The COVID crisis: how should digital advertisers respond?\ Telecoms and pay TV in Europe\ ACCC identifies ISPs and apps that have delivered under COVID-19\ FreeTV calls for FTA content rules reform





Welcome to the Venture Insights newsletter!
In this week’s edition, we look at: 


  • The COVID crisis: how should digital advertisers respond?
  • Telecoms and pay TV in Europe
  • ACCC identifies ISPs and apps that have delivered under COVID-19
  • FreeTV calls for FTA content rules reform







Theory of change for new COVID habits 



Source: Ipsos 




The COVID crisis: how should digital advertisers respond?



Month-on-month changes in online time spent by category, 20 March vs 20 April 2020 



Source: Nielsen Digital Panel text April 2020 PC age 2+, Smartphone & Tablet age 18+ (total time spent March 2020 v April 202 0), IAB Australia analysis 



This report summarises a webinar hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB Australia) on the impact of COVID-19 on the current and future behaviour of Australian consumers, and the implications for digital advertisers. Venture Insights was a presenter in the webinar, which also featured speakers from the IAB, Facebook and Ipsos.


This report will be of interest to marketers making decisions about current and future advertising spend, and to ad sellers trying to understand the factors driving advertising decision-making now and post-COVID. Although digital ad spend is recovering, there is persistent uncertainty about the value of market research and advertising in the disrupted market. However, research shows that consumers expect brands to step up despite the uncertainty. Brands that are smart about the way they analyse changing consumer behaviour, and respond accordingly, can benefit from the new consumer habits now emerging. Click here to download the report.

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Telecoms and pay TV – Opportunities beyond lockdown



 Europe average mobile network speeds (Mbps)



Source: Enders Analysis, Ookla



Premium sports subscriptions are the primary sector weakness in the current crisis, and they look set to drive fixed operator revenues down 10% next quarter and Sky’s EBITDA down by 60%. As lockdown eases, latent broadband demand can be more easily sated, and sports subscriptions will bounce back from the September quarter. A surge in working-from-home is likely to increase both the quantity and quality of home broadband demand, with ‘failover’ mobile backup also likely to be of greater interest. Openreach will benefit from accelerated demand for full fibre, converged operators will be best-placed to offer mobile backup for broadband, and operators with a strong corporate presence will most easily target demand for home-working products. For more details, click to read a report from our UK research partner, Enders Analysis.

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ACCC identifies ISPs and apps that have delivered under COVID-19



Percentage change in download speed since from February 2020



Source: ACCC



The ACCC’s latest report demonstrates how well NBN fixed-line broadband connections were supporting consumers’ increasingly use of streaming services and video conferencing applications such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Webex, Zoom and GoToMeeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The telcos and network providers have remained critical to the Australians and successfully adapted to the changes due to the pandemic in which people were increasingly dependent on video conference call, online education and connecting with family and friends. The report also finds that streaming providers such as Netflix and YouTube were typically downloading faster in May 2020 than during February 2020 which include putting in place various mitigations to alleviate pressure and congestion on broadband networks, such as reducing picture quality. For more details, click to read a media release from the ACCC.

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FreeTV calls for FTA content rules reform



Sector advertising revenues in Australia, 1996-2018



Source: ACCC



Free TV Australia has called on the federal government this week to deregulate quota obligations for free-to-air TV, in a submission to the “Supporting Australian stories on our screens” options paper. In particular, FreeTV has called for the abandonment of quotas for drama, children’s programs and documentaries, while retaining an overall Australian content target to increase commercial flexibility at a time of falling ad revenues and growing SVOD competition.


This change would bring FTA more in line with streaming video platforms which are not required to address particular genres under regulations. In our recent report on digital platform strategies, we suggested that the industry’s revenue crisis was an opportunity to address long-standing inequities in the regulation of media. To read our views on the scale of the digital platform challenge to traditional media, retail and finance, click here to read our report.

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