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  • New
    September 21, 2020

    WMG IPO: A bet on streaming

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    Len Blavatnik has partly cashed in his investment in Warner Music Group (WMG). The shares issued were not new, and are non-voting, so the IPO did not raise funds for the future and will not change Blavatnik’s control of the business and its day-to-day running.
  • September 17, 2020

    Mobile industry reshape continues in the UK: EE ends its relation [...]

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    EE has announced the ending of its relationship with Carphone Warehouse, hot on the heels of a similar announcement from O2 a few months ago and the recent closure of Carphone Warehouse high-street stores
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  • September 2, 2020

    CNNO Playbook: Crown Castle

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    The big three U.S. telcos (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) have historically owned and operated their own towers. However, with rising debt and heavy costs involved in deploying the networks, the big three telcos spun off their tower assets to independent tower companies. AT&T and T-Mobile sold their tower business to Crown Castle; and Verizon disposed of its tower assets to American Tower. It was a win win situation for both the parties, as telcos could monetize their tower assets and pay off their debts. In exchange, tower companies could gain a long term customer. The exit of the big three telcos from the tower space led to the market dominance of American Tower, Crown Castle and SBA in the U.S. tower market segment.
  • August 27, 2020

    Webscale Playbook: Tencent

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    Tencent’s meteoric rise into one of the leading internet businesses coincides with China’s internet boom that started at the end of 20th century. According to the ITU estimates, just ~1.8% of China’s total population were internet users in the year 2000 – two years after Tencent was founded – that has now exploded to about 64%. Tencent’s initial journey began with the desktop-based instant messaging offering, QQ (initially QICQ), which slowly gained popularity and provided the company with a strong footprint in the domestic market. The start of the new decade saw more users going mobile with the increased cellphone penetration in the country, which led Tencent to launch its popular mobile instant messaging app, WeChat (Weixin in China) in 2011.
  • August 21, 2020

    Virgin Media UK – Indeterminately boosted

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    Virgin Media had its strongest subscriber performance for years in Q2, with its (ex-Project Lightning) existing base footprint showing positive growth to add to the subscribers gained on its Project Lightning network extension. This was partly due to temporary factors, with both Openreach and Sky not able to do in-home installations for part of the quarter, but the company has reported some sustained momentum, with the crisis boosting demand for higher speed broadband, and has decided not to implement its usual annual price increase in H2 to avoid the usual accompanying churn and customer dissatisfaction, instead choosing to prioritise subscriber growth to compensate for the ARPU shortfall.
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  • August 20, 2020

    Optus 1QFY21 and Vocus FY20 earnings update: revenues fall amidst [...]

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    Both Optus’ and Vocus’ revenues were impacted by COVID-19. Both operators saw mobile revenues decline in the last quarter, as consumers relied more on fixed broadband while working from home. Pre-COVID-19, we noted rising pressure on mobile ARPUs due to competition and increased consumer interest in cheaper plans. We forecast that COVID-19 would exacerbate these pressures, and this has been validated by Vocus’, Optus’ and Telstra’s results this week.
  • August 18, 2020

    BT UK – COVID-19 hit, fibre promise

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    BT’s first full quarter under the shadow of COVID-19 revealed a mix of negative impacts not entirely as predicted, by ourselves or indeed BT itself. The suspension of sport certainly had an impact on BT Sport revenue, but only about half of what we had feared (less than £50 million versus around £100 million), and Openreach was also relatively unaffected, perhaps having returned to full service levels quicker than anticipated. There was a strong negative impact on B2B revenue, but this was much more focused on SMEs than large corporates, with Global’s financials largely unaffected (so far), and mobile (which BT had not specifically warned about) was hit hard across consumer and (especially) B2B, with the results of the other mobile operators suggesting that the effect was market-wide.
  • August 14, 2020

    Update: Foxtel SVOD growth can’t prevent major restructure

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    Last year we reported on Foxtel’s battle with its OTT rivals, and its attempt to capture a share of the OTT market. In 2019, we had a number of concerns about Foxtel. With the release of the News Corp FY20 results on 11 August 2020, this report examines whether our concerns were justified. In summary, we think that the last twelve months have largely borne them out, with the exception of Kayo cannibalisation.  
    Sector .
  • August 12, 2020

    Art of the deal – Microsoft swoops for TikTok

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    Microsoft hopes to buy TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance before President Trump’s Executive Order halts transactions with the company in mid-September. Twitter is now in the game, but is unlikely to prevail
    Sector , .
  • August 12, 2020

    O2 UK: COVID and loss of Carphone bite

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    Along with the rest of the mobile market, O2’s results were harder-hit by COVID than expected, with service and total revenues down by 9% and 4% respectively
    Sector , .
  • August 11, 2020

    Sky UK Q2 2020 results – Emerging from the worst?

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    Sport is back, but its recent hiatus amid the COVID-19 crisis hit Sky hard, with Q2 revenue plunging 12.9% year-on-year. EBITDA remains flat for now, with sports rights cost absorption postponed but not cancelled
  • August 4, 2020

    Too big to derail – Facebook unmoved by its advertiser boyc [...]

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    Facebook grew revenues by 11% in Q2. This rate is higher than investors expected, but still driven to record lows by the pandemic slowdown. It forecasts 10% growth in Q3  
    Sector .
  • July 29, 2020

    TalkTalk UK: Post-lockdown challenges and opportunities

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    TalkTalk started its new financial year with revenue growth declining to -8% in Q1, although this is partly lockdown-related, and costs have also declined as churn plummeted  
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  • July 28, 2020

    HBO Max: Failing to generate retail momentum

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    In a cautionary note on the prospects of the SVOD boom, the 27 May US launch of direct-to-consumer video service HBO Max did not save its parent company Home Box Office from a 5% year-on-year (YoY) decrease in revenues in Q2 2020.  
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  • July 15, 2020

    UK Huawei ban – Counting the cost

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    Press reports suggest that the restrictions on Huawei equipment may morph into a full ban, with new installations stopping soon and existing equipment to be removed by 2029
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  • July 13, 2020

    Canal+: Time to reclaim its ‘national champion’ mojo

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    The pay-TV platform’s revenue has almost stabilised in France, while positioning has shifted to that of an aggregator—thanks to deals with Netflix, Disney+ and BeIN Sports
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  • July 9, 2020

    COVID-19 and consumer behaviour: implications for digital marketi [...]

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    Venture Insights performs periodic consumer surveys on mobile service and handset purchases across NZ.
  • Cybercrime as a Service
    Cybercrime as a Service
    July 2, 2020

    India bans Chinese apps – 59 apps removed including TikTok

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    India announced on Monday it has banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, an unprecedented move. The decision follows clashes on 15-16 June in the Himalayan border region of Ladakh which left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The Indian government quickly released a statement declaring that the apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order” and accused the apps of “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India”.
  • June 29, 2020

    Disney kids’ channels – Ceasing operation in the UK

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    The Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior will cease to be broadcast in the UK. Carriage negotiations with the major platforms have clearly been going on for some time, with the March agreement for Sky Q to carry the new SVOD service Disney+ completed without any reference to the linear channels.
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  • June 3, 2020

    Optus Q4FY20: a challenging quarter likely to have implications f [...]

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    On 28th May 2020, Optus announced its 4QFY20 earnings update for the quarter ending 31st March. Some of the key highlights from the announcement included:
    Sector .
  • May 27, 2020

    Virgin Media UK – Fibre questions remain

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    Virgin Media’s Q1 financial performance was in line with its subdued outlook, with its key problem being a lack of demand (yet) for the ultrafast services that only it can widely provide  
    Sector .
  • May 25, 2020

    Sport suspension scathes Sky UK – Q1 2020 results

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    BT’s March quarter appeared to have been going reasonably well until COVID-19 hit, with full year guidance still being broadly met, but the new financial year will be hit harder, with BT Sport, SME and new fibre connection revenue particularly vulnerable  
    Sector .
  • May 11, 2020

    UK ITV Q1 2020 results – Could be worse, but may get so

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    ITV recorded total advertising Q1 revenues up 2% year-on-year (£426 million) and in line with their 6 March (pre-lockdown) guidance, on the back of a strong February performance of +8%.  
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  • May 8, 2020

    Amazon Q1 2020 results – Profit growth takes a back seat

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    Amazon reported $75bn in net sales, which was largely in line with expectations, and 28% growth in Prime subscription revenue—as Amazon now has more than 150 million Prime subscribers worldwide—cementing its place as the irreplaceable utility for many in lockdown  
    Sector .