COVID-19 based cyberattacks\ UK TV’s supply challenge\ Amazon’s Premier League\ Sports subscribers



Welcome to the Venture Insights newsletter!
In this week’s edition, we look at COVID-19 based cyberattacks and the increase in work from home, UK TV’s supply challenge and effect of COVID-19, Amazon’s Premier League performance and impact of COVID-19 on the media sector. 


With the recent events surrounding Coronavirus, are you expecting to work from home and/or increase your number of days working from home?




COVID-19 based cyberattacks and the increase in work from home

Website showing coronavirus map with malware contained behind the website

There have been many reports of cyber criminals using the COVID-19 pandemic to trick users into installing cyber viruses, purchasing false products and/or divulging sensitive personal or business information. Given the range of potential impacts that cyber criminals can have on organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have highlighted that cyber security must be taken seriously at all levels of the organisations and individuals. Venture Insights has suggested 7 immediate recommendations as a checklist for businesses with staff working from home to manage cyber security risks including: securing home hardware and software, securing Wi-Fi networks, updating passwords, being hyper alert to phishing, sms and phone scams and backing up data. We have also collated six key questions executive managers and boards should be asking and updating regarding cyber security risk on a regular basis. For a more detailed look at the current cyber scams and immediate recommendations for businesses with staff working from home, click to read our free report.

Click for free report

UK TV’s supply challenge

COVID-19 has already caused the shutdown of the production of many programmes, along with the cancellation of many sports or events that are ordinarily telecast. Nevertheless, one of the hallmarks of television is its flexibility, responsiveness and professionalism in the face of adversity. And, as such, many programmes will still be able to be produced. Flexibility is built into some types of programming, however nothing can replace live sport, while disruption in the production of scripted programming—especially high-volume soaps—will have knock-on effects that continue for years. For a more detailed look at how COVID-19 is affecting programming and scheduling, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

Click to read report

Amazon’s Premier League performance

Daily downloads of Amazon mobile apps, UK

Source: Priori Data, Enders Analysis

Amazon aired its first set of Premier League matches in December, with proxy figures supporting reports that it attracted up to 2 million concurrent viewers. Amazon Prime penetration soared in Q4, backing up Amazon’s claims that record numbers of new members signed up on the first two days of its football coverage—an encouraging sign at the time of year when ecommerce spend peaks. As long as Amazon remains principally an online retailer, bidding for premium packages of Premier League rights cannot be justified. In fact, it could retrench from Premier League football altogether after wringing out the value over three seasons. For a more detailed outlook including whether live Premier League football coverage impacted the Prime subscriber base and whether Amazon will change its behaviour in the next rights auction to potentially challenge Sky and BT for more premium packages, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

Click to read report

Three-quarters of sports subscribers will consider cancelling or demanding rebate

Last week we commented briefly on the impact of COVID-19 on telecommunications. This week, it’s media.

We think sports rights holders, including subscription services focussed on sport, will be hit hard. Our recent Australia consumer survey found that nearly 75% of subscribers to a sport streaming service would consider cancelling their service or demanding a rebate if live sport was not available to watch. Sports streaming companies are clearly reviewing how to address these events with their customers and have started to respond with concessional offers. Optus has stated that it will suspend Optus Sport monthly subscription fees until the end of May 2020.
The situation in advertising also looks grim. Seven said “the escalating uncertainty relating to COVID-19, a material fall in advertising market activity, and the suspension or postponement of productions and events” combined to mean the organisation no longer had visibility over future advertising bookings. We are in uncharted waters.
But there will also be opportunities as the country gradually goes into lockdown. With cinemas and live entertainment shut down indefinitely, both traditional and online services like FTA TV and radio, Netflix and Stan should see audience growth.
Subscription services with access to content libraries like Netflix and Stan will do well out of this. But advertising spending will be cut as many small and medium-sized businesses are either already shut down or threatened with shutdown, and focus on survival.
So advertising channels will also be hit hard. But FTA advertising may be impacted less than digital if the big brands soldier on with their traditional mass market advertising, while the SME advertisers who are the backbone of the online advertising market go into hibernation.