WTFN to launch Shoppable TV ‘global first’ with Virtual Store in new series of Space Invaders

WTFN, the makers of hit TV series including Bondi Vet and The Living Room, are partnering with Drawbridge Labs to launch a Virtual Store, full of shoppable 3D products, as part of primetime broadcasting in February.

Promoted during the fourth series of decluttering and home renovation program Space Invaders, which returns to Nine this Saturday, audiences will be able to scan QR codes during the episodes to enter and explore the Virtual Store, guided by host Peter Walsh.

WTFN, the makers of hit TV series including Bondi Vet and The Living Room, are partnering with Drawbridge Labs to launch a Virtual Store, full of shoppable 3D products, as part of primetime broadcasting in February.

Promoted during the fourth series of decluttering and home renovation program Space Invaders, which returns to Nine this Saturday, audiences will be able to scan QR codes during the episodes to enter and explore the Virtual Store, guided by host Peter Walsh.

Using their mobile devices, viewers can walk around the interactive 3D home to touch, explore and purchase the products they are watching on television from sponsors including Kmart, Taubmans, Flooring Xtra, Daikin and Interflora. And these impulse purchases are simple for the viewer as products from any company are paid for and delivered through one channel.

“This is the next frontier of shoppable content in television broadcasting,” said Derek Dyson, Chief Commercial Officer at WTFN Entertainment.

“Brands are always looking for new and innovative ways to demonstrate ROI from television sponsorships and to be able to connect with engaged audiences. The Space Invaders Virtual Store is the latest step to making that happen,” he added.

The Space Invaders Virtual Store was developed by Drawbridge Labs, a new Sydney-based business but one with a team that has a long track-record of developing interactive TV experiences in the international market, from The Oscars and Logies to Big Brother and Test Cricket broadcasting, for clients including ESPN, Disney, Fox, NBC, McDonalds, Toyota and Vodafone.

Drawbridge Labs CEO Gavin Douglas said, “We’re excited to be working with the WTFN team and Space Invaders on Nine. They are tuned into the fact that their viewers are passionate about the show and keen to use their smartphone to engage with the story on TV.

“We’re giving Brands, Agencies and TV Networks the power to engage with their audience and ‘shop the moment’ on their phone, inside 3D immersive experiences. What’s even better is delivering performance-based attribution for the brands on television, with viewers shopping second by second”, he added.

Flooring Xtra is one of the brands participating in this new initiative.

“Television sponsorship has always been a key part of our marketing mix. Sponsoring and featuring in shows like Space Invaders is a compelling way to bring our brand to life,” said Michelle Dow, Marketing Manager at Flooring Xtra. 

“When we were given the chance to participate in the Space Invaders Virtual Store it was an exciting opportunity for us. It allows us to not only drive brand awareness and consideration but also creates a pathway to conversion direct from the television screen. It’s going to be a real step towards the future for our business,” she added. 

Space Invaders returns to Nine at 7.30pm on Saturday 3rd February 2024. When the series launches, the Space Invaders Virtual Store will open at: spaceinvaders.store.

Bondi Vet partners with Blue Ant Media on Love Pets FAST channel

The channel launched in March 2023 and features some of the world’s most popular pet series

Radar MCN has partnered with Canadian broadcaster Blue Ant Media to bring its hit series Bondi Vet to wider global audiences.

The Love Pets FAST channel was launched in March 2023 and will feature a number of popular pet series including the long-running Sydney-based show. After debuting on Sling Freestream, Love Pets is now carried by Vizio, Freeview, Samsung EU, LG and MBC Shahid with more set to be announced later in 2023.

“The deal has allowed us to build on our domestic FAST success with Bondi Vet and scale quickly with a fantastic brand in Love Pets,” said Derek Dyson, General Manager of Radar MCN.

“Blue Ant were a natural fit for us. We’ve already partnered on a number of programs over the years and they are hugely established and ambitious in the FAST space. We look forward to seeing the expansion of Love Pets,” he added.

Radar MCN owns and operates a standalone Bondi Vet FAST channel on Samsung TV Plus and has recently launched Life Down Under on the same platform.

Radar MCN launches Total Distribution

Six months after its global launch, Radar MCN has launched a new proposition aimed at supporting content owners maximise the potential of their content; Total Distribution.

The business has continued its rapid growth in 2023 with the launch of over twenty new channels and bringing in new partnerships including ReDriven and Never Too Small.

Under General Manager Derek Dyson, this new strategy means that Radar MCN will work more closely within the WTFN Group businesses – WTFN Entertainment (production), Fred Media (TV distribution) and Empire Talent (talent management) – to ensure that every right for any type of content is maximised across every available platform, leaving no value languishing on the shelf.

Bondi Vet is a prime example of Total Distribution thinking: having started as a TV series watched at home and then internationally, it is now a content universe that includes four million subscribers across the likes of YouTube and Instagram, in addition to branded AVoD and FAST channels managed by Radar and core content on Blue Ant’s recently launched and rapidly expanding FAST channel network, Love Pets.

Radar MCN will also be looking to offer Total Distribution solutions to an expanded third-party partner base and has recruited former Beyond Rights CEO Kate Llewellyn-Jones to help drive this ambition in a newly created role – Content Partnerships Lead. Joining as a consultant, and based with the Radar team in London, Kate will be looking to work with a range of production companies, content creators and other rights owners to help ensure their untapped rights can be successfully monetised.

Dyson comments: “Radar MCN is the engine driving Total Distribution within the WTFN Group, working end to end with the other business units to ensure every piece of content we represent works across the best mix of platforms – for maximum returns. The fact that we’ve grown out of a creative business makes us unique in this world. We have creativity in our DNA and understand what makes great content. When you combine this with our knowledge of digital opportunities and audiences – and our track record in revenue generation – it explains why content owners are increasingly turning to us for help.”

Life Down Under channel launches on Samsung TV Plus

Radar MCN has launched its second owned FAST channel bringing together a selection of its most well loved shows.

Life Down Under, which will initially be available on Samsung TV Plus in Australia and New Zealand, features hit series including Keeping Up With The Joneses, Lee Chan’s World Food Tour and Tony Robinson’s Time Walks.

“It’s always been an ambition of the business to bring together content from across our extensive library into one broadcast destination. We receive messages from fans every week asking how they catch watch certain series. Now they can do that,” said Radar MCN General Manager Derek Dyson.

Shows like Keeping Up With The Joneses originally broadcast on Network 10

“We’re not just anticipating this being an domestic success. We know through our distribution business Fred Media that appetite for Australian content has never been higher. We’re already in discussions with international partners about taking Life Down Under to the world,” he added.

Radar MCN hit the headlines with its recent announcement of its Total Distribution service; working with content owners to monetise their IP across every available channel worldwide.

“We’re practicing what we preach with Life Down Under. It’s us doing Total Distribution on ourselves; shows that having been sitting on the shelves for some time are now back out there, driving a return,” Dyson added.

Radar MCN secures ReDriven partnership

ReDriven is one of the fastest growing car channels on YouTube

Radar MCN is pleased to announce a new partnership with one of Australia’s leading auto channels, ReDriven.

The YouTube Channel, which was founded by Adam Morris and Sam Rawlings, focussed on the used car market and has build huge traction for its professional and entertainment reviews. It is currently approaching 150,000 subscribers on the platform.

“Teaming up with the Re-Driven team was a no-brainer for us. They have done a fabulous job getting the channel to where it is today and we love the vision of a used car channel, particularly in an economic climate where this market is ever more important,” said Radar MCN Genera Manager, Derek Dyson.

“Key for us too is that is a global channel. The content is evergreen and transcends into other markets. Plus the Facebook opportunity is virtually untapped so we can make a big difference there as well,” he added.

Radar MCN will take over the day-to-day running of the channels to optimise for growth and maximum revenue returns and will launch and relaunch channels on Facebook and Snapchat.

Radar MCN launches Bondi Vet FAST channels

Radar MCN has partnered with some of the world’s biggest FAST platforms to launch a dedicated Bondi Vet Channel.

The channel is hosted on Samsung TV Plus in ANZ while the channel is also available on international platforms including LG, HiSense, Rakuten and Netgem.

Radar MCN General Manager Derek Dyson said, “We’re pleased to have had such great traction for Bondi Vet on FAST channels both here and around the world. Our channel on Samsung TV Plus ANZ is amongst one of the most successful on the platform.”

“We’re planning on launching a series of new channels in 2023 while we are always looking to partner with other content owners who’d like support to launch their own FAST channels,” he added.

Top five simple tips for improving YouTube channel performance

So you’ve set up a YouTube channel and added some content. You’re getting some activity but are wondering why similar channels are doing more views and engagement. 

There are some simple but very effective steps you can take to immediately improve channel performance. Derek Dyson, General Manager of Radar MCN explains. 

1. Thumbnails 

Video thumbnails have become a bit of a dark art in recent years. Go to some very successful YouTube channels such as Mr Beast and you can see examples of best practice in this space. You don’t need to be an Adobe Photoshop Ninja to create effective thumbnails but it is worth putting them in the hands of someone with some basic image editing skills.

It’s really important to ensure that thumbnails are a good representation of what the video is about. Yes make it exciting and try to include a tease of the key scene from the video to draw people in. If for example your thumbnail shows a crocodile in a fight with a snake, but in reality the video is just about crocodile and snake facts, people will soon click away. Make sure all text is legible particularly on a smartphone device. If your content includes “talent” it is always worth including them in the thumbnail. People like to see people on YouTube. 

2. Titles and Descriptions

Along with your thumbnails, putting some proper consideration into your titles and descriptions will go a long way to ensuring people will click on your view. Titles should be relatively succinct and should have consistency in style and tone. Like a newspaper headline they should also give potential audiences the key thing they will get out of watching this video. If we go back to our friend Mr Beast again, his titles are short, consistent, simple and tell you exactly what you are going to see (“I Spent 50 Hours Buried Alive”). Like with thumbnails, make sure that your description is an accurate representation of what happens in the video. YouTube, and audiences, are getting smarter at identifying “click bait”. 

Descriptions (the bit under the video on YouTube) should of course have more information about what the video is about but there is so much more these can be useful for. As a starting point, it’s best practice to have links to other YouTube videos and playlists, as well as calls to action to subscribe to the channel. Think of YouTube as the giant search engine that it is (second only to Google worldwide) and fill your descriptions with key words that will help people find your content.  

3. Playlists 

This one requires discipline and effort but is well worth the reward. Organising your content into different playlists helps audiences navigate their way around your channel. If you have managed to draw someone to watch your content, you want them to stick around and watch more. It is pretty much the best way for you to ensure if someone has finished watching one of your videos, they will automatically be offered the next one to watch. They are more likely to keep going if the next video is on a similar theme. Always make sure someone on the team is responsible for keeping these up-to-date and identifying new potential playlists. Playlists can be promoted in video descriptions and as part of end cards. 

4. Channel Artwork

This is an underrated aspect of best practice on your YouTube Channel. It’s important to have an eye-catching image and branding so audiences are assured that your channel is professionally run. It’s also one of your main noticeboards for audiences and you’ll note that many successful YouTube channels will always have their publishing schedule. For example, “new episodes published weekly” or “new season available”. You’ll need to make sure that you can deliver what you advertise, otherwise audiences who come for new content but don’t see anything published for months will often click away. 

5. Channel Set Up

Sounds really boring but there are ten sections you can complete as part of setting up your YouTube page. Use all of them! These include more simple “about” sections through to the option to have an unsubscribed video trailer for the channel (really worthwhile in terms of driving new subscribers). Make sure that any text reflects the tone of voice for your channel and includes any key words that will help drive search. 

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There is obviously so much more to running a successful and profitable YouTube channel. Radar MCN has a network of channels with millions of subscribers driving billions of views every year. We work with video creators, producers and businesses take their channel to the next level. If you want to do the same, get in touch via our contact page or email at [email protected]

Radar MCN GM Derek Dyson outlines the vision of the business

Award-winning television producer WTFN Entertainment has launched a new division to support its rapidly growing digital content network.

Radar MCN, headquartered in Melbourne and with an office in the UK, will bring together a network of owned channels with millions of subscribers across YouTube, Facebook and Snap, as well as a series of global FAST Channels.

The network, which includes hit TV series Bondi Vet, generates 100s of millions of views per month, and will expand in 2023 with channel launches in the history, food and design space.

Radar MCN’s General Manager Derek Dyson said that unlocking the potential of WTFN’s owned library of content is just the start. “While we’ve managed to extract enormous value out of our existing content library, building channels supported by sustainable content models is our major priority. Now, we are keen to grow our partner base worldwide with production companies, content creators and other rights owners keen to not get left behind in this growing market.”

Dyson leads a team of 10, with Wildbrain’s highly respected Bo Yee Leung joining this month as Radar’s new Senior Digital Rights Lead. She will sit in the UK team alongside Head of Channels Hannah Hopes, also a former Wildbrain – and Endemol – employee, responsible for launching and growing the Mr Bean Facebook channel that has over 130 million subscribers, and Channel Manager Chiara Ronci. Ronci joined the team in 2022 from Warner Bros., where she managed successful YouTube channels such as Super Nanny and Harry Potter Wizarding World. 

Radar MCN recently acquired the much sought-after YouTube Affiliate CMS status, which allows it to manage the rights and channels of third parties.

It has already partnered with several emerging and established content creators to support their drive for audience and commercial growth.

“Getting the YouTube Affiliate Status is a game-changer for us. There are less than 50 businesses worldwide with that tool, which combined with our production and traditional broadcast distribution capabilities, makes us pretty unique in the space,” Dyson said.

“Our proposition is simple. We make you money while you sleep by extracting previously untapped revenue from existing rights. We’ll also track down others pirating your content and get your money back there as well,” he added.

Amongst the new partners are YouTuber Creators such as Oceanliner Designs, which has quadrupled its audiences since partnering with Radar MCN.

“We’ve achieved almost exponential growth from that channel since we started. It was a fantastic channel before but with our strategic support and additional resourcing, its commercial performance is now off the charts,” Dyson said.

Other recently acquired projects for Radar MCN include the broadening out of AVOD channels for The Midnight Screening and Never Too Small, some of YouTube’s most successful movie and home lifestyle channels respectively.

Radar MCN reaches Affiliate CMS status

Radar MCN has achieved Affiliate CMS status with YouTube. This puts the company as one of three Australian businesses with the ability to not only manage rights on its channels, but also the rights and channels of third parties.

Radar MCN General Manager Derek Dyson said: “We’re delighted that YouTube has acknowledged us as one of the top YouTube channel managers is Australia. It’s not something they give away easily so it’s a huge milestone for the business”.

He added, “This ultimately means we can now work with partners in a number of ways, from giving YouTube channels access to our CMS tools such as geo-blocking, protecting and monetising rights. We can work with a range of partners from content owners such as production businesses through to creators who have had success on places like YouTube and want to take it to the next level”.

Bondi Vet Digital Universe

Bondi Vet is one of the world’s most popular digital channels for pet and vet content.

The series, which started life on network television, is now a digital content juggernaut with over 4 million subscribers across the likes of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snap, and driving up to 100m views each month.

As well as traditional AVOD channels, Bondi Vet now has a FAST (Free Advertiser Supported Television) on a range of global platforms including Samsung TV Plus, LG, VIDAA, Freevee and Rakuten.

Radar MCN General Manager Derek Dyson said, “Bondi Vet is our network’s star performer. There is an insatiable appetite for pet and animal content globally, and we’ve build a model that allows us to continually feed that demand.”

“Bondi Vet started as a TV series but it is now very much a content universe. While audiences still enjoy looking back on the classic TV series, the fact that we can offer them original content every week is a real plus for them. It means we can keep growing and add new fans,” he added.