COVID-19 impact on ANZ media\ Reported Amaysim sale / investor process\ UK News media challenges\ Pay-TV resilience\ AirTrunk bought by Macquarie

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Welcome to the Venture Insights newsletter!
In this week’s edition, we look at the impact of COVID-19 on ANZ media, reported Amaysim sale/investor process, UK news media challenges, pay-TV resilience in the European market, and the data centre and submarine cable industry in Australia.

CHART OF THE WEEK

If the Coronavirus prevented sporting games or events from being shown on your sporting app, what would your likely response be?



Source: Venture Insights Consumer Survey March 2020, n=1,016

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COVID-19 impact on ANZ media: major structural and regulatory change now inevitable

New Zealand major broadcasters’ revenue (NZD, 2015A – 2019A)



Source: Venture Insights. Annual Reports

This week the federal government has announced major concessions to FTA TV broadcasters, including the 2020 suspension of Australian content rules and major reductions of 2020 licence fees. Nominally, these changes are just a temporary expedient to get the FTA TV industry through the crisis. In practice, it will be hard to put this genie back into its bottle. The broadcasting regulatory framework established in Australia in the 1990s is rapidly unravelling as the COVID-19 crisis precipitates regulatory change that has been postponed for years. We see an opportunity for major structural reform of the industry in 2020 and 2021, culminating in a policy framework that treats FTA and pay TV, SVOD services and advertising platforms in a more balanced and sustainable way. The ACCC’s platforms report shows the way to address Google and Facebook, but a comprehensive solution also requires the SVOD players to be included in a new framework for licensing, regulation of offensive content, and the production of Australian content. For more details, click on to read our report.

Click to read report

Reported Amaysim sale / investor process

What is the main reason you are thinking about changing your mobile service provider?



Source: VENTURE INSIGHTS CONSUMER SURVEY MARCH 2020, N=384

Last week we wrote about the pressure on mobile ARPUs, and consumers’ growing interest in low-price MVNOs. This is the context of recent reports that Amaysim is currently searching for an investor. These reports indicate that interest centres on Amaysim’s energy resale business Click Energy rather than mobile, which would be consistent with our view of a mobile market characterised by low-price competition and downward pressure on mobile ARPUs, and where overall consumer subscription growth is either muted or potentially negative once the economic downturn really bites. As we have said, we think this could have implications for MVNO wholesale pricing if some of the MNOs consider increasing wholesale/reseller pricing to manage ARPUs. Watch this space. For more details, click to read our report.

Click to read report

UK News media challenges

UK circulation per annum (m)



Source: ENDERS ANALYSIS, ABC

COVID-19 has sent online news surging, with publishers experiencing massive traffic uplift, as trusted news sources become increasingly important. But the industry is still heavily reliant on print revenues, and we are seeing supply chains come under extreme pressure as core readers self-isolate and retail giants close or de-prioritise news media. Advertising—including categories like retail and travel—has collapsed. In face of existential threats to the sector, we have written to DCMS to mobilise Government funding to sustain news provision and journalism. For a more detailed look at the structural challenges that the industry faces, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

Click to read report

Pay-TV resilience

French pay-TV annual revenue growth across two crises



Source: ENDERS ANALYSIS, VIVENDI, OECD

When we look back at consumer expenditure on pay-TV and alternative entertainment options during past economic downturns across major countries, we find a broad confirmation of the industry’s comparative resilience. Also found are variations between services sold through annual contracts and cancel-anytime rivals, a negative impact on big-ticket products, and opportunities for substitutional services. Unique features in the current crisis include the suspension of sport broadcasts and an SVOD-rich offering which widens consumer options. If hardship persists, incumbents like Sky could face tougher times than during the financial crisis. For a more detailed look at the outlook for pay-TV and subscription video in the European market, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

Click to read report

AirTrunk bought by Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets

Supply volume by player (%)



Source: VENTURE INSIGHTS, COMPANY ANNUAL REPORTS, PRESS RELEASES, INDUSTRY INTERVIEWS

In our January 2020 newsletter, we had noted that AirTrunk could potentially be bought by Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets. On April 8th 2020, Macquarie Group announced ownership of 88% stake in AirTrunk valuing the business at more than A$3 billion. AirTrunk has rapidly expanded its capacity in Australia and overseas in recent years, leading to the highest growth in revenues among major players in Australia in the data centre space. In November 2019, it had announced a major expansion of 110+ MW in Sydney. According to Venture Insights’ forecasts, AirTrunk’s revenue is projected to grow to A$454 million and supply volume to 297 MW by 2026 in Australia. For a more detailed outlook on the current state and the future of the data centre and submarine cable industry in Australia, click through to read our report.

Click to read report

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