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  • November 16, 2016

    Marketing and measurement in the digital era

    Digital consumption has generated a lot of data in marketing and media and a huge variety of new opportunities for marketers—but insights and intelligence are not growing as much as data points, as a culture of short termism prevails. We recommend the linking of audience measurement and consumer behaviour data, but the industry lacks both standards and trust, while the still-immature digital marketing supply chain poses problems for data integrity. The new data economy has also precipitated a new war for talent, with marketing, media and publishing competing with technology, finance and other industries to attract the best quant and science brains to transition the creative sectors.

  • November 2, 2016

    Programmatic TV’s European Evolution

    Declining broadcast viewing to the TV set among younger demographics, fragmentation of video viewing across screens, the lack of robust measurement of viewing across screens and the development of online video advertising technology are altering the European TV landscape. Programmatic TV is at an early stage, but has shown its potential with increased audience targeting options and campaign automation: the roll-out of programmatic models and ad technology for European TV advertising have already prompted advertisers to see TV in new ways, beyond its core strengths in mass brand advertising. Automated ad technology can support the existing linear broadcast ad infrastructure; in addition we project a combined potential for annual increased TV ad revenue of €220-300m by 2018 in the seven markets of the study, driven by new advertiser spend on addressable TV advertising and programmatic broadcaster OTT.

  • October 19, 2016

    Revenues what count for Sky: Q1 2017

    2017 has started well as group revenues grew by 5% on a like-for-like constant currency basis and operating costs were 2% lower year-on-year. The outlook for continuing strong revenue growth in the coming quarters is very positive in light of the numerous and ongoing product and service synergies in all three Sky markets. Cord-cutting is now a major concern in the US; however, there is no evidence for it with respect to Sky operations in Germany & Austria and Italy, while the evidence from the UK & Ireland is so far inconclusive. We expect some to occur, but not on the scale seen in the US.

  • October 13, 2016

    Brexit and UK internet privacy

    Personal data is the fuel of the digital age and the UK is a top producer due to deep internet and ecommerce usage. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a key plank of the Digital Single Market (DSM), will directly apply in May 2018, before the date of Brexit in 2019. Upon Brexit, GDPR adoption would ensure easy certification by the Commission for data transfers outside the EU, giving companies another reason to stay in the UK.

  • October 12, 2016

    Google devices: leading the charge to consumer AI

    Google’s recent hardware launch event was a confident assertion of an AI-led future where Google’s services are present for everyone, everywhere With Google’s Assistant central to them, devices like the Pixel phone and Google Home smart speaker put pressure on Samsung, Apple and Amazon. If Google’s AI push is successful, it will evolve and strengthen the company’s role as a gatekeeper to content and services, fundamentally reshaping search marketing.

  • October 4, 2016

    Trade policy path to Brexit for the UK

    Brexit will take place in March 2019 and the rush is now on to complete the UK’s exit through Article 50 negotiations and set the framework for post-Brexit trade with the EU. Trade-related investment by companies is at high risk from uncertainty; a free-trade area (FTA) for manufactured products should be a priority for 2019. Barriers to trade in services in the EU are more nebulous than tariffs and far more political in Member States, justifying a Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEP).

  • Driving to Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
    Driving to Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
    September 30, 2016

    Driving to Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

    Amazon’s smart Echo speakers are coming to Europe, powered by a voice-controlled intelligent assistant, Alexa. Echo is thought to have found surprise success in the US. Alexa is best thought of as the most complete Voice User Interface (VUI) on the market. We expect VUIs to supplant graphical user interfaces for a variety of use-cases, in the home, on the move and in the car. Competition in this area is increasing.

  • September 28, 2016

    Clash of the retail titans: Amazon vs Walmart

    The battle in the US between Amazon, ecommerce giant, and Walmart, the retail titan, reflects the changing face of US retail as online drives growth. Amazon, the everything store, innovates on marketplace, warehouse and logistics, and customer tools like Prime, while Walmart fortifies in-store and builds on its strengths. Walmart cannot overtake Amazon online, but it can defend its position as the largest US retailer as Amazon drives an ecommerce future for retailing.

  • September 27, 2016

    European mobile in Q2 2016: Down but resilient

    European mobile service revenue growth worsened slightly in Q2, dropping to -1.2% after three consecutive quarters at -0.8%. Southern Europe significantly outperformed the North, reversing the regional trend of recent years. Mobile service revenue growth was thus quite robust given these factors, helped by price firming in a number of markets, particularly Spain

  • September 16, 2016

    BT Sport: positive first year with the Champions League

    BT Sport has seen a very clear positive impact from its first year airing the Champions League, with viewing up 60% year-on-year to June. Remarkably, its reach is now not too far off Sky Sports, though it still has some way to go in terms of consistent viewership.

  • September 14, 2016

    Untapped not tapped out -The over 50s -­ systemic consumption an [...]

    More than one third of the UK population is over 50 (over 23.6 million people) and this cohort is projected to keep growing. They account for substantial wealth, assets and expenditure. Over 50 consumers are more urban, educated, and tech-­‐savvy than the over 50s of previous generations. Given their outsize impact on the economy, influence on social trends and opportunity for brands, we believe the marketing industry underappreciates the diversity of over 50s, and their differentiated requirements. The key group in terms of potential in growth, wealth, expenditure and digital adoption are the 50-­‐65s: they are neither their children nor their parents.
  • September 5, 2016

    UK mobile market Q2 2016: Revenue growth slows, profitability res [...]

    UK mobile service revenue growth dipped in Q2 to -1.7%, a 1.5ppt drop from the previous quarter. About 0.2ppts of this drop was accounted for by a (temporary) jump in the MTR cut impact, but the rest was due to underlying factors. These factors were various and differed in their impact on the different operators, and they include the EC-mandated roaming cuts, the leap year effect and the continued growth of SIM-only, as well as pricing changes that appear to have been reversed since the quarter’s end. Macroeconomic weakness does not appear to have played a part so far, mainly because there has not been any consumer-led macroeconomic weakness, and although some indicators have worsened since the quarter’s end, the change is still quite slight so far.

  • August 31, 2016

    The matter of Peak TV, and what it means for the UK

    Whether the US has reached “Peak TV” —the apogeic volume of original scripted series—is debatable, but the mass of content being produced is unparalleled. As television continues its transition from a disposable medium to a permanent one, and an increasing number of outlets are creating original, scripted programming to keep up or differentiate, does this American explosion have ramifications for the UK consumer or broadcaster? Simply put, the UK’s more concentrated television landscape limits exposure. And, counter-intuitively, an unsustainable focus on scripted drama could play into the hands of the traditional broadcasters, whose future strength may lie in the diversity of their offering.

  • August 12, 2016

    US and UK: Cord-cutting-shaving-nevering

    Cord-cutting has become a major headache for US pay-TV operators in the last three years, while cable network channels face further erosion due to cord-shaving and we now see a rapidly growing population of cord-nevering households that have never taken a pay-TV subscription. Should we expect it to be only a matter of time for the UK to follow the US? The short answer is no, due to major differences in the pay-TV market infrastructures of the two countries, which leave the UK much less exposed. However, downward pressures from the online space do exist in both countries, while the big cord-cutting-shaving-nevering threat we now see in the UK has most of all to do with the chill Brexit winds on the economy.

  • Amazon Prime Air pilots in the UK
    Amazon Prime Air pilots in the UK
    August 11, 2016

    Amazon Prime Air pilots in the UK

    Amazon will test three possible features of their drone delivery system in the UK, which could make this novel shipping solution for small packages viable. When it launches, Prime Air will be limited to a catchment area of 2.3 million homes in the UK, with further exclusions for no-go areas for drones like airports and urban areas. Prime Air’s UK pilot will help the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) craft the rules for future drone delivery by retailers.

  • August 8, 2016

    Sky firing on all cylinders: FY 2016 results

    FY 2016 has been an excellent year, with all three Sky markets showing improved performance as Sky delivered 7% revenue growth (5% after adjusting for 2016 being a 53-week year) and 12% increase in operating profit. The success reflects Sky’s commitment to product and service innovation and diversification in an increasingly fragmented marketplace combined with tight control of back office costs and focus on synergies. As a measure of its success, Sky has set new cost synergy targets of £400 million annual run-rate by FY 2020 and is aiming for continuing middle to high single digit growth in revenues, which should let it comfortably absorb the rising costs of Premier League and Bundesliga live televised rights under the next contracts.

  • August 2, 2016

    Steady progress: ITV H1 2016 results

    ITV H1 2016 revenues and EBITA showed double-digit growth year on year, though the greater share came from ITV Studios acquisitions of independent producers and H1 2016 was sequentially down on H2 2015, with ITV Studios accounting for most of the decrease. ITV Family NAR was flat year on year. Though Brexit has led to growing fears of a sharp downturn, ITV appears relatively well placed to handle such an outcome: ITV Main channel 7% uptick in H1 viewing share; £25 million targeted cost efficiencies in 2017; healthy balance sheet. ITV Studios revenues have doubled in scale since 2011 following 15 acquisitions of independent production companies; yet just how well the underlying business is performing organically is hard to assess due to the bumpiness of short term trends.

  • July 22, 2016

    Mid-form video: Beyond the long and the short of it

    Video content is crudely defined. If something is not very short (<10 minutes) then it tends to be considered long-form. But there is a middle ground - one which displays a distinctive combination of characteristics in terms of production, broadcasting and viewing. Mid-form video (between 10 and 20 minutes) has the ability to carry the narrative arcs normally associated with long-form programming, whilst also retaining the snackable and shareable attributes of short-form. The footprint of mid-form is, so far, small. However, it is growing, as its unique qualities, such as excellent ad completion, become more readily recognised.

  • July 18, 2016

    Mobile Google: beyond the smartphone

    Google’s recent product updates and upcoming features aim for as many users on as many platforms and devices as possible – a return to strategic form. The company has a dual approach: using Android as a mobile trend-setter while also devising new ways for users and developers on other platforms to use Google services. The reach provided by these initiatives will help Google’s machine learning algorithms to better understand and predict user intent – the cornerstone of the company’s ad business.

  • Consumer magazines Print still key; radical innovation emerging
    Consumer magazines Print still key; radical innovation emerging
    July 4, 2016

    Consumer magazines Print still key; radical innovation emerging

    UK consumer magazine print circulation fell -9% in 2015 while total display advertising fell -7% as magazines continue to outperform other press categories. However, the overall picture is still one of falling consumer and advertiser demand and the fierce competition for user attention and advertising spend online is reflected in consumer magazine digital display advertising growth of just 12%: about half of the total online display growth rate in 2015. At the same time publishers are starting to embrace radical innovation using their brands to produce multiple revenue streams ranging from e-commerce to events, as we explore in our four publisher case studies included in this report.

  • July 1, 2016

    Brexit dismal media outlook

    The victory of the Leave campaigners in the EU referendum offers no clear benefits to the audiovisual sector, whether we consider domestic and international broadcast distribution across Europe or the creative production sector. The present lack of a clear roadmap and climate of uncertainty promises to be harmful across the entire media sector at least in the short-term, raising the distinct prospect of a recession later this year or next, causing us to downgrade our forecasts from February this year. The Brexit process raises many issues and will be drawn out over several years as the UK finds its feet in the new world. If the UK audiovisual sector is to emerge relatively unscathed, it is vital that it retains its ties with the Single Market by joining the EEA. The alternative is unthinkable.

  • June 28, 2016

    Global music publishing 2016

    Music publishing revenues are trending up in a broad sustainable manner across the US, Europe and Japan, underpinned by longstanding music rights regimes.

  • June 27, 2016

    Parents and their children online

    Cinema, TV and VOD services share the same ratings regime in the UK, giving parents confidence they can discern content unsuitable for their children. Risks to children of being exposed to unsuitable content and advertising multiply on the ‘open’ internet.
  • June 22, 2016

    Consumers and digital marketing – Challenges and tensions a [...]

    UK digital advertising will grow beyond £10 billion by 2018 by our estimates, representing more than half of all advertising spend and delivering the most advanced large advertising market in the world on a per capita basis. Nevertheless, we see critical issues in digital marketing that are frequently acknowledged, but hard to fix. At the heart of our hypothesis is the view that the marketing industry – brands, agencies and media – has focused on technology and efficiencies at the expense of consumer experience and distinctiveness.