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  • June 1, 2017

    Australian Out-of-Home Market Outlook 2017: Widespread growth dri [...]

    The Australian Out-of-Home (OoH) market has been growing continuously for the past seven years, with CY16 posting a notable 15.8% year on year increase.Total revenue for 2016 was at an all-time high of $789.5 million, up from $682.1 million in 2015

  • May 25, 2017

    Amazon Channels: bite-sized pay-TV for the whole family

    After a US debut, Amazon’s marketplace of SVOD services arrives in the UK and Germany, but without the major draws of HBO and Showtime. Unbundling SVOD for premium content strengthens Amazon’s position in the fast-developing connected TV landscape, where Prime Video is taking on Netflix, NOW TV and YouTube. For niche content providers, Amazon Channels provides a new, low-friction route to go direct-to-consumer with a mix of live and on-demand premium content alongside existing distribution strategies.

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  • May 22, 2017

    TalkTalk Group Q4 2016/17 results: Rebasing profits for growth

    TalkTalk managed to return to retail on-net broadband subscriber growth in the March quarter after years of decline, but at the expense of missing their EBITDA target for the year. They have stated a determination to grow the base going forward, but have admitted that this requires a rebasing of their EBITDA to spend the necessary amount on marketing, and guided to an EBITDA drop in the 2017/18 year. This looks much more realistic than their previous plans, but will in itself generate even more competitive intensity in the UK broadband market, which is already squeezed given the market volume slowdown and Virgin Media network extension.
  • May 19, 2017

    Virgin Media Q1 2017 results: Roll-out and competitive pressures

    Virgin Media has run into network roll-out difficulties, having to revise down its previously stated homes passed figures and not committing to a full year 2017 target, with the current build run rate well below that required to hit its medium-term targets. Operating results were a little mixed, with ARPU showing signs of continued discounting and market-wide competitive pressures, and churn was higher than the previous year, but net adds were strong, RGUs stronger, and UK consumer cable revenue growth is still over 4%. Slower Project Lightning roll-out and weaker ARPU growth points to slower revenue growth during 2017 than might otherwise have been expected, but Virgin Media still has relatively strong prospects in a toughening market .
  • Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness
    Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness
    May 19, 2017

    Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness

    A partial — if seductively persuasive and impressive — data framework for online advertising combined with short-term incentives have encouraged a dramatic shift in the ratio of brand to activation advertising from 60:40 to 50:50, depressing the pricing of display media. Mounting evidence suggests a focus on quick returns and cheap media at all costs is hurting marketing effectiveness, measured in long-term Return-on-Investment, brand equity and consumer satisfaction. Guarding against this risk requires brand-focused advertisers to create more space for long-term judgement for CMOs, and to refocus agency remuneration towards planning and creative work.

  • UKTV 2016 results: viewing continues to climb, what awaits online
    UKTV 2016 results: viewing continues to climb, what awaits online
    May 19, 2017

    UKTV 2016 results: viewing continues to climb, what awaits online [...]

    2016 was another good year for UKTV, with appreciable growth in revenue and linear viewing share; a trajectory the product of a sensitive pay/free balance of its channels, investment in productive EPG slots and development of its original programming suite. Recent deals with both Sky and Channel 4 will go some way to providing financial stability, allowing UKTV to invest with more certainty in new content and encouraging further development of its online proposition. UKTV Play has underperformed, chiefly due to a lack of content. But with plans to significantly ramp up both its offering and marketing spend, it may well unlock further audiences; specifically targeting elusive 16-34 year-olds.
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  • ComCom says no to Fairfax/NZME merger – A short sighted decision
    ComCom says no to Fairfax/NZME merger – A short sighted decision
    May 12, 2017

    ComCom says no to Fairfax/NZME merger – A short sighted decisio [...]

    The merger of NZME and Fairfax Media has been rejected by the New Zealand Commerce Commission.We believe that, although the scale of the merged company could hamper competition within New Zealand, NZCC’s decision is short sighted on an international scale and as a result will significantly damage the print media market in New Zealand.

  • Australian media reforms are sensible …but they come far too late
    Australian media reforms are sensible …but they come far too late
    May 10, 2017

    Australian media reforms are sensible …but they come far too la [...]

    On Saturday 6th May 2017, the Australian Government announced a comprehensive package of media reforms – a feat that had defeated many of its predecessors. The reforms have clearly been designed to offer something for everyone and the response from the industry has been extremely positive, but is it is all too late?

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  • TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    May 5, 2017

    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow

    Our latest forecasts point to the continued strength of DTT within the UK broadcast market. We predict DTT-only homes will account for 42% of TV viewing ten years from now, up from 38% today. Much of this is due to the UK’s ageing population profile, since DTT skews older. The number of over-45s in DTT-only homes is set to increase by 13% by 2026. The other key factor is the continued growth of flexible pay-lite services—for example, Netflix and NOW TV—which are of greater appeal to younger audiences.

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  • May 3, 2017

    People, not devices: Audience buying in a cross-device world

    Cross-device identity profiles are used to stitch together fragmenting online ad audiences, but also to enable new links between advertising and marketing, across European markets. This moves value from media itself to understanding each consumer and how they access content and services on proliferating connected devices. By 2020 we predict that 58% of all UK online ad buys by value will make use of high-quality audience IDs, led by the largest advertising platforms but limited by privacy regulation and cost.
  • May 3, 2017

    Sky still on track: Q3 2017 results

    Sky delivered 5% year-on-year revenue growth over the first nine months at constant exchange rates, although operating profits fell due to several factors, most notably the massive step-up in UK Premier League TV payments under the new contract. On closer inspection, relatively weak UK & Ireland Q3 revenue growth compared with previous quarters largely reflects one-off special factors . Otherwise, positive quarters for Sky Germany & Austria and Sky Italy and improving cost efficiencies suggest that the Sky Group remains broadly on track to deliver its Investor Day 2016 guidance objectives.

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  • April 6, 2017

    Article 50 triggers Brexit in 2019

    The UK intends to exit the EU on 29 March 2019 and will submit the hoped-for agreement on a new strategic partnership with the EU to a vote in Parliament. The EU and the UK agree to seek an early settlement on the rights of 4 million nationals and the Irish border. Incentives diverge on the size of the UK’s Brexit bill. Unless a withdrawal agreement is reached, the EU will balk at starting talks on the UK’s desired free trade agreement (FTA), making a hard Brexit more likely than not.
  • March 23, 2017

    Video viewing forecasts to 2026

    2016 was yet another year in which we saw big changes in the UK’s video consumption habits amongst the under-45s, with little let up in the decline of traditional broadcast linear TV viewing for the younger age groups. Online video-on-demand services will continue to grow, partly at the expense of traditional TV audiences. We also expect the overall volume of viewing to rise, mainly due to wider production of and access to short-form content. Despite these changes, conventional broadcasters look to be strong for years to come—we estimate they will still account for 80% of all video viewing in 2026
  • March 22, 2017

    360 and Virtual Reality: a new angle for video entertainment

    The temporary cool-off in hype around VR following a very buzzy 2016 is not reducing the flow of investment and talent into the industry, notably in video production utilising 360Video technology; setting the stage for the development of a truly new entertainment medium. Fully immersive interactive worlds will continue to be the mainstay of the video games industry, while video entertainment will exist in a multi-track environment, with some genres (news, documentaries , natural history) making 360Video mainstream well before long-form narrative-driven entertainment. 2017 will still be a challenging year for consumer device VR roll-out and mass market adoption; Oculus, Google, and Sony continue to seed the market, providing large scale funding and equipment directly to developers and content producers.

  • March 21, 2017

    21CF and the bid for Sky: state of play

    Secretary of State Karen Bradley has intervened on two UK public interest grounds in 21CF’s bid for 100% ownership of Sky: media plurality, as in 2010, and a commitment to broadcasting standards, new in 2017. Ofcom will assess any implications of 21CF’s full control of Sky on whether it is ‘fit and proper’ to hold a broadcast licence, reporting back on 16 May. Undertakings are a live issue in the 2016 bid, notably to protect the editorial independence of Sky News, noting the bid faces determined opposition from certain quarters.
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  • March 14, 2017

    The last demographic: How is TV catering for its oldest and most [...]

    Linear television's audience is ageing; with the drop in viewing by younger demographics, consistent viewership by the over 65s has seen them increase their share of total viewing since 2010 from 24% to 31%. The difficulties and efforts to re-engage with the younger cohorts are well documented. But what of the resilient, older group that forms the stable core of the television audience? Conspicuous attempts are being made to create specific shows targeted at the oldest viewers, but outside of limited categories, creating relevant programming may be more difficult than expected.
  • TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow
    March 8, 2017

    The connected evolution of UK TV platforms

    The past 14 months have seen a flurry of activity from the major UK television platforms, with all but one releasing a revamped version of their television offering; a neccessary reaction to the rise of VOD consumption and the threat this poses to traditional models. The result is 'connected' offerings, with the major players aiming to exploit the impact of this technology by seamlessly integrating on-demand capabilities, and in doing so mitigate the further shockwaves resulting from its emergence. No offering is likely to single-handedly alter the current subscriber landscape radically; with the pay platforms' each taking a unique—and to a degree—entrenched path that affirms its core consumer base, the greatest shifting of sands will likely come from changes in consumer trends or content quality.

  • March 7, 2017

    Mobile World Congress: a look at tech & media

    Smartphone hardware did not take centre stage at the year’s premier mobile industry event in Barcelona, with license-built Nokias generating as much excitement as flagship smartphones from HTC, Sony and Samsung. In VR, AR and IoT, the most impressive signs of progress were under the hood rather than in flashy device announcements – as the actual use cases become more specific, so does hardware and software. Concrete business applications around the personal data generated by connected mobile devices was a major theme, with new types of automation and personalisation in services and media – and a growing market for security.

  • February 28, 2017

    ComCom says no to ‘Skodafone’ – What now?

    The proposed merger of Sky TV and Vodafone in New Zealand was rejected by the Commerce Commission on 23rd February 2017. We discuss the reasoning behind this decision as well as the wider implications for Sky TV, Vodafone and the industry.
  • February 28, 2017

    Fashion’s new look: digital sets new trends

    Fashion underpins the growth of ecommerce; online took a 14% share of all fashion retail in the UK last year and is set to rise further, challenging the economics of physical retail. Mobile is a key driver, it is changing research and shopping habits, and in turn affecting supplier product cycles, merchandising and marketing strategies. Social media has disrupted the traditional shopping funnel, changing how trends and styles proliferate and shifting the sites of authority and influence in a £66 billion sector.
  • February 27, 2017

    Amazon’s ad business: shoppers for sale

    Amazon’s marketing services bring in a growing stream of direct, high-margin revenue, but their main role is still in supporting vendor partnerships. Amazon uses customer profile data to profit from its own media and that of others, illustrating the value of a direct customer relationship in online advertising. In the future, Amazon’s moves into video content and voice interfaces are likely to significantly expand ad inventory, but maintaining the trust of shoppers is not straightforward.

  • February 24, 2017

    Virgin Media Q4 2016 results: Accelerated build, delayed benefits

    Virgin Media successfully ramped up its network extension in Q4, passing more than double the homes in the previous quarter, and above the rate required to meet 2017 expectations. Net customer additions were, however, relatively weak, entirely due to extra churn caused by the price increase implemented in the quarter. The price increase’s effect on ARPU and revenue growth was muted by ARPU discounting for new customers, leaving revenue growth broadly unchanged. Subscriber growth has already improved in early 2017, and is likely to continue to improve through the year. The discounted ARPU impact will be more sustained, but robust revenue growth is still likely throughout the year.
  • February 8, 2017

    Apple TV: Is video streaming taking the lead in TV consumption?

    The video streaming market continues to grow with a greater number of devices being sold year on year and the four big players in video streaming devices continue to compete for market share. We discuss the changes to consumer behaviour driving this growth and what impact this might have on the wider TV market and look further into Apple TV and how their new update has affected their position in the market.
  • February 7, 2017

    TalkTalk Group Q3 2016/17 results: Weak quarter, reassuring guida [...]

    TalkTalk had a weak quarter, as was pre-warned, with the decline in the broadband base accelerating and consumer revenue growth of -6% slightly worse than the previous quarter. Guidance was however very bullish, with the company confident that it can bounce back to return to positive net adds in the March quarter, while still hitting its profitability guidance. This looks a difficult task in a market which is still highly competitive, but if it can achieve it, the longer term aim of a stable customer base and growing revenue and profits looks much more plausible.