Leading Australian automotive website CarAdvice is to be boned - by its adoptive parents, Channel Nine. CarAdvice will go under the bus directly, but a phoenix will rise.
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Nine has owned CarAdvice outright for a couple of years. The acquisition cost them sixty-something million dollars. In the meantime, Fairfax and Nine merged, essentially because the Federal Government wouldn’t acknowledge a bad idea if it jumped up and bit them.
The merger - and, let’s face it, Nine is on top - the merger meant Nine inherited the red-haired bastard stepchild of motoring, Drive.com.au
Nobody wanted that kid, but somebody had to take care of it. And by ‘take care of it’ I mean lock it in the basement and get the kids at CarAdvice to pretend that they’re also Drive, by hastily re-purposing CarAdvice content.
Not to say ‘I told you so’. But: I told you so. Back when the founders walked out, about a year ago. I think there was a disagreement of sorts. That’s the sense I got of it. They thought the new management were dicks - something of that nature, anyway. So the big cocks - Alborz and Tony - and the comparatively little cock (vis-a-vis CarAdvice founder-hood relativity) Paul, just walked out the door.
Like that - bye. It’s been emotional.
That hammering you heard back then, which you thought was the neighbours erecting an unauthorised deck in the backyard? It was really the coffin nails going in, at CarAdvice.
Hilariously, this is taking place even though CarAdvice has nine times more web traffic than Drive. A bold - some would say ‘contrarian’ - move.
Drive’s mission, of course, is to get you to engage with its online chat centre in the Philippines, so that you give them your contact details and they can slut you out to the nearest new car dealer for $60 a pop, under the table. Like, that’s the business model…
...which would be arbitrage, of sorts, except they’re not paying you for your details. You’re giving it away, free, and getting nothing back (except a call from a red hot car sales dude whose objective is to gut you and fillet you after convincing you to attend the abattoir in which he works), with Nine copping a reach-around in the process. Does that seem like a good deal for you?
I love this industry. Always so entertaining. Except if your neck is on the block at CarAdvice, of course.
Requiescat in pace, CarAdvice, your formerly un-fuckable licence to print money has been Nined.