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  • New
    January 27, 2021

    CES 2021: Consumer tech show switches on to the pandemic

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    The home is now a bastion of more activity than ever before, from working to entertaining to socialising‚ÄĒmore is being demanded of the domestic space‚ÄĒand in 2021 the consumer tech show offered a more holistic approach to the Internet of Things (IoT), accepting a ‚Äėnew normal‚Äô would be centred on the home, even as the effects of the pandemic recede.
  • New
    January 22, 2021

    Netflix Q4 2020 results: 200 million subs with cash piling up

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    Netflix believes that it no longer needs to raise external financing for its day-to-day operations

    This has come quicker than expected: the company had previously gone from the opaque ‚Äúnext few years‚ÄĚ narrative it held for some time, to ‚Äúrapidly closing in‚ÄĚ on sustainable positive cashflow just last quarter, meaning that it was a ‚Äúcouple‚ÄĚ of years off. One quarter later Netflix is confident its free cash flow will break even in 2021, up $1 billion on its prediction three months ago.
  • New
    January 21, 2021

    Top 5 Telco Trends in 2021

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    2020 was a disruptive year for everyone, including the telecommunications industry. But as a semblance of normality emerges, change in the industry continues unabated. Our top telco trends for 2021 are:  
    1. Low end operator brands seize leadership in the consumer market
    2. Telco infrastructure comes into play as operators seek to monetise assets
    3. Government refocus on regional communications as nbn rollout ends
    4. Enterprise market shift as nbn disrupts the fibre wholesale market
    5. 5G comes into its own as handset availability surges and coverage expands
     
  • New
    January 21, 2021

    (UK) Update 2021: COVID-19 and Mobility

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    • The UK entered 2021 in the grip of a dangerous third wave of the pandemic, despite Lockdown 3.0 over Christmas, driving down trips taken by people to depressed levels last seen in Lockdown 1.0, reducing economic activity for Q1
    • Time spent at home closely tracks the severity of lockdowns and mandates to work from home (WFH). Underpinned by the UK‚Äôs advanced digital infrastructure and services, WFH is providing resilience to Gross Value Added (GVA) creation, while staff in B2C activities are furloughed
    • The City of London is emblematic of the potential for outsourced GVA creation under WFH. Its skilled and highly paid staff are too valuable to employers to risk exposure to the virus. WFH, largely preserving GVA, will anchor the future of work
  • January 19, 2021

    (UK) TalkTalk: Mixed results, future opaque

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    • TalkTalk‚Äôs latest results were mixed at best, with ARPU and revenue growth improving off a low last quarter, but net adds worsening, EBITDA falling sharply and full year EBITDA guidance suspended
    • Its outlook remains challenging, with the move to high speed still a drag on EBITDA, and the migration to ultrafast a further (even greater) challenge, although this brings opportunity as well, especially if the company can move away from its discount brand focus
    • Its prospective new owners highlight the need to invest in brand, systems, and full fibre capabilities to meet this challenge, but it is not clear where the money to do this is coming from, and it is also not clear if the desire to ‚Äėreposition the brand‚Äô includes a move upmarket
  • January 15, 2021

    Roaming charges to return for some: Free EU roaming an optional e [...]

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    • Lockdown 1.0 in March-April-May 2020 reduced mobility in London to 65% of its pre-pandemic baseline, swelling time spent at home. London‚Äôs mobility tracked a similar decline to Paris and New York City, all hugely reliant on public transport
    • Easing lockdowns and good weather slowly led to a mobility recovery through the summer and early autumn, but it sharply declined again after November‚Äôs Lockdown 2.0. The mobility decline was greatest in the City of London, which is more acutely affected by working from home
    • Each nation in the UK diverged slightly from September due to varying local policies adopted by England, Wales and Scotland to address their public health crises. Notably however, Lockdown 2.0 did not cause mobility to fall to the same degree as late March
  • January 14, 2021

    (UK) COVID-19 and Mobility

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    • Lockdown 1.0 in March-April-May 2020 reduced mobility in London to 65% of its pre-pandemic baseline, swelling time spent at home. London‚Äôs mobility tracked a similar decline to Paris and New York City, all hugely reliant on public transport
    • Easing lockdowns and good weather slowly led to a mobility recovery through the summer and early autumn, but it sharply declined again after November‚Äôs Lockdown 2.0. The mobility decline was greatest in the City of London, which is more acutely affected by working from home
    • Each nation in the UK diverged slightly from September due to varying local policies adopted by England, Wales and Scotland to address their public health crises. Notably however, Lockdown 2.0 did not cause mobility to fall to the same degree as late March
  • January 11, 2021

    (UK) Montgomery shakes news market again: JPI, third largest loca [...]

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    The low price paid reflects the dismal prospects for print media, especially regional and local titles relative to national titles. Over the past decade, regional publications were affected at a greater rate than national counterparts by the structural decline of print circulation and advertising, resulting in significantly more closures, as well as issue frequency reductions.
  • January 11, 2021

    Serie A TV rights auction: Deflation looms

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    On Monday, Italy’s Serie A issued its call for tender for its broadcasting rights for the 2021-24 cycle, covering three seasons. Bids are due by 26 January. Currently, Sky holds exclusive coverage of seven games per week with the remaining three fixtures carried by DAZN.
  • December 15, 2020

    Amazon Prime on Sky Q: Now almost fully aggregated

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    Sky has agreed to host Amazon Prime Video on its platform, effective today. The Amazon app appears in the App section of Sky Q set-top-boxes, which in the UK places it alongside the existing icons of BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Discovery+, Disney+, YouTube and Spotify (it is currently third in prominence).
  • December 11, 2020

    Discovery+ launch An opportunity to prove essential

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    Discovery has announced the global rollout of its direct-to-consumer (DTC) service, Discovery+. In the US, Discovery has a relatively straightforward story to tell: a stable of channels focused on "real life" content with a single business model‚ÄĒbasic cable‚ÄĒpivoting towards DTC distribution
  • December 10, 2020

    2021 spectrum auction: Uncertainty prevails (UK)

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    COVID, potential consolidation, implications for ALF pricing and non-contiguous blocks have conspired to make the forthcoming second 5G spectrum auction a highly complicated affair.
  • December 2, 2020

    Recovery…of sorts: UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trend [...]

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    • Consumer broadband, telephony and pay TV market revenue growth recovered to -2% in Q3 (from -6% in Q2), with the recovery in premium sports channel revenue being partially mitigated by a worsening in backbook pricing pressure at BT
    • This is however still weaker than pre-COVID levels, with said backbooking pricing pressure affecting all operators to some extent, and intensifying as Ofcom-mandated end-of-contract notifications are rolled out, with annual best tariff notification due over the next few months
    Sector , , .
  • December 2, 2020

    BBC licence fee settlement : Further cuts will wound the sector

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    On 10 November, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State (SoS) for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wrote to the BBC to confirm the scope and the timing of the next licence fee settlement, which will cover the period from 2022 to 2027. Previous settlements, conducted without public pressure or scrutiny, have left the BBC with more obligations and less to spend on them, at a time when licence fee income is already around 30% lower than it would have been had it kept pace with inflation and not been given additional spending obligations. In response, the Corporation has undergone extensive programmes of cost-cutting and rationalisation of resources. While this has made the BBC leaner in an operational sense, there is now little fat to absorb further cuts to income. With the commitment to fixed long-term obligations such as its pension deficit, the threat remains that there will be less to spend on local and quality content, tech, regionality, and diversity, and as such, it cannot be expected that the BBC will continue to return the same kinds and volumes of value to the wider creative economy, as it is structured for.
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  • November 26, 2020

    Google search in the dock: Department of Justice targets mobile b [...]

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    The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is bringing an antitrust case against Google under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, accusing it of operating an illegal monopoly for internet search and search advertising in its home market of the US. Although a monopoly by itself is not illegal in the US, Google is accused of maintaining its search monopoly by unlawful means. The case targets Google's licensing of its Android operating system and exclusionary agreements with Apple for its devices that allow Google to be the default search provider on most mobile devices in the US.
    Sector , .
  • November 23, 2020

    Vodafone: Bright spots and low lights

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    There are some reasons to be cheerful about Vodafone right now‚ÄĒsmall nuggets of encouragement in its H1 results and the prospect of some market repair in the UK. Annual in-contract price rises of CPI + 3.9% across the UK mobile sector could provide very valuable support
  • November 18, 2020

    ITV Q3 2020 results: Ads recovering, production may take longer

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    Advertising demand has risen, with total ad revenue down just 7% in Q3, and Q4 expected to be slightly up‚ÄĒthis means ITV will be down just over 10% across 2020.

  • November 17, 2020

    Sky UK brings group back on track

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    Sky appears to have weathered the COVID-19 crisis, revealing an encouraging turnaround in its Q3 operating results, with revenue growth flat overall as each stream saw significant improvement from Q2
  • November 16, 2020

    FY20 Investor Day ‚Äď Telstra counting on its 5G leadership to im [...]

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    Telstra held its annual Investor Day event on 12th November 2020. Telstra CEO Andy Penn and senior management addressed progress on its T22 strategy, the financial and earnings outlook, changing dynamics in the Enterprise market, progress on the 5G rollout, and changes to the company structure. In this report, we have analysed some of the key announcements from the event and provided our take on the same.
  • November 13, 2020

    Update: The Australian tower market 2020 ‚Äď Telstra‚Äôs TowerCo

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    The market for traditional macro-towers in Australia is mature. All three carriers have been expanding their tower networks only incrementally in recent years, and site growth is low. 5G will not change this significantly, because 5G base stations are being mounted on existing towers, not new ones.
  • November 13, 2020

    Virgin Media: Subscriber growth renaissance continues

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    Virgin Media’s lockdown subscriber surge continued into Q3, as working-from-home highlights the importance of the faster speeds its network can offer.
  • November 12, 2020

    Google News Showcase An olive branch to publishers (and regulator [...]

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    On 1 October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced $1 billion for worldwide news publisher partnerships for a novel News Showcase product, helping them to distribute their content to a new audience.
  • November 11, 2020

    2020 console launches Xbox looks to the future; PlayStation looks [...]

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    The launch of new games consoles this week showcases broadly divergent strategies for Sony and Microsoft, with market leader PlayStation focused solely on defending its model against the rising tide of cheaper subscription games services.

  • November 9, 2020

    BT: Glacially improving outlook

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    BT had a fairly mixed September quarter at the revenue level, with post-lockdown recovery evident in a number of areas, such as wholesale/commercial sports, Openreach installation and network build volumes, and consumer mobile net adds, but revenue weakness in mobile roaming (seasonal factors) and consumer fixed (regulator-inspired price cuts) resulted in overall group revenue growth unchanged.