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  • New
    October 17, 2018

    Property Advertising Market Outlook

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    Even as the RBA chooses to keep interest rates stable, the Federal Government has implemented measures to cool the rising property market. This has resulted in a decline in new listings and housing sales in major cities and a decline in real estate purchases by foreign buyers. Macroeconomic indicators, such as GDP growth, household income and consumption continue to strengthen, with labour participation increasing and the unemployment rate falling to 5.4% in June as 41,200 full time jobs were created. The RBA continues to maintain the cash rate at the same level due to a below-target inflation rate and high consumer debt that makes many households’ consumption rates sensitive to the mortgage rate. Household debt recently reached 190.0% of total annualised household income. The online real estate classified market is dominated by two players, the REA Group and Domain, which together hold 98.0% of the market. Both players reported strong annual results, with about 20% revenue growth for FY18. Despite the dominance of the two players, new start-ups continue to enter the market in the hopes of grabbing a slice of the lucrative property classifieds market. However, to date, none have gained any material traction in the Australian market.
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  • New
    October 16, 2018

    Future Trends In Telecom and Video: Comms Day Melbourne Congress

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    On 10th October 2018, Venture Insight’s Managing Director Nigel Pugh, presented Venture’s recent Australian Mobile Survey results at the Comms Day Congress in Melbourne. The presentation includes Venture’s survey results and views on (i) consumer 5G awareness, migration and the battle for the early adopter market segment, (ii) consumer usage of mobile video and streaming services, (iii) 5G use case for mobile and telco media bundling, (iv) 5G use case for fixed wireless and (v) messaging usage versus traditional applications.
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  • October 11, 2018

    UK Esports & broadcasters: No game for old players

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    Drawn by its rapid growth and enviably youthful audience profile, incumbent broadcasters are paying increased attention to esports and its followers. Viewership of esports on UK broadcasters’ linear channels is low, with consumption on their online platforms likely the same. The market’s fragmented nature and global audience, along with the dominance of Twitch—and to a lesser extent YouTube—makes this unlikely to change. Broadcasters’ low-cost approach has primarily benefited competition organisers and games publishers. For broadcasters to create real revenues, massive upfront investment would be needed, with the risk of failure high.
  • October 5, 2018

    Apple – Price is the object: the iPhone and its services

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    With a carefully priced, strong line-up of iPhones, Apple will consolidate its main revenue line and core user base in the near term. The latter feeds into a services business showing impressive growth, but which is also marked by missed opportunities and mounting negative consequences on the rest of the online ecosystem. For media businesses, Apple’s impact is larger than ever, inevitably leading to new kinds of friction around commercial terms, App store policies and browser features.
  • October 4, 2018

    From promises to practice: AI in marketing at DMEXCO 2018

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    At DMEXCO, the top online advertising conference in continental Europe, a call for responsibility took centre stage rhetorically, but was hardly reflected on the conference floor. In contrast, concrete, on-the market applications of AI in advertising were no longer a rarity, with businesses from ad tech to consultancies demonstrating case studies in campaign management, consumer segmentation and personalisation. The industry is betting that the ePrivacy Regulation will be canned as policymakers fear Chinese and American dominance in AI, but the Chinese giants still had a confused marketing pitch at DMEXCO.
    Sector .
  • October 3, 2018

    What Sky means for Comcast

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    Comcast’s £30.6 billion acquisition of Sky brings to an end the long-running ownership battle since Disney agreed to tender Fox’s 39% stake to Comcast, also ending the Murdoch Family Trust’s interest in Sky. Comcast’s US domestic cable and global NBCU media businesses complement Sky’s European operation. Sky’s telecoms business is likely to expand, while the TV side should benefit from NBCU’s global distribution might, with greater revenues generated by its original content. Fox’s long-running battle with UK regulators over the public interest dimensions of the proposed Sky acquisition has also ended. Plurality of media is preserved by Comcast’s undertakings to support Sky News for 10 years.
  • September 26, 2018

    Telcos and the battle for HDMI 1 – bringing everything under on [...]

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    The rise of SVOD platforms has driven a significant change in TV viewing habits with viewers having an unprecedented choice of content. The result is a fragmented video market which has made it increasingly complex for users to manage the various sources of content that are available.  
    Sector .
  • September 17, 2018

    UK Broadcast TV is growing very old, very quickly

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    UK mobile market service revenue grew by 1.7% in Q2, up from 1.3% in the previous quarter, a disappointing result in the context of boosts from both IFRS 15 accounting and the annual price rises in the quarter. O2 was the star performer this quarter, with its service revenue growth leaping ahead to claim the top spot. BT/EE’s service revenue growth declined on an underlying basis, with weak contract net adds over the last six months catching up with it, and H3G and Vodafone were slightly improved and steady respectively excluding some one-off effects. Next quarter, the impact from the EU roaming cuts will annualise out, providing a substantial fillip to all operators. Ceteris paribus, this would put market growth in the vicinity of 4%, a figure not reached for years.
  • September 11, 2018

    UK mobile market Q2 2018: Disappointment before dawn

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    UK mobile market service revenue grew by 1.7% in Q2, up from 1.3% in the previous quarter, a disappointing result in the context of boosts from both IFRS 15 accounting and the annual price rises in the quarter. O2 was the star performer this quarter, with its service revenue growth leaping ahead to claim the top spot. BT/EE’s service revenue growth declined on an underlying basis, with weak contract net adds over the last six months catching up with it, and H3G and Vodafone were slightly improved and steady respectively excluding some one-off effects. Next quarter, the impact from the EU roaming cuts will annualise out, providing a substantial fillip to all operators. Ceteris paribus, this would put market growth in the vicinity of 4%, a figure not reached for years.
  • September 10, 2018

    Japan’s recorded music market starts to stream

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    Recorded music revenues in Japan are stuck in decline as physical sales sag, although 2017 marks the first year when streaming gained a foothold with 8 million subscribers. J-pop fans spend on 'experiences' with their idols including events, merchandise, CDs and DVDs, which streaming cannot replicate. Top native LINE MUSIC offers integration with a popular messaging app and bundling with mobile. Serving international repertoire, Apple Music claims more subscribers than Spotify in Japan, which is more localised, and has most users on the free tier. Amazon Prime Music is a looming constraint on the adoption of subscriptions. 
  • September 4, 2018

    When an Amazon TV show wins a Golden Globe, Amazon sells more sho [...]

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    Over the past two decades, Amazon has grown to become the largest ecommerce player in the world. But to think of it as just an online retailer would be underestimating its presence across multiple other services and markets. Within this, Amazon Video is fast emerging as a key pillar of Amazon’s overall business as it uses video to increase Prime memberships and improve user stickiness on the Amazon platform.

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  • September 3, 2018

    UK Commercial TV impact trends: better than viewing trends, worse [...]

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    There has been no shortage of attention paid to declining TV viewing over recent years, but much of it focuses on overall viewing time rather than advertising delivery. This is to overlook the engine driving most of the UK’s television industry. Commercial impact delivery has held up well relative to overall viewing, and is strong for certain key demographics. Nonetheless there are generational and behavioural changes afoot which are exerting downward pressures on impacts, especially for younger audiences. An archipelago of Love Islands is needed (Stranger Things have happened).

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  • August 29, 2018

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2018: Great volume, [...]

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    The UK broadband subscription market re-accelerated in the June quarter, bucking a consistent downwards trend that has been established for over three years, with line rental and pay TV subscriptions also accelerating having both also experienced a more general downwards shift over the last few years. The broadband acceleration may be short-lived, with line rental only a little more sustainable. Pay TV is perhaps the most robust recovery given that the over-the-top new entrants (primarily Netflix and Amazon) are now firmly establishing themselves as add-ons not substitutes.Revenue growth however took a more familiar path, dipping to 1.6% from 2.8% in  the previous quarter, as BT’s overlapping price increase predictably dropped out, partially mitigated by an improvement in ARPU growth at TalkTalk caused by an improved (i.e. slightly less damaging) mix effect.  
  • August 27, 2018

    Audible, audiobooks and lessons from Amazon in the UK

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    Audiobooks are growing fast, driven by smartphone adoption and better supply, as well as interest from people who don’t usually buy books, such as young men. The sector is dominated by the presence of Audible, Amazon’s audiobook publisher/retailer, which has driven growth of audiobooks but put publishers under pressure. Its strategy is a lesson in Amazon’s approach to media. Audio is an opportunity to sell to new customers, but publishers must acquire and use rights responsibly, and experiment while not letting the audio tail wag the print dog.  
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  • August 27, 2018

    Nine Entertainment FY18 earnings update: digital drives growth

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    On 23rd August 2018, Nine Entertainment reported its FY18 earnings. Strong ratings performance in key demographics, rise in digital subscriber base and focus on controlling costs drove an uplift in revenue and earnings for FY18.

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  • August 23, 2018

    Seven West Media FY18 earnings update: going all in on cricket

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    On 21th August 2018, Seven West Media reported its FY18 earnings. While an improving core business and focus on cost reduction delivered operating profits that were at the upper end of guidance, new programming and sports content is expected to drive ratings and financial performance going forward.
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  • August 21, 2018

    oOh!media earnings update: double digit revenue growth

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    On 20th August 2018, oOh!media reported its first half CY18 earnings. While digital continues to underpin majority of the growth, product and customer diversification ensured double-digit revenue growth despite fluctuations in certain business segments.  
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  • August 21, 2018

    Regulating harmful video content and advertising online: Publishe [...]

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    Video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook video, enjoy a light-touch regulatory regime for harmful content and advertising. As video viewing of non-broadcaster content grows, the regulatory gap between TV broadcasters and video-sharing platforms widens, part of a broader uneven playing field for publishers and platforms. However, there is momentum against this: the “platforms vs publishers” divide looks set to weaken in EU law, and the platforms themselves are investing more in combatting harmful content within a self-regulatory regime, though their internal policies and outcomes are still opaque. Effective and fair regulation of video-sharing platforms would involve the balancing of national freedom of speech conventions and the public utility of user-generated video hosting with concerned stakeholder views: something approaching a co-regulatory system for online video-sharing platforms.  
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  • August 20, 2018

    Sky UK 2017/18 full year results: Winning the game of content

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    Sky maintained strong revenue growth of 5% in 2017/18, with EBITDA and operating profit both bouncing back into strong positive territory after the UK Premier League rights hit of 2016/17. The UK grew revenue well and profits better; Italy performed well and should improve much further given the retreat of its principal competitor; Germany is more challenged, but extra content investment may aid sustained growth. Sky is proving adept at managing content costs and revenue in a changing environment, with investment, cost control and monetisation all being put to effective use as the content type demands it.  
  • August 20, 2018

    Virgin Media Q2 2018 results: Measured approach in a tough market

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    Virgin Media had a mixed quarter, with subscriber ARPU growth maintained, partly driven by a triple play focus with pay TV and telephony adds much improved, but subscriber and broadband net adds unchanged. Cable revenue growth did slow from 3.6% to 3.1%, mainly due to the previous quarter’s net adds slowdown working through, and it is still growing the fastest of the big operators in a slow-growth market that still suffers from pricing pressure at the low end. Its network roll-out was slower than last year and only just above the weather-impacted previous quarter, which appears to be deliberate, and which may at least partly relate to an uncertain regulatory and commercial climate over ‘full fibre’ roll-out by others.  
  • August 17, 2018

    Local TV: Five years after launch

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    ­­­­Although launched with an array of public service goals in mind, local TV’s flawed design has created a sector struggling to live up to its optimistic ambitions. Five years and £37 million of licence fee monies later, it is unclear what public service contributions are being made, or whether the scheme has provided value-for-money. A wholesale review of the sector is urgently needed. The vision of a “thriving and sustainable” sector has fallen flat. Most licences remain loss-making, with doubts as to their long-term viability. Those operating low-cost models seem best placed to survive.    
    Sector .
  • August 16, 2018

    Fairfax FY18 earnings update: digital remains the main driver

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    On 15th August 2018, Fairfax Media reported its last full year earnings as an independent news publisher. Digital assets remained the key driver of earnings while regional and community print continued its structural decline.        
    Sector .
  • August 15, 2018

    Consumer magazine publishing: Quality, not quantity

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    The decline in demand in print presents trading challenges, but the more immediate pressures are on the supply side, with a 15% rise in paper prices accentuating the burden of production and distribution costs.With digital advertising growing at stubbornly low rates, UK publishers need to return to their fundamental consumer-centred strengths by switching their strategic attention towards strong brands, curation, and community. The case for specialist, branded publishing media remains robust: products, services, and consumers are still best brought together in an authoritative, trusted media environment. Advertisers and agencies (and also media) have undervalued the effectiveness of those environments, and direct-to-consumer opportunities have been exaggerated by many brands.  
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  • August 14, 2018

    Down, but not out: Why there’s still life in terrestrial broadc [...]

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    Australian viewers are shifting irresistibly towards on-demand formats and IP-based video viewing. But is there still life in the terrestrial platform? And what does this mean for broadcasters and other industry participants? You could be forgiven for thinking that broadcast television is an anachronism, a relic of a time when audiences watched what was programmed, when it was programmed (more or less), and knew no better. Likewise, when every other headline lauds the benefits of online content delivery (though perhaps not so much at the moment given Optus’ recent World Cup travails – more on that later), it is surely a forgone conclusion that terrestrial broadcast is in terminal decline, following Blockbuster and Borders to the exits. However, our analysis suggests that while IP delivery is ascendant, there is still likely to be a significant and long-term role for terrestrial broadcast in Australia. In this report, we explore the factors driving the shift towards IP-based content delivery and argue why this shift does not spell the death of terrestrial broadcast, at least over the coming decade.Given this assessment, broadcasters and other industry participants need to carefully balance the expected ascendancy of IP with the potential longevity of the DTT platform as they place bets on the future of video entertainment.  
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