Market Outlook

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  • May 13, 2019

    Sky UK Q1 2019 results: weak ARPU hits bottom line

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    Sky made a surprisingly weak start to 2019, with revenue growth decelerating to 1.9% (the first time below 4% since the European businesses merged in 2015), due to weaker ARPU trends. However, Sky expects improvement to follow, blaming one-off factors in the quarter. The ARPU weakness drove EBITDA down 11.3%, but this should bounce back across the rest of 2019 as football rights costs turn from a drag to a positive. Comcast highlighted collaborations with Sky across tech, advertising, content distribution and even news, stating it is on track to achieve the anticipated $500 million in annual synergies over the next couple of years
  • May 7, 2019

    Sports streaming and 5G – everyone wants in…

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    Live sport remains an important content genre with the ability to attract consumer eyeballs and improve customer loyalty for both telcos and TV operators. However, TV operators (FTA and Pay TV) which until recently were the undisputed leaders in providing sports content, are being disrupted by sports streaming apps and telcos.
  • May 6, 2019

    UK Online media monetisation

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    The commercial challenges for media online are well-documented: online advertising pays for utilities such as search and social networking many times over, but not for media beyond user-generated content and low-investment journalism. There are also costs from a user perspective: wasted time, harmful content created to attract views, and the collection, sale, use and frequent leakage to criminals of personal data. Different sectors have found varying success with alternatives: games, video and music are attracting user payments, driving the paid online economy up 15.5% to £8.2 billion in 2018.
  • May 3, 2019

    Disney+ and Hulu: a flexible pitch to consumers

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    Disney now controls third-party content aggregator Hulu, which has 25 million subscribers in the US. Ramped up by Fox content, Hulu’s operating losses are expected to peak in FY2019 at $1.5 billion, with profits by FY2023 or FY2024. Serving only Disney content, Disney+ launches in the US at the low price of $6.99/month this November, and in 2020 in Europe and Asia Pacific in 2021, aiming to reach the challenging goal of 60-90 million subscribers in five years. ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+ combined could contribute 13% of Disney’s revenues by 2024, which does not intend to disturb existing channels and windows for catalogue and new content, aside from withdrawing content from Netflix.
  • May 2, 2019

    The new lifespan of UK TV content: wearing out more quickly

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    The economic model of TV production relies upon a vibrant market for back catalogue content; programming that has traditionally driven the desirability of many linear channels and slots. New release strategies, along with the hyper-concentrated viewing encouraged by video-on-demand and the round-the-clock availability of shows calls the longevity of the value of content into question. Our analysis suggests that programmes that previously would be leisurely distributed through broadcast could now feasibly be “worn out” more quickly. This could have ramifications for the whole sector, with more content investment required “upfront” and new financial and distribution models required.
  • May 1, 2019

    Say goodbye to SIM cards – the rise of eSIMs

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    The conventional SIM card has been integral for device connectivity for almost three decades. The arrival of eSIMs will remove space constraints greatly benefiting IoT devices and wearables. Although eSIMs can be seen as a threat to telcos - as they enable a more efficient churn process - we believe the benefits of eSIMs outweigh the risks.
  • April 29, 2019

    UK Out of Home: opportunities and threats crowd the doorway

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    Out of Home (OOH) is bucking the trend in UK traditional media and continues to grow, driven by the digitisation of inventory as the paper estate recedes. Digital OOH now accounts for 50% of total OOH ad spend. Soon digitisation will slow, as much OOH inventory cannot be converted from posters to digital screens; sustained growth will require a different form of change. The industry is amidst structural shift – driven by consolidation and automation – which could be wholly positive, but a lack of cooperation between major players risks stifling innovation and the medium’s growth.
     
  • April 23, 2019

    5G to change the shape of UK mobile

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    The capacity boost with 5G will be more important than any speed or latency uplift. We estimate a 7-fold increase in mobile capacity in the UK and 13x+ for O2 and H3G. We view fixed mobile substitution products as quite niche although the number of mobile-only households is likely to creep up. mmWave would have the capacity to substitute for fixed but has many hurdles to overcome. Capacity-constraints have tempered competition of late and their removal risks an increase in intensity, especially as H3G views itself as sub-scale – good for policy makers but another challenge to add to the industry’s woes.
  • April 17, 2019

    Cinema market trends 2019 – Australia and New Zealand

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    Cinema revenues in Australia are projected to decline gradually over the next 5 years primarily due to cheaper substitutes on offer for consumers. Netflix has paved the way for cinema disruption and distributed 75 original films in 2018. Fellow disrupter MoviePass has continued to struggle due to an unprofitable business model.
  • April 16, 2019

    Google and game streaming: double or quits

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    Google’s Stadia promises the most credible game streaming service yet, but building a subscription bundle of top titles would require an all-out bet in the sector. Google is building its own game studios – to win over others it must overcome a troubled history in gaming, mitigating risks to developer business models and creative integrity. Games are much more technically demanding to stream than video, presenting an advantage to Google, Microsoft and Amazon – and a boost to telecoms network demand, welcomed by operators.
  • April 12, 2019

    Monthly Australian TMT Wrap: March 2019

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    The number of announced transactions in March is low relative to February. A number of companies raised capital for a range of purposes, which were well received by the market. The volatility in Lyft’s share price post listing has shown that the market has struggled to price Lyft due to a lack of comparable listed companies in similar sector.
  • April 10, 2019

    Mobile Sports Streaming, Gaming and E-sports: A revenue opportuni [...]

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    There’s been a lot of speculation in the market about the revenue upside for 5G operators. Our latest Australian consumer survey shows there is good 5G market awareness and that 18% of subscribers would consider paying a price premium for a better 5G network experience. Venture Insights believes a 5G product which allows subscribers to move to a separate 5G slice which provides enhanced data throughput would clearly work with the gaming and sports consumer segments and benefit the network provider if offered as a (for example) $5 - $10 monthly option. The risk is that if Telcos stick with AYCE and unlimited plans, then the platform operators (such as Google Stadia) will benefit from the cloud based gaming subscriptions and take advantage of a better 5G network
  • April 8, 2019

    The North heads south: European mobile in Q4 2018

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    European mobile service revenue growth dropped to -1.3% – its lowest level in three years – particularly disappointing as growth should be bouncing back post-EU roaming tariff cuts. Having enjoyed relatively favourable dynamics in 2018, the UK and Germany are facing marked changes in momentum from here. Regulation limiting intra-EU call prices could hit hard – up to 6% of revenues and 20% of EBITDA in the UK, although other EU countries may be less exposed due to lower tariffs currently.
  • April 2, 2019

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q4 2018

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    Market revenue growth accelerated to 3% in Q4, but it might never reach this level again, being helped by a never-to-be-repeated BT overlapping price rise. With price rises becoming more challenging in general, and superfast pricing under pressure in particular, maintaining/increasing ARPUs is becoming more difficult despite superfast volumes surging. Openreach’s ultrafast roll-out has accelerated, challenging Virgin Media and bringing the prospect of further price premia, but perhaps too late to be of significant benefit in 2019.
  • March 28, 2019

    UK mobile market Q4 2018: Headwinds gathering for 2019

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    Following record growth last quarter, the UK mobile market took a step down to just 0.9% growth in the quarter to December on the back of increasing pressure in the business market and the impact of out-of-bundle limits. 2019 looks set to be a tough year for the sector with: a series of potentially painful regulatory hits; markedly lower price rises than last year; and early signs of a degree of creeping competitive intensity. We view 5G as a much-needed means of expanding capacity in the sector with upsides from M2M and IoT likely to remain relatively small.
  • March 19, 2019

    UK online advertising: Brexit year forecast and trends

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    UK online advertising spend continued its double-digit growth in 2018, up 11% to reach nearly £13bn in annual spend or 58% of the total advertising market, but a no-deal consumer downturn could nearly stop growth this year. Google, Facebook, Amazon, professional services firms and the largest marketing cloud companies are the biggest winners, while content media, media agencies and independent advertising technology firms languish. Self-regulation has improved as pressure mounts on advertising technology firms, but interventions by both privacy and competition authorities are now inevitable.
  • March 14, 2019

    Huawei and UK 5G: Identifying the risks

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    ­­­­Governments and operators have come under increasing pressure to exclude Huawei’s 5G equipment from national networks, with justifications usually kept vague and wide-ranging rather than specific, and no evidence provided. Given the role of Huawei’s 5G equipment in the network and the extent of existing testing and checking, realistic security risks that apply to Huawei and not to all other equipment suppliers are hard to conceive. The risks of any ban are however very real; with Huawei one of only three global-scale telecoms equipment suppliers, and the preferred early choice for 5G radio equipment in the UK, removing this choice will massively increase costs and delay roll-outs of cutting-edge connectivity.
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  • Free
    March 13, 2019

    Equity crowdfunding in Australia: We have lift-off

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    Equity crowdfunding has been celebrated as a game-changing alternative to venture capital and traditional business loans but has until recently been off limits to most retail investors. With the lifting of Australian restrictions on who can use equity crowdfunding platforms, there is cautious uptake from consumers and start-ups – with several platforms establishing a clear lead – but the claim of outsize returns will take time to be tested.
  • February 15, 2019

    European pay-TV: Resilient in the face of SVOD’s growth

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    Across the EU4, pay-TV is proving resilient in the face of fast growing Netflix (with Amazon trailing), confirming the catalysts of cord-cutting in the US are not present on this side of the Atlantic. Domestic SVOD has little traction so far. France's pay-TV market seems likely to see consolidation. Meanwhile, Germany's OTT sector is ebullient, with incumbents bringing an array of new or enhanced offers to market. Italy has been left with a sole major pay-TV platform—Sky—following Mediaset's withdrawal, while Spain's providers, by and large, are enjoying continued growth in subscriptions driven by converged bundles and discounts.
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  • Free
    February 13, 2019

    AI in Insurance: Disruption Assured

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    Artificial intelligence (AI) has enormous potential to disrupt across the data- and process-heavy insurance value chain. The growth of AI startups and adoption of (AI) by Australian insurers began in earnest over the last two years. The approach taken so far is one of collaboration rather than direct competition between incumbents and disruptors.
  • February 11, 2019

    UK TV set viewing trends: linear audiences tumble in 2018

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    2018 was another bad year for traditional TV set viewing of broadcast channels, with a 5% decline year-on-year—its steepest since 2011. The decline accelerated among most demographics, but particularly for 16-34s, down 13% YOY from their already relatively low levels of TV viewing. Unmatched use, which includes viewing to Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, continues to grow, up 16% YOY, with both linear viewing and unmatched use becoming increasingly solitary activities. While heavier linear TV viewers are accounting for a greater proportion of linear TV viewing, it is the lighter TV viewers that are accounting for a greater proportion of unmatched use. Within the broadcast ecosystem, ITV had the strongest 2018 thanks to the FIFA World Cup, more Coronation Street, and Love Island. Most other broadcasters struggled in terms of viewing share, but the maturity of the market means major shifts continue to be rare.
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  • February 6, 2019

    New Zealand Mobile Market Outlook

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    The New Zealand mobile market had been traditionally characterised as an oligopoly that is dominated by the prepaid segment with high prices, lack of product differentiation and low usage. However, this market is about to see a rise in competitive intensity driven by 2degrees’ move to gain share in the lucrative postpaid and business mobile segments. We believe Vodafone NZ is most at risk and could lose approximately 3% of its subscriber market share by 2022. The emergence of utility companies offering mobile products will also increase competition and create more “sticky” consumers. We forecast the mobile market will remain the largest segment in the telco market with NZ$3.2bn revenue by 2022.
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  • Free
    January 29, 2019

    AI in Financial Services: Who wins the future of banking?

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    Financial services are ripe for AI disruption; they are data-heavy, with significant potential for automation. The question is not if, but how fast, and how profoundly, would AI reshape the competitive landscape. In Australia, the AI ecosystem is exciting, but has yet to reach critical mass.
  • January 22, 2019

    New Zealand Telco Market Outlook

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    We expect the overall retail telco market to remain flat (2018-2022 CAGR 0.0%) with mobile growth driven by a move to post-paid plans and 4G/5G to offset the structural decline in fixed voice.  Total retail revenues will reach NZ$5.4bn in 2022. With UFB deployment well on track 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.
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