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  • June 16, 2016

    TV genres and viewing trends over time

    TV viewing has one reliable, long term trend: programme genres are watched by consumers at predictable life stages and ages. At a high level, there has been little manipulation of the balance of genres being broadcast. But amongst the sub-genres, editorial optimisation has resulted in an uptick in actual viewing. As the core viewing age of linear television rises, there is an opportunity for broadcasters to leverage this to create the most desirable schedule for their available audience by daypart; with genres that transcend demographics when younger viewers tune in.
  • June 14, 2016

    Sky plays long term with Bundesliga

    The award of the match packages in the 2017-21 domestic football rights auction in Germany is probably optimal for Sky (within the “no single buyer” constraint): it will broadcast about eight out of nine weekly fixtures including the top picks, while Eurosport’s package is complementary to Sky’s rather than substitutional. Sky will, however, pay a hefty price, with the new contract costing 80% more than the current one – although the new Bundesliga rights value is not out of line with other Continental leagues. We expect Sky’s German operations to briefly break even in fiscal 2017 before falling back into losses with a return to profit if other costs are kept under control. Management has made a bold statement of self-confidence: building scale is the priority.
  • June 8, 2016

    UK news media: less advertising, new models

    The decline in print display advertising in national newspapers accelerated to -16% in 2015, while growth in digital advertising is slowing, and will be unable to offset revenue decline for the foreseeable future. We believe this decline is structural and irreversible, continuing at a sharper pace than before despite the recovery in the UK economy in 2013-2015, and very different from the cyclical decline of 2009. Publishers must convince brands and agencies that in the mobile era their superior content environments have added value. If scale newsrooms are to survive, costs must be reduced through collaboration and outsourcing­.
  • June 2, 2016

    Amazon Video Direct: self-publishing for videos

    Amazon’s newly launched open video hosting service, Video Direct, will appeal to creators of ‘professional’ videos by offering them a new platform and monetisation options. Amazon’s attractiveness to video creators resides mainly in the prospect of earning a portion of subscription fees from millions of Prime members. While Video Direct might not become a huge business for creators, this move cements Amazon as a media platform and risks hurting YouTube.
  • June 1, 2016

    New VOD rules in the EU Digital Single Market

    The Commission proposes to require VOD services to implement a 20% share of EU works in catalogues, which Netflix already largely meets. More impactful is the EU’s proposal for OTT SVOD services to provide access to the home service when subscribers travel in the EU, benefitting the UK’s 14 million subscribers. TV broadcasters, which observe a 50% EU works threshold in their linear programming served on TV platforms and online players, will be able to opt-in to portability.
  • May 26, 2016

    Google Home takes on Amazon Echo

    Google Home will compete against ­­­­Amazon’s Echo in the contest to supply voice-activated home hubs to US homes.Google claims Home is better at voice-based search due to its superior capabilities; pricing is unknown, but is likely to be at par with Echo ($179).Prime, Fire devices and media services are competitive advantages for Amazon in the US that will make it hard for Google Home to succeed there.

  • May 18, 2016

    Novel disruption for consumer books

    Consumer book sales look unusually resilient in the context of the extreme changes in other print media sectors, newspapers and magazines, over the past decade. Ebook and ecommerce sales have offset the high street sales decline, although the declining number of retail outlets casts a long shadow over the future of discovery. New options for authors, particularly self-publishing ebooks, threaten the existing funnel of authors to publishers, but could also be a new source of talent.

  • May 16, 2016

    Facebook leans in to video

    Facebook has become the second largest online video platform after YouTube by viewing time, largely thanks to muted autoplay streams - for the moment. This is about to change as Facebook seeks to grow viewing and expand inventory with a new standalone video hub, live streams and revenue share models for professional content. Facebook’s lofty ambitions to become a destination for long-form, premium video content will be harder to achieve and less compatible with current strengths than for online news.
  • May 3, 2016

    Content marketing online in Europe to 2020

    Paid placements for content marketing online in Europe will increase by 186% from 2014-2020, to over €2 billion. It is a particularly exciting area for premium publishers, who can leverage their content expertise to reverse the flight of ad money to lower-cost properties. Almost all are developing creative content offerings to capture this value. Metrics and measurement, disclosure and cost remain as challenges for content marketing online, but growth is strong due to high commitment to spend from advertisers.
  • May 3, 2016

    Internet trends: Mobile engagement from babies to boomers

    While internet and device penetration among younger age groups are approaching saturation, the over 55s have seen an explosion in smartphone adoption, up 83% year-on-year, expanding opportunities for monetisation. More than 50% of ecommerce transactions are now through mobile. Smartphones widen the scope for anytime anywhere mcommerce events and larger-screened phones and tablets facilitate high value transactions. Internet advertising continues to grow quickly, display faster than search and classifieds. Online advertising spend in H2 2015 grew 14% year-on-year to just over £2 billion and the rise of mobile ad spend is dramatic.
  • April 27, 2016

    Sky Q3 2015/16 results: Content scale is king

    Europe’s leading pay-TV operator Sky has extended its long run of strong quarterly results with revenues up 5% in the first nine months of 2016 and operating profits up 12% as Sky retains its intense focus on cost efficiencies and synergies across the group. The KPIs were largely very positive, though the churn uptick from a very low base in the UK & Ireland in recent quarters raises questions about the factors at play, while the one notable short-term uncertainty is the outcome of the Bundesliga auction during Q4. Of the big themes highlighted in the results release, Sky’s commitment to building major content partnerships at a European level stands out as it faces the growing online challenge from Netflix, Amazon et al.

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  • April 22, 2016

    Brexit risks for the creative industries

    A post-Brexit recession will cause a hyper-cyclical decline in the advertising revenues of broadcasters and publishers. The Vote Leave idea of the UK joining a free trade area for goods with the EU would sever UK access to the Single Market for services, damaging the export-reliant audiovisual group, among many other sectors of strength. Made-in-the-UK IT, software and computer consultancy services will lose eligibility for government procurement tenders once the UK is an outsider to the EU.
  • April 21, 2016

    UKTV viewing still on the rise: 2015 results

    2015 has been a very good year, with revenues up 13%, helped by buoyant market conditions, in which TV spot advertising revenues increased by 7%. EBITDA also increased by £8 million in spite of an extra £25 million spent on programming. 2015 saw UKTV overtake Sky to become the non-PSB channel group with the highest advertising Share of Commercial Impact (SOCI) delivery among adults 16+, while Q1 figures suggest the gap will widen in 2016. The horizon beyond 2016 is less clear as further revenue growth will rely much more on organic factors, in which respect UKTV’s online offering UKTV Play has much promising potential, if it can be realised.
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  • April 20, 2016

    Sky’s German breakeven hangs on Bundesliga auction

    At present, Sky exclusively holds all pay-TV domestic live rights to Germany’s top football league. The 2017-2021 rights auction will conclude in early June. It contains a new soft ‘no single buyer’ clause referring solely to online rights. Sky’s real threat comes from potential bids for the main TV packages by deep-pocketed telecom or digital platforms. This could see Sky losing games and shouldering significant cost increases. We think Sky’s German operations will break even by fiscal 2017. Beyond this, profitability is heavily dependent on the auction’s outcome. If it were to retain all live rights, Sky could afford to increase Bundesliga costs by up to 40% over the four-year period. Anything beyond this would lead to Sky making losses.

  • April 20, 2016

    Inside Facebook’s ad machine

    Facebook is extending its lead over rival Google in the fast-growing market for mobile display advertising, helping publishers solve the dilemma of mobile content discovery. Facebook’s success with advertisers is enabled by a mobile-centred data platform with unparalleled capabilities to profile users and identify them across devices and online properties. Strategic investments in online video, messaging, and virtual reality all bode well for the future of Facebook’s ad business, although regulatory uncertainty on privacy looms on the horizon.
  • April 18, 2016

    Vivendi, Mediaset and the Latin strategy

    Vivendi is to acquire the main pay-TV division of Italy’s Mediaset in an all-share transaction, creating a ‘strategic alliance’ between the two groups. Each partner will own a 3.5% stake in the other. The deal is positive for Mediaset but the benefits for Vivendi can only accrue long term. Mediaset Premium claims two million subscribers and recorded €640 million revenue in 2015. However, EBIT losses amounted to €115 million and are likely to more than double through 2016 and beyond. The deal has no discernible impact on Premium’s bigger rival Sky. Vivendi and Mediaset will also jointly operate a ‘global’ online video platform and collectively develop content production and distribution. The pair’s respective assets are sizeable but domestically focused with little demonstrable international synergy.
  • April 14, 2016

    Away from home: The online challenge for PSBs

    On TV, UK public service broadcasters (PSBs) have operated within a privileged ecosystem; a guaranteed electronic programme guide (EPG) prominence placing their channels at the forefront, helping sustain their market share and spawning digital families. But technological changes within the TV set are eroding this prominence, and on devices, such structural advantages are non-existent. To confront dramatically falling mobile engagement, despite consistently excellent content, the PSBs need to collaborate and replicate their privileged linear position or they will struggle against the major SVOD players.
  • April 12, 2016

    Media & Telecoms – 2016 & Beyond

    Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference in conjunction with Deloitte, Moelis & Company, Linklaters and LionTree, in London on 8 March 2016. The event featured talks from 22 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides edited transcripts of the talks, and you will find accompanying slides for some of the presentations here.

  • April 11, 2016

    Netflix close to the promised land

    Record growth in 2015 shows Netflix to be well on its way to achieving its goal of 60-90 million US streaming customers, while the latest wave of international expansion suggests Netflix will at least double its global base to over 150 million streaming customers by 2020. Much has been said about the growing SVOD competition from Amazon, Hulu, HBO, Disney and many others, but the simplicity and single-mindedness of the Netflix model is hard to beat, with evidence suggesting it has extended its lead in the toughest of markets, the US. Although growing spend on content origination is putting a strain on the Netflix business, it is critical to long-term success, contributing to the distinctiveness of the Netflix offer and its complementariness with other SVOD services.

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  • April 7, 2016

    OTT Home Entertainment in the UK

    Netflix gained 1.8 million accounts in the course of 2015 (+37%) to 5.2 million, surpassing the 1.3 million VOD-enabled homes added by fixed line telcos Sky (including NowTV), Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk. SVOD homes overlap with pay-TV accounts, and are topping up content for family members, not cord-cutting. Amazon Prime Instant Video, bundled into Prime, looks set to balloon from 1.6 million users in Q4 2015 on the back of the marketing of Jeremy Clarkson's motoring show, cementing its position in home entertainment by serving a family-friendly eco-system of devices and media, leveraging its mammoth 25% share of UK e-commerce. Free-to-the-user YouTube remains the heavyweight with 35 million monthly unique users in the UK, although skewing strongly to Millennials, while those 55+ will take longer to move beyond catch-up TV to embrace a wider range of VOD options.

  • April 1, 2016

    Sky’s originals: seeking iconic differentiation

    Sky is steadily expanding its output of scripted content – now almost at the same volume as HBO’s. It is an attempt to strengthen the Sky brand in a more competitive market, the ultimate prize being exclusive association with ‘iconic’ content. So far so good: in the UK most originals deliver higher audiences than average and than US imports. Emergence of an iconic hit may be just a matter of time. Sky’s Italian productions are closer to the domestic hit status, but harder to sell to British viewers. The challenge for Sky is to stay in the global series budget race through US co-production and sales without compromising editorial sharpness. Continental European platforms increase Sky’s financial clout, but will require distinct content.
  • March 16, 2016

    Blocking in the free world: the threat of online ad blocking

    Currently at a manageable level, ad blocking has the potential to fatally undermine the business models of media owners that depend on advertising, as well as restricting advertisers’ ability to reach audiences online. To head off this threat, publishers, agencies and advertisers need to understand the diverse things that users do not like about digital advertising, fix them, and communicate this change of behaviour to audiences. The move from desktop to mobile, from banner to native and from web to apps provides advertisers and publishers with the opportunity to provide an acceptable advertising experience, ensuring that blocking of these new formats and properties never reaches the threatening levels currently on desktop.

  • Virtual Reality in 2016: Launch Year Challenges
    Virtual Reality in 2016: Launch Year Challenges
    March 14, 2016

    Virtual Reality in 2016: Launch Year Challenges

    Virtual Reality (VR) is hitting the high street as the first premium headsets with mass-market appeal become available for developers and consumers. Core gamers are the initial focus of content developers for the new VR platforms served on top-end PCs and Sony’s PS4 console. The VR ecosystems of Facebook and Google are focused on user-generated 360 degree video content, whereas professional creation tools, workflows, and delivery infrastructure will likely take several years of experiments to mature.
  • March 11, 2016

    H3G and O2: Merging thoughts

    H3G and O2 are planning for their UK merger to create a mobile-only operator that leads the market in network quality and capacity, taking a contrary approach to the current trend of fixed/mobile convergent strategies. The merger would ease the severe spectral capacity constraints currently faced by both operators, and ease the scale disadvantage suffered by H3G ever since its launch in 2003, allowing a much stronger long term competitor. Post-merger, the UK mobile market will likely end up just as competitive as it is now, with pricing pressure actually more likely to continue into the medium term, and plenty of opportunities and threats for all the main players as the environment re-aligns.