Impact of COVID-19 on NZ Telcos\ Mobile Black Spot Program Changes\ Survey results: Government Contact Tracing App for COVID-19\ UK online advertising during the lockdown\ Historic UK news media collaboration\ The future of Telehealth



Welcome to the Venture Insights newsletter!
In this week’s edition, we look at the impact of COVID-19 on NZ telco including our consumer survey results, changes to Mobile Blackspot Program, Government Contact Tracing App survey results, UK online advertising during the lockdown, historic UK news media collaboration and our telehealth survey.


Given the COVID crisis, would you be willing to use the Contact Tracing Mobile App (if available in your country)?

Source: Venture Insights survey April 2020, n=202 



Impact of COVID-19 on NZ Telcos

Consumer willingness to move to 5G mobile


Our February 2020 NZ consumer telco survey highlighted pressure on mobile ARPUs. Price was selected by 50% of the respondents as the main reason for switching their mobile service providers. 26% of the respondents looking to switch service providers (30%) were looking to switch to MVNOs/Resellers. This translates to 8% of total respondents, which is larger than the current market share of MVNOs/Resellers and suggests that the MVNO/reseller segment may grow. Our survey also showed that interest in 5G takeup had declined from 32% in 2018 to 26% in 2020. The fraction of survey respondents who did not want to pay a premium for a 5G mobile service increased from 50% to 60%. Overall, there was already price pressure prior to onset of the COVID-19 lockdown. In the short term, we don’t expect the increase in work from home to generate proportionate revenue gains for the telcos. In the long term, the impending economic downturn will make consumers even more reluctant to spend more on telco services. For more details, read our latest report.

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Mobile Black Spot Program Changes

In our July 2019 Blackspot report and subsequent Shared Infrastructure presentation at the October 2019 Comms Day conference, we highlighted a range of bidding concerns including the level of MNO co-contribution to Blackspots projects. We argued that these issues could eventually equate to fewer base stations per funding dollar than previous rounds. In addition we highlighted the use of shared RAN models and train repeaters as a way to benefit all mobile consumers in a government funded region.  Following the Round 5 underspend we were encouraged to see the Minister for Communications announce the Round 5a program which will test a range of different funding programs including shared mobile coverage. As we also highlighted in our Comms Day conference presentation last year, these networks are capable of wireless and fixed wireless solutions, so any future network sharing models should also consider the role of the NBN. Click through for our Comms Day shared infrastructure presentation.

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Survey results: Government Contact Tracing App for COVID-19

What is your key concern about using this type of application?

Source: Venture Insights survey April 2020, n=65 

On Monday 20th April, we asked our base of 6,000+ newsletter subscribers for their views and concerns about using the proposed Government Contact Tracing App for fighting the spread of COVID-19. We were expecting a tight result given our base is predominately media/telco professionals who we think are more likely to be aware of the potential privacy/security risks. However, the survey showed an overwhelming willingness to use the Tracing App at 68% of the respondents. On the other hand, a significant concern for those who voted either Yes and No was that the app ‘may set a precedent for future privacy issues’. So we believe the survey results reflect strong concerns amongst our subscriber base about the future use of Government apps but a willingness to work through this issue given the scale of the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly this may not be the case for future apps. We sent out the results to you in a separate email. Contact us for more information on the survey.

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UK online advertising during the lockdown

Share of UK online ad spend going through big 5 media agencies, 2018


In response to COVID-19 and the associated lockdown and economic crash, advertisers have slashed budgets. Online budgets are not immune. This has clarified features of the online ad market: it is demand-driven, relies heavily on SMEs and startups, and is built on direct response campaigns. We expect online advertising to outperform other media, and for platforms to further gain share. But with a very few exceptions, this health and economic disaster is good for nobody. For a more detailed look at how the UK market is currently responding, and what we can learn about online advertising from this time of crisis, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

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Historic UK news media collaboration

A cover-wrapped Scotsman


COVID-19 has inspired an industry to collaborate to deliver a nationwide UK Government advertising campaign across the national, regional and local press. This approach is generating meaningful revenue for an industry experiencing advertising revenue decline of more than 50%, but avoids the risk journalism could fall into the hands of Government. An industry life raft is essential to minimise casualties in the near and medium term, a period when local and national media are reinforcing their value in communities up and down the country. For a more detailed look at the news media industry in the UK, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

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Pending report: The future of Telehealth – Is Covid-19 the catalyst for adoption of teleconference and online symptom checkers?

Does Covid-19 provide the catalyst for broad adoption of telehealth services?

Venture Insights is updating its outlook for telehealth and are keen to get your views in light of Government’s policy to cover telehealth. 
“To provide continued access to essential primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government is expanding Medicare-subsidised telehealth services for all Australians and providing extra incentives to general practitioners and other health practitioners.” – Hon Greg Hunt
We are seeking informed views on the likely changes to the way in which primary health is delivered in Australia. Our prior report included full forecasts and can be found here.

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