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  • New
    December 13, 2018

    ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry – Google and Facebook have just [...]

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    On 11th December 2018, the ACCC released its preliminary report on the Digital Platforms Inquiry, and one thing is certain – Google and Facebook won’t be happy after reading it. The draft recommendations are extensive and call for significant changes to privacy and consumer protection laws and new regulatory oversight to monitor and curb the market power exerted by Google and Facebook.
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  • New
    December 11, 2018

    5G Update December 2018 – Telstra leading the race to 5G

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    Q4 2018 has been a busy time for 5G players with the government auctioning valuable spectrum bands and an update on Telstra’s progress on 5G. Australia is tracking well to have initial 5G services in 2019. This will enable strong growth in devices and mobile data consumption.
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  • New
    December 11, 2018

    Hulu casts a spell

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    When its acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes, Disney will own 60% of Hulu. If it bought Comcast’s 30% stake (and WarnerMedia’s 10%), it could fully leverage the platform for its US direct-to-consumer strategy. Comcast’s Hulu stake has little strategic value to it. We argue it should sell to Disney in exchange for long-term supply deals for ESPN, as well as for the upcoming Disney+ and Hulu, similar to its recent pacts with Amazon Prime and Netflix. This could naturally be extended to Sky in Europe depending on whether Disney decides to launch all direct-to-consumer or sticks with pay-TV in certain markets.
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  • New
    December 7, 2018

    Virgin Media UK Q3 2018 results: Cautiously accelerating growth

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    Virgin Media’s revenue growth accelerated in Q3, off the back of improved subscriber ARPU and triple play growth, but actual customer and broadband figures slowed in line with the weakening market. Network roll-out was still (deliberately) slow, with the rate now well below the previous year, and the company indicating that it is not expecting to accelerate, although it is still the fastest new network builder in the UK by some margin. Both the ARPU focus and slow roll-out point to a cautious approach, with the company happier to ensure its existing customers offer good yields than to seek significant market share growth at this stage, which is probably wise.
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  • December 6, 2018

    Refocus imperative at Vodafone UK

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    Vodafone’s deteriorating financial performance is as much due to an increasing margin of underperformance relative to its peers as to challenging markets such as Italy. A strategic refocus on operational performance is long overdue and seems largely sensible, save for the continued push for discount-led convergence products which are driving underperformance. Although Vodafone posted 3% organic EBITDA growth for H1 of this year and is guiding to same for the full year, we view this definition as overly flattering with true EBITDA performance flat and revenues in decline.        
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  • December 5, 2018

    TalkTalk stabilising, but strong growth evasive

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    TalkTalk had very solid Q2 and H1 results, with broadband net adds staying positive, high speed net adds accelerating, revenue growth above 3% and EBITDA rebounding back to growth. This was helped at the revenue line by a price increase in the quarter and in EBITDA terms by steep Openreach price reductions, with strong revenue growth and any EBITDA growth hard to replicate once these effects have annualised out. The company has nonetheless stabilised its subscriber base, revenue and profitability after some erratic years, with cost-cutting providing some potential for growth going forward.
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  • December 5, 2018

    Classifieds Marketing Outlook: All Segments

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    For decades, classifieds were the domain of newspapers, which offered advertisers cheap ads sorted under specific categories. The ads gave shoppers an easy way to browse various local offers, usually from private sellers. But, the jump from print to digital was inevitable and has proven itself to be quite lucrative for digital players. However, in the past few years, as the online classifieds market matures, leading digital classifieds players are attempting to diversify their revenues into new products and services. This is being driven by the need to ensure new sources of revenue growth and to drive customer acquisition and loyalty. In the real estate market, REA and Domain have introduced adjacent services such as mortgage broking and data analytics. In the recruitment market, LinkedIn and SEEK have been investing in technology companies involved in temporary hire, skill development, alternative recruitment and employee engagement.
  • December 4, 2018

    SVOD in the US and UK: A tale of three-player markets

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    There is a belief in some quarters that there is space for a myriad of large SVOD services in the UK. Like the UK, the US market is dominated by three services, but there is also evidence that there is appetite for further offerings: Netflix households tend to take a secondary SVOD service to complement Netflix’s content library, and are likely to take up a third service, and in some cases a fourth and fifth. Potential domestic UK services will struggle to compete with the resources that foreign tech giants can marshal, along with NOW TV’s steady position and top content.  
  • December 3, 2018

    O2 UK: scope for outperformance near-term, solid results thereaft [...]

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    O2 has managed to deliver a solid financial performance over the past several quarters in spite of network constraints which are now resolved. With signs that they are becoming more assertive in the market, and with continued brand strength and low churn, there is scope for that performance to hasten from here. Over the medium to long term, turnaround plans from the other MNOs could thwart outperformance by O2 but with an holistic culture of leading-edge marketing and innovation, we expect at least sustained solid results.
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  • November 30, 2018

    UK HFSS TV watershed idea should be put to bed

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    The ban on pre-9pm TV ads for HFSS (high in fat, salt or sugar) products being considered by the Government would not play a constructive or quantifiable role in reversing the UK’s rising childhood obesity rates. The ban on HFSS product ads since 2008 around children’s programming has not impeded the inexorable rise of childhood obesity. In 2010, Ofcom termed an HFSS watershed ban ‘disproportionate’ and ‘ineffective’. In 2018, a watershed ban would be even less effective. Children’s linear broadcast TV viewing is down by half since 2010, mainly to YouTube’s advantage, which benefits from light-touch HFSS regulation.
  • November 29, 2018

    Automotive Marketing Outlook 2018

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    After hitting record highs in March 2018, new car sales have recorded their seventh straight month of declining sales numbers as declining property prices and higher fuel costs are driving households to curb big-ticket purchases. Vehicle sales for October 2018 were 90,178 vehicles, down 5.3% YoY. Passenger cars declined 23.6% YoY driven in part by the preference for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) which accounted for 44% of all new car sales in Australia for October 2018. While disruptors such as carsharing platforms (carnextdoor and goget) are reducing the need for car-ownership, there hasn’t been any visible impact on the automotive advertising market. We forecast Automotive Display Adex to grow at a 13.2% CAGR through to 2022 to A$891.2mn. Carsales is one of the largest players in the Australian online auto advertising market with a share of 37% in car listing volumes. Its average session duration is approximately two times that of its closest competitor, while the average number of daily unique visitors to its website is 57% higher.
  • November 28, 2018

    Telemedicine and AI Outlook in Primary Care

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    In this report, we provide a brief overview of ‘telemedicine’ including a 2035 forecast of the impact of telehealth tools, both human and artificial intelligence, in relation to ‘unreferred medical services’2 in the primary health market. This report does not assess or analyse the full potential for telemedicine which derives from other applications, such as remote surgical operations, sharing of digital health records or remote patient monitoring. These activities clearly would have significant additional benefits to the those explored in this report. The report outlines the importance of primary care in shaping Australian health and seizing ever-increasing health costs.
  • November 27, 2018

    Telemedicine in Australia

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    In this report, we provide a brief overview of ‘telemedicine’ and business models associated with provision of telemedicine services along with barriers that may slow down adoption of the online tool. Venture Insights believes that telemedicine will play an important tool in scoping the primary care in Australia- changing the way GPs deliver their services. We believe that the inefficiencies in healthcare, growing health costs and rising demand for quality care lead to a rising need for disruption: tools that can reduce costs while driving access to care.
  • November 20, 2018

    BT Q2 2018/19 results: Beating expectations, guidance still look [...]

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    BT’s Q2 results were well ahead of both its full year guidance run-rate and financial market expectations, with revenue flat and EBITDA up 3% versus guidance and consensus at -2% for both metrics. Operating metrics were more mixed, with broadband churn high and (our estimate of) net adds low, but fixed ARPU was solid, backed up by rapid adoption of BT Plus, fibre adoption re-accelerated and mobile was strong across all metrics. While part of the outperformance was likely due to H1/H2 phasing, it also reflects fairly conservative expectations and a solid operating performance, and hence full year guidance still looks very beatable, with a positive outlook beyond this.
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  • November 19, 2018

    Australian Mobile Telco Market Outlook

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    The Australian mobile market has been traditionally characterised as a mature market with steady growth driven by population growth and mobile broadband. However, this market is about to see strong innovation (5G) and disruption (TPG-Vodafone merger) in the next few years. We forecast the mobile market will remain the largest segment in the overall telco market with A$22.3bn in revenue by 2022. With the merger between TPG and Vodafone to form a third full service telco in the market, we expect the competitive intensity to increase with incumbents facing pricing and margin pressure from 2018-19 onwards. However, despite TPG’s aggressive initial pricing and service offering, at this stage we have been conservative in our estimates with respect to TPG-Vodafone’s impact on incumbent market shares as we expect a gradual subscriber take-up of the network over 2018-2022. The arrival of 5G and emergence of wireless access to the Internet as an alternative to fixed broadband means that the mobile market will continue to experience strong growth, with ARPUs steadying. Venture Insights believes that 5G coupled with IoT will enable the transition from a connectivity based revenue model to a services based revenue model for mobile operators.
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  • November 16, 2018

    UK PSB SVOD

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    The Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) have been mulling a possible SVOD service, a decade after their ad-supported Project Kangaroo was blocked on competition grounds. Even if a reboot between the BBC and ITV were this time to be approved, we do not think Kangaroo 2 can succeed as a significant SVOD entrant in its home turf of the UK, above all because it’s too late. Other flaws in the offer are that it would be too small, non-premium, too old (archive), and too old (viewing profile), plus lacking sufficient financial resource to produce a pipeline of unique series.
  • November 15, 2018

    UBS Conference: What could the media landscape look like in 5 yea [...]

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    Venture Insights attended the annual UBS Investors Conference for 2018 on 12th and 13th November, with a number of interesting panels across the two days. The participants of the Media panel were unanimous in their view that while digital remains an important area of growth, traditional media operators are starting to get their act together and are aligning their offerings more closely with customer preferences.
  • November 15, 2018

    UBS Australasia Conference – 5G’s accelerating progress

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    Venture Insights attended the annual UBS Investors Conference for 2018 on 12th and 13th November, with a number of interesting panels across the two days. The participants of the 5G panel moderated by Venture Insights commented on the positive effects 5G will have on not just the telco industry but also verticals such as healthcare, transportation and manufacturing.
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  • November 13, 2018

    BBC drama: a loosening grip

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    A string of big, bold hits like Bodyguard, Killing Eve and Little Drummer Girl has reinvigorated the perception of the BBC’s drama schedule, with massive ratings and a coveted place in the public conversation. However, the lack of the broadcaster’s top dramas actually produced by BBC Studios—declining to just 4 of the top 25 in 2018—is cause for ongoing concern. At a time when the BBC is attempting to bulk up the iPlayer and programme IP has become the bedrock broadcasting asset, the BBC could be better placed.
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  • November 13, 2018

    Misplaced UK media spend in a booming identity economy: a brand o [...]

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    Most UK consumer spending, and the vast majority of its growth, is in categories which reflect who we are and where we feel we belong: lifestyle signifiers, passions, and social activities. Communities are at the heart of this growing economy, but ad spend on media which visibly targets us as members of a group in a relevant context has on average lagged behind in these categories. Advertisers recognising the power of emotionally and culturally relevant context in media, sponsorships or events, are finding an opportunity for building brands for the identity economy.
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  • November 12, 2018

    Radcomms 2018 & the upcoming 3.6GHz spectrum auctions

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    ACMA’s premier conference Radcomms 2018 was held on October 30-31 with industry experts presenting and discussing a range of topical issues regarding spectrum regulation, new emerging trends and industry policies. Australia’s spectrum regulation should be fast tracked to enable telcos to deploy next generation technologies faster to consumers. We expect strong competition for spectrum in the upcoming 3.6GHz auction.
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  • November 6, 2018

    Recruitment Marketing Outlook

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    The Net Employment Outlook for 2018 for Australia has improved compared to CY2017—Employment Outlook peaked at 13% (a six-year high) in March 2018, before falling to 11% in September 2018. Unemployment rate decreased to 5.0% (a six-year low) in September 2018 from 5.5% in August 2017. Seek is the dominant player in the job boards industry, while LinkedIn is a dominant player in the Professional Networks space. While alternative job boards exist, they are unlikely to challenge Seek’s dominance at least in the Australian market. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are transforming the industry by allowing recruitment companies to offer better job recommendations and data driven insights    
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  • November 5, 2018

    UK Radio’s evolution towards a digital future

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    ­­­­Radio faces challenges from Spotify and other online audio propositions, while the radio “dial” is challenged by smart speakers and global tech. UK radio broadcasters have risen to the occasion through innovation. New DAB stations have helped radio achieve record audiences and revenues. Combined digital listening is now over 50%, but FM remains the primary platform. The current mix of FM/AM and digital maintains radio’s relevance for the medium term. The long-term future is digital—a wide-ranging sector review is required to determine how to support digital radio’s growth and the question of a future switchover.  
  • November 2, 2018

    UK PSB solidarity and collaboration

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    The Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) are in the process of sliding from TV dominance to middling contenders, in terms of content expenditure and significance to viewers. There are calls from many sides that the PSBs need to collaborate in order to thrive, in an era when global debt-funded SVOD services are making all the running. This note explores what can realistically be achieved by PSB collaboration; where partnerships work best; and the areas best avoided.  
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