired. Before I could answer, she continued “Because I’d never again invest in a company that relies on subscriptions or advertising.”

I paused. Not long ago I’d been a journalist and bureau chief, sent to cover some of the biggest stories around the world while trying to manage the entire Melbourne operation. I don’t recall ever asking where the money was coming from to send me to far-flung news destinations like Afghanistan and Gallipoli. That was someone else’s job. Mine was to observe and deliver my lines to camera.

“So no ads or subs – what else is there?” I asked, naively.

She said, “You’re the entrepreneur. You tell me”.

It was the wake-up call I needed. There would be no saviour, no angel investor. Ticker had to do something brand new, from scratch, with no funding runway. From day one it was literally innovate or die.

Ticker’s presenters Daniel Cogrove (left) and Mike Loder (right) with Delivery Lead producer Georgie Jennings (middle).

TV’s industrial revolution

My first job was to tackle the high cost of creating TV news. Most proprietors are billionaires for a reason. We took on a creative approach – finding partners around the globe to build new products that allow us to create great content, efficiently. Our presenters direct their shows live. We leveraged automation workflows.

In the pre-pandemic days of 2019, Netflix was winning over investors. Companies like Vox, Vice, Now This, Pedestrian and Cheddar were growing their brands. News channels were popping up everywhere. But underneath it all, the advertising model was changing.

There were technical advantages and the benefits of having a smaller footprint. Local TV stations had offices around the country, in regional areas too, with high-cost communications lines linking them all up, huge transmission towers on mountains, and eye-watering satellite costs. Their sales teams had to pay for all of that before making money for programs.

Ticker began in a small co-working space. But being in that environment was pivotal to our success. TV is funny because you wear your ideas on the outside. Everyone can see your failures, so you need to have a thick skin.

For Ticker, a few things were clear early on – there would be no help from social media companies, and no assistance from the government. They might want to save existing journalism jobs, but they weren’t proactive about creating new ones.

Ticker’s new program Investment Insights

Business model

As it turned out, Ticker’s business model found us, thanks to traditional supply and demand. On day one, August 19, 2019, we received hundreds of pitches from publicists, business leaders, and PR agents – saying they had been demanding someone to supply a platform for thought leaders and businesses.

We were discovered by business owners like Steven Enticott, Jules Brooke, Natalie Giddings and Scott Kilmartin. They saw the potential for how our shows could help grow their business. We scattered their chat shows around our news programs and created a schedule.

So we took that demand and supplied them with a business. Native advertising and program ownership (outside of our news programs). We defend our editorial standards, and our clients respect that. It means no alcohol ads, no gambling ads, no reliance on political advertising. No one pays for an interview either.

We built studios in Singapore and New York, and at various times we hired journalists in London, Paris, Brussels, Canberra, Washington and New York. Every day we interview dozens of news guests and leaders from right across the world.

Our brand and mission attracted high-profile program hosts, including ex-footballer Chris Judd, SEO king Harry Sanders, and Airport Economist Tim Harcourt. For them, Ticker is a platform to reach global business leaders.

Building and scaling

This mantra allowed us to build a network of FAST (Free ad-supported TV) platforms right around the globe. We work with the TV manufacturers. Never complain, never explain.

We think more like a tech company than a media company. For example, we recently appointed a Delivery Lead to make sure our content creation runs smoothly – a role commonly found in tech firms.

I bought a toy train set on an infinite loop track to remind us that shows don’t end, they keep going. If we do it right, they’ll last forever. It’s been a huge hit and visitors to our office always take photos.

The Ticker Infinite Loop

Move fast

We pivot quickly. If something isn’t working, we move on. Clinging on to today’s hope doesn’t pay tomorrow’s bills.

In hindsight, I’m thankful for that investor conversation early on. I’m glad we didn’t take her money. It would have allowed us to waste time trying to make a bad idea work for longer.

Ticker Founder Ahron Young speaking at the TV2025 panel at the NAB Show in New York, 2023.

When you live or die by the sword, make sure to sharpen the sword

It’s been a terrible few years for media companies.. CNN+ was shut after three weeks and $300 million spent, WB Discovery announced New Zealand’s Newshub will close, and even the industry bible TVNewsCheck stopped publishing content two weeks ago in response to the advertising downturn. Meta announced plans to pull out of its local news partnerships. TVNZ is losing millions. The BBC is grappling with the future of its licence fee. Local TV stations across the U.S. are losing millions. Warners has $44 billion in debt, radio titans are either trying to merge or begging their banks to extend their loans. Aussie TV networks are facing a double digit drop in advertising.

For media companies to survive, it’s no longer about how many viewers you have, but who and where those viewers are. What is your niche? For Ticker, it’s professionals and business leaders with big ideas. They live around the world – business class travellers, digital nomads, some are even stateless. They make big decisions and aspire for more. They use LinkedIn, Instagram and catch the news when they see it.

We turned our backs on traditional ideas and focused on what makes us Ticker. We surrounded ourselves with people who wanted to be at Ticker. Viewers will always need information and companies will always need marketing. It’s our job to keep costs down and to create value.

In October I was invited to New York to sit on the TVNewsCheck TV2025 panel to discuss the future of monetisation in TV. I sat between the EVP of advertising for Disney and NBC Universal – both companies I have always admired.

The TV Industrial Revolution is here. But without drastic change, the revolution will not be televised.

Ahron Young is Ticker’s Founder and CEO.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Why are Americans moving abroad?

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Inflation and the rising cost of living in the United States is motivating Americans to consider moving to other countries.

Have you ever dreamed of working or retiring abroad?

Well, more and more Americans are discovering that their income can stretch much further in other countries, allowing them to save more, pay off debts, and even get ahead financially.

Kelli Maria Korduck a contributor with Business Insider joins Veronica Dudo to discuss why Americans are deciding that the only way to get ahead is to leave.

#IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #livingabroad #movingabroad #inflation #travel

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Boston Dynamics’ electric marvel or robot contortionist?

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Boston Dynamics has recently unveiled its latest creation, the electric Atlas robot, boasting enhanced agility and strength.

However, with its uncanny ability to contort and rise from the ground with an almost eerie grace, one might wonder if we’re witnessing the birth of the world’s first robot contortionist.

As this technological marvel flaunts its capabilities, one can’t help but ponder if we’re on the brink of a future where household chores will be effortlessly handled by robots moving like a fusion of ballet dancers and horror movie monsters.

With its cadaver-like movements and illuminated head, it’s hard not to speculate whether Atlas is destined to revolutionise robotics or simply rehearsing for a techno-horror rendition of The Nutcracker. As Boston Dynamics continues to push the boundaries of robotics, the line between science fiction and reality becomes increasingly blurred.

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The Coffee confusion causing health concerns

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As the morning sun peeks through the curtains, many reach for that familiar brew, kickstarting their day with a comforting cup of coffee.

It’s a ritual ingrained in cultures worldwide, offering a jolt of energy to combat the grogginess of dawn.

But when is the optimal time for that caffeine fix? According to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD, LD, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

Some experts suggest delaying that first sip until mid-morning or later. However, DiMarino reassures coffee lovers that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this dilemma.

Meanwhile, the science behind coffee production unveils fascinating insights into its instant variant. Whether produced through freeze-drying or spray-drying methods, instant coffee offers convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Yet, beyond convenience, recent studies delve deeper into coffee’s impact on our bodies. Research exploring the acute effects of decaffeinated versus caffeinated coffee reveals intriguing findings on reaction time, mood, and skeletal muscle strength.

Moreover, investigations into the gut microbiome shed light on coffee’s influence on liver cirrhosis patients. A study analyzing the duodenal microbiome in this population found correlations between coffee consumption and microbial richness and evenness.

So, as you sip your coffee and ponder the day ahead, consider not just the flavour in your cup but also the subtle impacts it may have on your body and mind.

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