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  • New
    December 14, 2017

    Iliad launching in Italy:Breaking the curse of the fourth operato [...]

    Against the consolidation trend in the European market, France’s Iliad is to launch a fourth mobile network in Italy in the next few weeks, thanks to a roaming and frequency access agreement with Windtre — this deal allowed Wind and Tre to gain regulatory clearance for their merger. The model followed by Iliad’s Free Mobile in France since 2012 cannot be reproduced in Italy, where prices are already low and where it has no established brand reputation. Iliad’s owner Xavier Niel’s experience in oligopolistic Switzerland is of little relevance, and Germany’s Drillisch use of M&A to fill its capacity is not an option in Italy. Nevertheless Iliad has opportunities to seize in Italy where subscriber churn is the highest in Europe, customer service variable, and trust in telecoms brands very low. A credible consumer-friendly value offer could become a real alternative to the three incumbents, although distribution will still be a challenge
    Sector , .
  • New
    December 13, 2017

    New Zealand Telco Market Outlook

    We expect the overall retail telco market to remain flat with strong mobile growth driven by a move to post-paid plans and 4G/5G to offset the structural decline in fixed voice. With UFB deployment nearly complete and increasing 4G penetration, we expect a rise in competitive intensity as players look to capture share across a broader set of product offerings.Fixed voice continues its structural decline as subscribers shun the landline and migrate away from standalone fixed voice services to mobile bundles and broadband + VOIP bundles. The UFB rollout is on track to reach 80% of the population by the end of 2019 and has been recently extended by the Government to cover up to 87% of the population by 2022. The NZ Government recently announced a set of reforms including a move towards utility-style regulation, copper deregulation in areas where UFB is available, and increased oversight over quality and reliability of broadband services
  • New
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    December 12, 2017

    Children’s changing video habits:And implications for the conte [...]

    Children’s media use and attitudes have dramatically changed over the last few years, stemming from the rapid take-up of smartphones and tablets. Traditional TV continues to decline at the expense of newer video services such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, with 43% of children aged 8-15 preferring YouTube videos over TV programmes.These online services offer content producers wider opportunities, but questions remain around the lack of regulation online, and the recent scandal around children’s safety on YouTube has heightened these concerns.
  • New
    December 11, 2017

    UK mobile market Q3 2017

    Mobile service revenue growth dipped this quarter but this was likely entirely due to the predictable (and predicted) impact of the abolition of EU roaming surcharges.  On an underlying basis, growth improved. BT/EE extended its lead in both service revenue and contract subscriber growth terms. EE’s substantial investments in network quality and customer service have driven returns to scale, and its multi-brand approach is working well. Contrasting with the returns to scale seen at EE, TalkTalk’s MVNO has suffered the reverse of this, unable to break-even despite peaking at just shy of 1 million customers, and deciding to retreat to an agency model.  Sky Mobile is performing respectably well in context, but may be headed for scale issues itself.
  • December 7, 2017

    Vodafone Q2 2017/18 results: Revenue flat-ish, profits surge

    Vodafone Europe’s revenue growth was very similar to the previous quarter at just under 1%, but this was impressive given the considerable drag of roaming cuts, with ‘more-for-more’ tariffs coupled with data volume growth driving underlying improvement. Flat-ish revenue was enough to send EBITDA surging 13%, or around 9% excluding some one-off distortions, driven by good cost control and falling handset costs, with this trend previously disguised by profitability issues in the UK. Looking forward, the question is whether Vodafone is doing enough to cope with future competitive threats. Competitive indicators (churn, NPS) have not improved; its new initiatives are quite mixed; and competitive intensity is likely to increase across a number of markets.
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  • December 5, 2017

    Channel 5: three years on from Viacom’s acquisition

    Viacom’s 2014 acquisition of Channel 5 from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell occurred while the maelstrom encircling linear television viewing—sparked by the allure of SVODs and other digital distractions—was well underway. Nevertheless, with increased content spend, development of new titles and clarity as to its targeted audience, the broadcaster has increased its channel (and group) share amongst 16-34s and ABC1s, and has directed further benefits back to its owner's existing entertainment suite. Outside of the post-lunch and 8-10pm slots, however, work needs to be done: Channel 5’s BVOD proposition and social media offering leaves much to be desired, while the reliance on two major titles, Big Brother and Neighbours will be unsustainable in a post-linear world.
  • December 4, 2017

    Site Blocking and Digital Piracy

    Illegal downloading of copyrighted content (such as movies) in Australia remains a major issue. Legal actions and copyright law changes combined with education, cyber risk awareness and new content models are helping to minimise illegal downloading
  • December 1, 2017

    UK TV set viewing trends

    BARB data indicates that the amount of average daily TV set viewing to linear TV channels is continuing to fall: the pie is shrinking. Just under 20% of TV set usage so far in 2017 is to non-linear activity, and viewing to SVOD services and YouTube is likely to account for most of this growth in 'unmatched' viewing. The pie is shrinking faster amongst younger audiences: just under one third of TV set usage is 'unmatched' now for 16-34s. However 35+ unmatched use is growing at a faster rate than 16-34 unmatched use in 2017. Within this smaller pie, the PSB channels continue to hold share of viewing against pay channels. Within the PSBs, ITV and the ITV digital channel family have gained most share so far this year, although BBC1 is having a strong autumn in spite of the loss of Great British Bake Off to C4.
    Sector , .
  • November 30, 2017

    Telecommunications Market Outlook

    The introduction and the rollout of the NBN has been one of the key inflection points in the Australian telco market. However, as the rollout progresses, complaints have surged 3x and the tug-of war with RSPs over CVC charges continues. Both the ACMA and ACCC are looking into customer issues around the NBN. The Mobile segment continues its upward march but the market is about to see a new wave of innovation (5G) and disruption (TPG) in the next few years. The planned entry of TPG (known for price leadership) as the fourth mobile operator will increase the competitive intensity with incumbent MNOs facing ARPU and margin pressure
  • November 29, 2017

    Google: A Trojan Horse for the TV industry?

    While Google dominates the online video market via YouTube, efforts in the TV industry have constantly fallen short of expectations. However, Google is now positioning itself to become a critical part of the TV value chain.
  • November 28, 2017

    UFC: pay-per-view heavyweight, subscription contender

    TalkTalk continued to maintain positive broadband net adds in Q2 despite increased churn, and its on-net revenue growth turned positive as well, helped by the turnaround in subscriber growth trends and an overlapping price increase implemented during the quarter. The return to growth is taking its toll in marketing costs however, and the company is now guiding to a full year ‘headline’ EBITDA at the lower end of its previous given range, and this is after redefining ‘headline’ to exclude losses from its winding-down mobile business. Even this looks challenging given the cost trends in the first half of the year. The company’s new strategy of subscriber growth and focusing on the basics is probably the right one, but it is proving tough to implement in a slowing and increasingly competitive market
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  • November 24, 2017

    TalkTalk Group Q2 2017/18 results: Growth at a cost

    TalkTalk continued to maintain positive broadband net adds in Q2 despite increased churn, and its on-net revenue growth turned positive as well, helped by the turnaround in subscriber growth trends and an overlapping price increase implemented during the quarter. The return to growth is taking its toll in marketing costs however, and the company is now guiding to a full year ‘headline’ EBITDA at the lower end of its previous given range, and this is after redefining ‘headline’ to exclude losses from its winding-down mobile business. Even this looks challenging given the cost trends in the first half of the year. The company’s new strategy of subscriber growth and focusing on the basics is probably the right one, but it is proving tough to implement in a slowing and increasingly competitive market
  • November 23, 2017

    Disruptive mobile business models – Is TPG going to be ‘Free [...]

    TPG plans to disrupt the A$18bn mobile market by launching its mobile network in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra by mid-2018 and build out its network to 80% of the population. It will deploy a small cell network across key metros, complemented by a traditional macro network. Free Mobile (France), 2degrees (New Zealand) and FreedomPop (US/Europe) have used disruptive business models to capture share from incumbents. Free Mobile and 2degrees captured about 18% and 23% of market share respectively, and FreedomPop has added approximately 2mn subscribers since launch. With four out of five key factors going in favour of TPG, a roaming deal will also likely accelerate market share gain. However, the incumbent MNOs in the Australian mobile market are already competing on price, coverage and data, and there are many MVNOs in the low ARPU prepaid segment offering competitive pricing and data

  • November 20, 2017

    Virgin Media Q3 2017 results: Building acceleration

    Virgin Media’s subscriber figures were flat on the prior year quarter, a robust performance in a slowing and increasingly competitive market, with ARPU growth still weak but at least not worsening. Project Lightning had another successful quarter, accelerating strongly and passing an additional 147k premises, which bodes well for subscriber acceleration into 2018. A recently implemented price increase should boost ARPU growth next quarter, on the basis that it successfully limits the retention discounting that characterised last year’s price increase, but such a boost will be limited by wider market pricing pressures
  • November 17, 2017

    Altice in crisis as formulaic model flounders in France

    The telecoms group has suffered a dramatic stock market correction following its Q3 results, as investors woke up to the continuous decline of its main unit, France’s SFR – leading its CEO to resign. Closure of a tax loophole will further erode SFR’s revenues by up to 4% in 2018. Despite being France’s largest fibre network, SFR’s broadband market share dropped 4ppts over three years. Notwithstanding grandstands on ‘convergence’ and expensive rights acquisitions, it is losing pay-TV subscribers – it looks unlikely to challenge Vivendi’s Canal+ in next year’s Ligue 1 auction. The mobile performance is notably better with the subscriber count stabilised and ARPU rising. Besides sustaining network deployments, to turn around SFR Altice needs to abandon short term fixes, invest in its workforce and customer service, and differentiate through valuable innovation – in other words the opposite of the model followed so far
  • The Internet of All Things - Towards the Hyper-connected World
    The Internet of All Things - Towards the Hyper-connected World
    November 17, 2017

    IoT Growth and Cyber Security

    The Internet of Things represents a significant and growing target area for cyber criminals. Individuals, businesses and governments need to include IoT related cyber risks in their security controls and plans.

    Sector , .
  • November 15, 2017

    Classifieds Marketing Outlook: All Segments

    The Online Classifieds market recorded robust growth of 18.3% between 2014 and 2016, with Real Estate Classifieds witnessing a surge of 20.5%. This was followed by Employment Classifieds and Auto Classifieds with 17.4% and 13.6%, respectively. Growth in the overall Classifieds segment is expected to slow to 5.6% between CY17 and CY21. The CAGR for all three major segments is estimated to slow to 5–6%. We expect more entrants to try and disrupt the market with unique business models. Whether they succeed will depend on the strength of the incumbents and the type of Online Classifieds segment. In addition to doubling down on their mobile strategy, players in the Online Classifieds segment are also transforming themselves to leverage synergy and become more valuable to their customers. We expect to witness more acquisitions and product expansions as incumbents try to leverage their dominance to enter new areas in the value chain.
  • November 13, 2017

    BT Q2 2017/18 results: Unresolved issues

    BT Group revenue growth dipped to -1.5% from an instance of rare modest positive growth in the previous quarter, albeit mostly due to a predicted price timing effect in Consumer and revenue growth predictably going from bad to worse in Global Services. The bright spots were continued strong 4% revenue growth at EE, with an acceleration in mobile-related revenue also helping other divisions, and strong growth of 5% in external revenues at Openreach driven by accelerating fibre adoption by competitor customers. A number of very important regulatory/policy/legal issues remain unresolved, including 5G spectrum auction rules, leased line pricing, FTTC pricing and FTTP roll-out rules, but without a number of these going BT’s way the outlook remains tough for at least the next 18 months
  • November 13, 2017

    PSB: Working with the frenemy

    Public service broadcasting (PSB) and the entire unique broadcasting ecosystem face huge challenges from global tech giants with deep pockets, data insights and scant regard for PSB prominence. All three pillars of the PSB model are threatened: content supply, distribution and advertising. The further threat of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) spectrum being reduced or turned off in c.2030 is real and PSBs must have a migration path in place. PSBs can counter some challenges through increased investment in content relevant to the UK consumer. But, recognising the aligned interests with pay-TV platforms of Sky and Virgin Media, collaboration between the parties is integral to the long-term future of PSB
    Sector , .
  • November 8, 2017

    Premier League: winner’s curse

    The Premier league (PL) will be hoping for another huge increase in rights payments in the upcoming auction for the three seasons starting 2019/20. Aggressive competition between BT Sport and Sky has led to hyperinflation of most premium sports rights. Sport now accounts for two thirds of multichannel content spend, but only 8% of its viewing. BT’s current financial position makes it difficult to justify expansion or further hyperinflation of its PL rights portfolio, but it cannot withdraw completely
    Sector , , .
  • Free
    November 6, 2017

    Green Hydrogen – Opportunity or hype?

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    Hydrogen as an energy carrier has long been discussed as a pathway to a greener future and although technology progress has been slow, recent developments point to tangible progress.Diversity of sources, security and flexibility within Australia’s energy system is the key to a reliable energy future; hydrogen could play an important role alongside other energy technologies.
  • November 2, 2017

    Automotive Marketing Outlook: 2017

    The Australian car market is growing at a nominal rate and is expected to be unaffected by the winding up of local car production. Car sales have reached records levels, though the growth going forward will not be as fast as it was previously. Although new car sales are on the rise, they continue to be outpaced by used car sales. The CommSec car affordability index has hit the highest level since 1976, and vehicle sales are expected to reach 1.2m by 2023. Auto advertising is a major contributor to advertising expenditure. Auto advertising contributes 18% to total display advertising and 16% to the classifieds market. Vehicle advertising expenditure totalled A$689mn in 2016 and is expected to grow 21.3% to A$835mn in 2017. Carsales continues to be the dominant player in the online marketplace for cars. The company has over half of all car listings, and was the key beneficiary of the print to online shift. Although dealerships are expected to survive the closure of domestic production, they are facing a new threat in the form of digital disruption. New players are selling new and used cars online at relatively lower prices. Dealers would be required to incorporate digital into their value proposition in order to sustain their business.
  • October 30, 2017

    Google’s golden age of search

    Google has beaten Facebook in mobile revenue growth, and competes successfully in retail search with Amazon. Intelligent user interfaces based on machine learning have become a core competitive strength, with social and messaging the main remaining weak points. Rising political pressure due to Google’s growing scale and influence is now a bigger concern than commercial risk, as the threat of regulatory intervention limits strategic options in partnerships, M&A and integration.
    Sector , .
  • October 26, 2017

    Supply of news in the UK

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    Since Communications Act 2003, the number of national news outlets supplied on broadcast and in print has been stable. Adoption of multi-channel TV, supported by Freeview, has augmented the number of homes accessing on a free-to-air basis five "all news" channels (BBC News, BBC Parliament, Sky News, CNN, Russia Today), with many more all news channels served on pay-TV platforms. Original news production has been transformed by digital tools and Twitter occupies the centre of the journalism ecosystem. Jobs devoted to news production are in recovery, although mask a decline in newspapers to the benefit of online mainly. Expansion of fixed-line broadband and, more recently, consumer adoption of mobile broadband and connected devices, have made the internet a platform for the supply of and consumption of all news services. Broadcasters serve eponymous text-based websites, all newspapers serve websites, and native news outlets have entered the market due to low barriers to entry. Prominent native brands in the political genre include Buzzfeed, HuffPost and Politico