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  • New
    April 21, 2021

    Super League, super backlash: Naked power bid over European compe [...]

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    On Sunday, 12 football clubs announced they were launching a new European league with an inaugural season “as soon as practicable”. The 12 Super League clubs include six English teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur), and three Spanish teams (Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona) and three Italians (Inter and AC Milan plus Juventus).
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  • New
    April 19, 2021

    Spotify Loud & Clear: 5% of artists generate above $1,000 in [...]

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    Spotify paid $5 billion in royalties last year to the music industry. Critics claim the $0.0038 per-stream average royalty rate is too low. However, this is largely due to high volumes of ad-funded listening, a core part of Spotify’s freemium model, and a defence against piracy. To silence the critics, the “Spotify Loud & Clear” site presents data on the distribution of industry royalties, which are heavily skewed to established artists. Only the top 5% of artists generate annual industry royalties above $1,000, though they take home less under their deals.
  • April 6, 2021

    Sky and football: Italian wager on aggregation

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    The contract includes exclusive coverage of seven weekly games (including top picks) and non-exclusive rights to the other three fixtures, for €840 million per year. In the current cycle DAZN holds three games per week for €193 million. Crucially, DAZN has displaced Sky as the lead broadcaster, displaying a dramatic shift in strategy.
  • March 26, 2021

    Mail scoops Telegraph print advertising: Telegraph outsourcing fo [...]

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    • The Telegraph’s carefully executed outsourcing of print advertising sales to Mail Metro Media fine-tunes its subscriber-first strategy
    • Consolidation and collaboration are inevitable in a highly-competitive, structurally-shrinking news industry
    • Reader-first models have emerged as the consistent theme for quality publishers, but the trade-offs, investment approaches and executions are highly differentiated
  • March 22, 2021

    UK full fibre regulation: The mist clears…somewhat

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    Ofcom’s full fibre regulation statement, released today, is largely as trailed, i.e. it allows BT’s Openreach considerable relaxation of wholesale pricing in return for building out full fibre.

    On the longer-term regulatory prospects, Ofcom continues to be fair but more obtuse than it could and should be, unnecessarily dampening investor enthusiasm. Ofcom will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow Openreach to offer geographic/volume discounts, using slightly contradictory principles.

    The publication and increased certainty may allow BT’s Openreach to extend its full fibre roll-out further, faster or even with external financing. The build plans of others will come under increasing question.

  • March 18, 2021

    End-of-line spectrum 50% off: UK second 5G auction results

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    Proceeds in the swiftly concluded second 5G auction were £1.36bn, very much towards the bottom end of the estimated £1-2.7bn range in our recent report 2021 spectrum auction: Uncertainty prevails [2020-117]. The prices paid are very low by historic standards, particularly for the 700MHz band but the spectrum most suitable for 5G (3.6-3.8GHz) is also more than 40% below the price achieved in the auction for very similar spectrum in 2018.
  • March 17, 2021

    ITV FY 2020 results: Waiting for lockdown to end

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    ITV’s advertising revenue was down 11% in 2020—probably a relief given the unprecedented depths the TV ad market found itself in during April-July. However, the current lockdown has stunted advertising’s recovery and its trajectory will continue to be tied to the loosening of the same restrictions that continue to dictate movement and spend. It is not until April that ITV forecasts (+60-75% YoY) that money will rush back into the TV ad ecosystem, looking to make up for lost time.
  • March 16, 2021

    Into the wild: Facebook prepares for a world without trackers

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    • Facebook emerged from 2020 reporting record revenue growth of 22% over the year, built on its huge volume of usage, its simple buying tools and its trove of first-party data
    • Facebook’s ability to match third-party data for targeting and attribution is also central to its success. However, Apple and Google are restricting data-matching tools like third-party cookies and mobile IDs, and Facebook is moving to minimise the damage
    • Facebook is trying to turn its sites into storefronts by launching ‘Facebook Shops’. It is also taking public stands on the use of data for advertising, and on the need for brand-building in marketing plans. These are conversations all advertisers and media owners should be engaged with
  • March 16, 2021

    Decarbonising Work

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    • Growth in the UK production sector is being driven by increased investment by American streaming services, while local broadcasters rely on co-productions to fund increasingly-expensive, high-end content
    • However, while this investment is welcome, the output is predominantly less ‘British’ than that commissioned directly by local broadcasters
    • Distinctive and diverse British cultural touchpoints are created or perpetuated by television. Current trends suggest a dilution of this, a globalisation of local content, and perhaps less relevance to British viewers
  • March 11, 2021

    Outsourcing culture: When British shows aren’t ‘British’ [...]

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    • Growth in the UK production sector is being driven by increased investment by American streaming services, while local broadcasters rely on co-productions to fund increasingly-expensive, high-end content
    • However, while this investment is welcome, the output is predominantly less ‘British’ than that commissioned directly by local broadcasters
    • Distinctive and diverse British cultural touchpoints are created or perpetuated by television. Current trends suggest a dilution of this, a globalisation of local content, and perhaps less relevance to British viewers
  • March 10, 2021

    DMGT reinforces consumer science: New Scientist joins Mail stable

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    The sale represents an impressive increase in value: New Scientist was offloaded by RELX in May 2017 for £17.7m (c.4.4x EBITDA), 1 an all-in sale price c.£21m.
  • March 9, 2021

    Virgin Media: Subscribers strong, ARPU tough to turn

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    • Virgin Media’s subscriber growth continues to be very strong, and it looks like next quarter’s price rise will (at worst) only stall, not stop, the renaissance
    • ARPU was hit in Q4 by the postponed price rise, and it will likely remain in decline in 2021, with regulatory pricing pressure and lockdown effects still weighing, despite firm new customer pricing
    • Nonetheless, accelerating subscriber growth is expected to drive group revenue growth positive again (helped by B2B growth), and Virgin Media’s main strategic problem—its fibre trilemma—looks like it will be dealt with after the merger with O2, expected
  • March 4, 2021

    Telco Half Year Results Reflect COVID Impact: Updated Forecast

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    Telstra, Optus, TPG, Vocus, Aussie Broadband, Uniti and Superloop have all announced results for the December half, with COVID19 looming large.

    The impact of COVID19 significantly affected the results. But this also means that recovery from COVID19 as immunisation programs roll out in 2021 will have an opposite effect. In this report, we have picked up some key numbers from these result announcements, and have discussed what it means for these telcos themselves, the implications for the industry in 2021, and how these affect Venture Insights’ forecasts for the Australian telco sector.

  • March 2, 2021

    (UK) Learning from “The Independent” : Sustainability [...]

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    • In a challenging media marketplace, quality online news services generated hundreds of thousands of new buyers in 2020, perhaps inching ahead of print in terms of UK household propensity-to-pay
    • But reader-first models are not only about subscriptions. The UK’s first national print title to go online-only, The Independent, has achieved operating profits since reconfiguring its cost base in 2016
    • The Independent defies many investor assumptions about news. Solutions for smaller businesses may diverge more from industry giants than is commonly expressed, and without distribution change, editorial, product and commercial transformation is slower
  • March 2, 2021

    Serie A rights auction: Sky ready for radical revamp

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    Serie A held a formal auction in January where reserve prices were not met by bidders. Since then, it has entered into direct negotiations with potential buyers. Two rival deals have emerged. Reportedly, Sky is offering €750 million per year for all ten weekly games.
  • February 24, 2021

    Google and Facebook lay out diverging news strategies: Battlegrou [...]

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    Google is demonstrating support for news by stepping up its efforts to license content from publishers and provide unpaywalled access within its Google News app—an attempt to diffuse regulatory pressure.

    Google is reconfiguring its relationships with publishers worldwide, putting $1 billion on the table to license news content to News Showcase through a series of flat fees over a set period of time.

  • February 9, 2021

    Amazon and sports rights: Gaining confidence

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    • Thanks to lockdown momentum, Amazon Prime Video grew substantially in 2020. Christmas time coverage of the Premier League seems to have played a part, informing Amazon’s approach elsewhere
    • Upping its game, Amazon has acquired more expensive Champions League rights in Germany and Italy. It also bid in Monday’s failed French Ligue 1 auction
    • In the impending Premier League tender Amazon may be ready to increase its outlay if needed to meet subscribers’ expectations, but without any real incentive to challenge Sky and BT’s dominance
  • February 9, 2021

    Amazon beats the flu: Non-commerce drives impressive growth over [...]

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    The pandemic has pushed ecommerce to new heights around the world, as consumers substitute their offline purchases for online in the absence of being able to leave their homes. In this new paradigm for retail, Amazon stands to benefit most, providing customers with convenient one-day delivery and a range of competitively priced products.
  • February 5, 2021

    Global Britain is born: Post-Brexit muddle

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    • The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) grants zero-tariffs only to goods compliant with rules of origin, a subset of the goods previously traded freely, and dramatically raises barriers to exports, especially services, relative to the Single Market
    • UK (and EU) traders of goods must assume new onerous, costly and disruptive customs clearance procedures, also applicable to other third parties, which are certain to radically downsize trade with the EU, especially B2C e-commerce, typically single parcel
    • The UK’s initial vision of Global Britain via a pact on trade, security and defence with the US, rather than the EU, is not a priority now for President Biden, who also has a stake in the open border on the island of Ireland
  • February 2, 2021

    Still the iPhone company: Apple’s record pandemic year

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    Mobility is vital to companies selling products, rather than online services. However, all regions grew double digits in the quarter, with global growth hitting a bumper 21%.

  • 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—more is being demanded of the domestic space—and in 2021 the consumer tech show offered a more holistic approach to the Internet of Things (IoT), accepting a ‘new normal’ would be centred on the home, even as the effects of the pandemic recede.
  • 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 “next few years” narrative it held for some time, to “rapidly closing in” on sustainable positive cashflow just last quarter, meaning that it was a “couple” 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.
  • 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
     
  • 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’s 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