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Latest Reports

Venture Insights reports inform and enable better decision making through independent, objective, and high quality insights, analysis and thought leadership across the media, digital and telco industries in Australia and New Zealand and with global insight from our European partner, Enders.

  • New
    May 13, 2021

    Venture Insights AU survey 2021: Broadband market converges as NB [...]

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    In our previous reports, we have raised issues around ARPU pressure on mobile service providers and highlighted the importance of price as a driver of telecommunications buying. We have said that competitive intensity (along with aftereffects of COVID-19) will put pressure on ARPUs which in turn requires a strong focus on keeping costs under control to maintain profitability.
  • New
    May 13, 2021

    TV advertising: Evolving the model

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    Advertising income has been the lifeblood of commercial TV for decades, but declining linear audiences—combined with digital video alternatives—mean the TV advertising model must evolve to ensure it remains as potent a medium for brands as ever. Lack of effective audience measurement and somewhat opaque advertiser/agency/sales house relationships are hampering linear TV advertising revenues. Both issues need resolving to underpin a healthier ecosystem overall. Flexibility is key to this evolution. A move to audience buys across most linear and BVOD inventory would provide greater flexibility and targeting for advertisers, and would sit alongside some premium context buys. A greater onus on volume deals would give broadcasters more certainty to invest in content and their advertising propositions.
  • New
    May 12, 2021

    BT Sport for sale: All change for the game changer

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    A move away from premium sport is long overdue from BT, with there having proved to be little strategic, 'halo' or other cross-over benefit to its core broadband and mobile businesses. Following a press leak the night before, BT last week (29 April 2021) confirmed that "early discussions" were taking place with "a number of select strategic partners" concerning the BT Sport business. The press leak revealed further that the discussions related to the sale of a stake in the business, with DAZN, Amazon, Disney and ITV reportedly in the frame.
  • New
    May 12, 2021

    Premier League rights: Forgoing a faithful formula?

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    The Premier League is reportedly seeking to roll over its existing domestic TV rights deal, in a bid to shore up its financial position given its losses during the pandemic In the wake of an explosion of football news surrounding the failed European Super League (ESL) breakaway, the Premier League reportedly wants to forgo the next auction for its live domestic broadcasting rights (which would cover the three seasons from 2022-25), and instead roll over its existing deals with Sky, BT and Amazon with broadly similar packages. Should this be achieved, we would expect to see a substantial discount in the negotiated price. It remains unknown whether the rollover would encompass all three seasons or simply delay the auction by a year or two. While there are obvious benefits for all the involved parties—mainly centring around financial stability and certainty, especially given the pandemic, which has cost the Premier League clubs an estimated additional £1.5 billion of operating losses[1]—the enormous sums at stake mean that negotiations are likely to be fierce. Reportedly, the Premier League has also sought permission from the UK government to pursue such an arrangement. [1] We estimate the collective operating losses of the 20 Premier League clubs to be c. £1.4 billion in fiscal 2020 and c. £1.3 billion in fiscal 2021. This compares to a baseline of £580 million of operating losses in 2019, pre-pandemic. Figures do not account for player trading.
  • May 6, 2021

    Venture Insights NZ survey 2021: No end in sight for NZ mobile co [...]

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    In our previous reports, we have raised issues around ARPU pressure on mobile service providers and highlighted the importance of price as a driver of telecommunications buying. We have said that competitive intensity (along with aftereffects of COVID-19) will put pressure on ARPUs which in turn requires a strong focus on keeping costs under control to maintain profitability.
  • May 6, 2021

    ITV Q1 2021 results: Returning to 2019 levels

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    Total advertising revenues were down 6% year-on-year in Q1, but strong expected growth in Q2 should ensure H1 is on par with 2019, and up 26% on 2020 Coming into the first quarter of this year—following the strong end to 2020—there was little market visibility of TV advertising revenues due to the possible impact of Brexit on advertisers' supply chains, and of course the effect of the pandemic over the winter. ITV reported total advertising revenues down just 6% year-on-year to ÂŁ402 million, with the market being stronger than previously anticipated. Perhaps of greater interest, however, is the outlook ITV gave for April to June, given the 43% total advertising revenue decline ITV experienced last year as a direct result of COVID-19. In contrast April was up 68% while May and June are expected to be up at least 85%. While these are certainly buoyant figures, it should be noted that this would mean H1 2021 would be on par with 2019.  
  • May 5, 2021

    BBC licence fee settlement: Push outside London will need further [...]

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    • The launch of the BBC’s blueprint for its approach to the Nations and Regions is timely, coinciding with the kick-off of negotiations over the BBC’s financial settlement for the next charter period
    • If the licence fee were to be frozen or only an inflationary increase applied, by 2027 the BBC’s annual licence income would be ÂŁ302-539 million lower in real terms. Just to maintain the BBC's current levels of funding, it would need an inflationary increase, plus an annual increase of 2.0%
    • The BBC's commercial ventures are unlikely to cover any shortfall in licence fee income. To generate sufficient dividends to cover the shortfall for the PSB group, income produced by BBC Studios (and the BBC’s other commercial ventures) would need to grow by an order of magnitude
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  • May 4, 2021

    Apple’s privacy rollout: A trial for regulators

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    Apple this week rolled out new restrictions on the collection of mobile user data by third-party businesses. From Monday, all apps submitted to the App Store must enable the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) program, which requires app owners to display an opt-in window  by default before tracking users across third-party sites: Apple says it will ban apps that offer users rewards for enabling tracking. Developers estimate that around 80% of users may opt out, upending advertisers' ability to follow high-value iOS users across multiple apps and services. This lucrative pool of more than a billion mobile users is more robust than ever, with Apple reporting a 66% jump in iPhone sales last quarter.  
  • April 29, 2021

    Deals not quite done: 5G spectrum auction final results

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    The main part of the second UK 5G spectrum auction completed on 17 March 2021, with the nature and number of blocks won by each operator decided, and we discussed the results and implications in End-of-line spectrum 50% off: UK second 5G auction results. This morning (27 April 2021) Ofcom announced the final results of the auction, which incorporates the assignment stage, i.e. deciding which particular blocks of very similar spectrum each operator receives, as well as announcing a proposed spectrum trade (still subject to Ofcom approval) between Vodafone and O2.  
  • April 29, 2021

    The push for OpenRAN: Careful what you wish for

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    The term ‘OpenRAN’ covers both the separation of hardware and software across different RAN (Radio Access Network, the 'last mile' of mobile networks) elements (essentially the boxes that sit next to the antenna, at the bottom of the antenna, and/or in a nearby exchange), and having open interfaces between these elements in a variety of configurations. If this is standardised (i.e. standardising the hardware/software split and the APIs), this would allow the 'mixing and matching' of different vendors within an operator's RAN; while many operators currently have more than one RAN supplier even within a single country, these are separated geographically, and on any given site equipment has to be replaced or upgraded (to 5G for example) using equipment from the original supplier.  
  • April 29, 2021

    Netflix Q1 2021: Muted growth, but after a massive 2020, does it [...]

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    Growth is down but the benefits from COVID-19 have been banked and are enduring

    Netflix added four million subscribers (net adds) in Q1 2021, compared to 15.7 million in Q1 2020. As we have noted in previous reports, 2020 was the most abnormal, fertile and opportune environment imaginable for streaming services—see the growth of Disney+—pulling forward new subscribers, delaying churn, and allowing Netflix to add 36.6 million net subscribers globally (versus 18.2 million in 2019). All, while pushing up engagement levels as linear competition was disproportionally hobbled by production shutdowns and out-of-home entertainment was put out of action.  
  • April 21, 2021

    Brief reprieve from COVID turbulence: UK mobile market in Q4 2020

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    The sector rebounded slightly in the quarter to December thanks to a seasonal improvement in the roaming drag, although the partial lockdown tempered the recovery. We await imminent news on spectrum trading, and there may also be some licence fee reductions as a consequence of the lower prices in the recent 5G auction. While the sector is likely to continue to struggle into Q1, the outlook is much brighter thereafter thanks to the annualisation and even reversal of some lockdown effects, and to higher price increases from the spring.
  • April 21, 2021

    Super League, super backlash: Naked power bid over European compe [...]

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    On Sunday, 12 football clubs announced they were launching a new European league with an inaugural season “as soon as practicable”. The 12 Super League clubs include six English teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur), and three Spanish teams (Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona) and three Italians (Inter and AC Milan plus Juventus).
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  • April 19, 2021

    Spotify Loud & Clear: 5% of artists generate above $1,000 in [...]

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    Spotify paid $5 billion in royalties last year to the music industry. Critics claim the $0.0038 per-stream average royalty rate is too low. However, this is largely due to high volumes of ad-funded listening, a core part of Spotify’s freemium model, and a defence against piracy. To silence the critics, the “Spotify Loud & Clear” site presents data on the distribution of industry royalties, which are heavily skewed to established artists. Only the top 5% of artists generate annual industry royalties above $1,000, though they take home less under their deals.
  • April 19, 2021

    AVOD Market Report: A market assessment of a thriving industry

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    The AVOD market will grow due to the strong uptake of Connected TVs (CTVs), attracting new players and increasing competition: Why will AVOD grow? The rapid adoption of CTVs has become the catalyst for AVOD consumption, prompting marketers to shift their expenditure from linear to AVOD.
  • April 16, 2021

    US content distribution: Studios go direct to consumer

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    Despite relying on a narrow IP base, US content production is booming, overwhelming other markets and seeking alternative distribution to cinemas. Responding to the rise of Netflix and Amazon Prime, studios seek to shift distribution from wholesale to retail—but only Disney may succeed. Most content is likely to remain accessed by consumers through bundles. Provided they engage with aggregation, European broadcasters can adjust to the new studio model.
  • April 15, 2021

    Venture Insights NZ survey 2021: Mobile media use and telco oppor [...]

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    Venture Insights performs an annual consumer survey on mobile media and mobile gaming across New Zealand (NZ). It asks questions around video streaming that consumers use, willingness to pay services, mobile gaming, and implications for 5G and telcos. Our latest survey was conducted in March 2021 with 1,009 New Zealand respondents, and the key findings have been presented here. The survey results show that there is a significant and growing segment of consumers using mobile to watch video services, including sport. The share of respondents that never watch mobile video has fallen significantly over the last year. Further, there is a persistent opportunity for telcos to upsell 5G services to both video viewers and gamers.
  • April 8, 2021

    Venture Insights AU survey 2021: Consumer interest in mobile medi [...]

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    Venture Insights performs an annual consumer survey on mobile media and mobile gaming across Australia. It asks questions around video streaming services the consumers use, willingness to pay for video streaming services, mobile gaming, and implications for 5G and telcos. Our latest Australia survey was conducted in March 2021, and the key findings are presented here. The survey results show that there is a significant and stable segment of consumers using mobile to watch video services, including sport, that remans unaffected by the impact of the pandemic. Further, there is a persistent opportunity for telcos to upsell 5G services to both video viewers and gamers.
  • April 8, 2021

    The recovery stutters: UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends [...]

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    • Market revenue growth sunk back to -3% in Q4 from -2% in Q3, with further backbook pricing and lockdown effects to blame.
    • Backbook pricing will improve with numerous price increases announced, but these will only start to take effect in Q2 2021.
    • Demand for broadband and ultrafast looks promising, but will also take time to filter through to revenue, with Q1 again lockdown affected.

  • April 6, 2021

    Sky and football: Italian wager on aggregation

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    The contract includes exclusive coverage of seven weekly games (including top picks) and non-exclusive rights to the other three fixtures, for €840 million per year. In the current cycle DAZN holds three games per week for €193 million. Crucially, DAZN has displaced Sky as the lead broadcaster, displaying a dramatic shift in strategy.