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  • August 10, 2003

    Wanadoo H1 2003

    Wanadoo just reported its H1 2003 results and the FY 2003 Group EBITDA target looks well in hand thanks to the outstanding performance of the directories division. The performance of the Internet segment has been less satisfactory for two reasons: Wanadoo France is facing stiff competition from Free on the 512k DSL segment; and Freeserve in the UK and Eresmas in Spain have seen very slow subscriber and revenue growth due to barebones customer acquisition activity. Wanadoo will be ramping up DSL customer acquisition activity from September onwards to achieve Internet segment targets and may reduce prices in the UK.

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  • August 4, 2003

    The ITV Merger – The Final Hurdle

    Last week Enders Analysis interviewed David Elstein. Elstein is leading a team attempting to put in place a new management at ITV in the event that the merger is allowed by the Competition Commission. This note carries his views on the remedies likely to be imposed by the Commission and also on the scope for cost savings and improvements in business strategy at the merged group.

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  • July 22, 2003

    UK Commercial Radio

    The Communications Act heralds a brave new world for commercial radio... or does it? Although newly relaxed media ownership rules vastly increase the scope for consolidation, the competition authorities have already shown they will curb excessive concentrations of advertising selling power.

  • July 17, 2003

    BT Yahoo! Broadband

    BT and Yahoo! recently announced the launch of BT Yahoo! Broadband for September 2003, a co-branded DSL transport/personalised home page/broadband portal service. The goal is to revitalise BTopenworld, which lost 10 percentage points in DSL market share in H1 2003. The new service will be provided to BTOW subscribers at the same price as the DSL service today, improving BTOW's value-for-money proposition and providing clear proprietary differentiation over other ISPs.

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    July 15, 2003

    New EU Telecoms Regulatory Framework

    By the 25th of July, we expect the Communications Bill will have received royal assent. The Bill, together with Oftel's new tasks as regulator pending the handover to Ofcom, represents the UK's implementation of the new EU telecoms regulatory framework. All licences issued under the existing telecoms regulatory framework will lapse and a new system of authorising providers will begin. This note covers the basics of the new regime, the existing state of play on the UK's implementation, and the main conclusion that can be drawn at this point.

  • July 8, 2003

    Online Advertising Outlook 2003

    Online advertising in the UK, Germany and France proved to be extremely resilient in 2002, despite a difficult advertising environment generally, victim of the soft economic conditions in Europe. Based on interviews with industry players, this report identifies the changing environment for online advertising and prospects for 2003.

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    June 30, 2003

    Freeview

    Freeview is the most successful Digital Terrestrial Television service in the world. But, despite its success in attracting purchasers, it will not manage to lay the basis for the proposed analogue switch off. Not only is it attracting very small amounts of viewing to its digital channels, it is also not overcoming the resistance of large sections of the UK population to digital television.

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  • June 25, 2003

    Interactive TV Advertising

    This report examines the revenue potential of Direct interactive TV advertising (DiTV) for BSkyB and other UK channels. This advertising format exploits the technology of BSkyB's Digibox to provide the viewer with a means of directly responding to advertising campaigns featured on the television. As the gatekeeper to the Digibox, this report confirms that BSkyB will gain the most from the development of the market for DiTV, collecting up to 80% of the revenue generated.

  • June 22, 2003

    BT Global Services

    Global Services is the new name for BT's Ignite division. The structure of this important part of BT's business is complex and extremely difficult to understand. BT itself promotes the division as its 'hidden jewel', even though its financial performance in recent years has been little short of catastrophic. Investors rightly remain sceptical.

  • June 15, 2003

    Handset Survey

    This note reports on the results of our latest bi-monthly survey in May 2003 of handset owners and purchase intentions for the near future. Highlights include the rising share of Nokia to 57% of the UK handset market, consistent with past survey results indicating that Nokia remains the favoured brand by a wide margin, both for new entrants and for existing users upgrading to a newer model.

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    June 11, 2003

    3’s New Tariffs

    On June 9th '3' launched 2 new tariffs aggressively targeting the core of the GSM contract base. In this report we look at the potential impact of these on both H3G and the UK GSM operators.

  • Sogecable
    Sogecable
    June 1, 2003

    Sogecable

    The long drawn out merger between the two Spanish pay-TV operators will finally be consummated in the next few weeks. As we have seen elsewhere in Europe, competition in pay-TV produces little but red ink. Investors will be pleased that Sogecable and Via Digital are finally combining. We have little doubt that this merger will eventually produce a profitable and successful business. But management appears too optimistic about the likely continuing cash drains as operations are combined and costs reduced over the next two years.

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  • May 22, 2003

    Digital Music Downloading

    It was just like the old days. Apple started an online music service, which was immediately well received. Steve Jobs proclaimed loudly that the world would never be the same. Investment banks rushed to assert that digital downloading would save the music companies. Truly gargantuan estimates were made of the potential revenue streams. This note looks at the i-Tunes phenomenon.

  • May 20, 2003

    UK Broadband and Internet Trends Q1 2003

    Part of our regular series on the UK broadband and Internet markets, this note highlights the shifting fortunes of ISPs and cable operators in competing against BT brands on the fast growing residential broadband market.

  • May 14, 2003

    BT’s Residential Tariff Increase

    On June 1st BT is launching a radically new pricing structure for its 10m BT Together customers, dropping the distinction between local and long distance calls, and introducing a flat rate 6p for off-peak calls of up to an hour. In this report we look at the impact of these changes on BT, its customers and its competitors.

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    May 8, 2003

    The Digital Bomb III

    Digital Bomb lll is our third annual assessment of the global market for digital set-top boxes and associated hardware. So far, our forecasts have been accurate and we continue to see relatively slow growth in the next few years.

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    April 24, 2003

    Freeserve versus Oftel

    Last week's decision from the Competition Appeal Tribunal was seen as a victory for Freeserve over BT. Does this mean Oftel will have to use a different approach to regulation? Does the decision herald a new era in the regulation of the telecommunications and media industries in the UK? We think not.

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    April 15, 2003

    The Services from ‘3’

    Perhaps inevitably, ‘3' opened for business before it was really ready. As a result, its services are patchy and unreliable. Some of these problems will be overcome in the next few weeks. Others will be more intractable. Overall, we can see some potential in 3G style services, but ‘3' is far from being a competitor to existing 2G offerings.

  • Vivendi
    Vivendi
    April 13, 2003

    Vivendi Universal

    Vivendi's only agenda at this time is to effect a disposal of its non-core assets for the best price to reduce debt to manageable levels. This note casts a critical eye on prospects for sale of USA Networks (good), Universal Studios (poor) and VU Games (good), as well as the disposal and valuations for other assets such as Universal Music, Groupe Canal+ and Cegetel/SFR.

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    April 8, 2003

    ‘3’ and 3G

    With the handsets finally available and (to some extent) working, Hutchison 3G's '3' operation has finally launched in the UK. In this report we review the commercial prospects for '3' in particular and 3G in general.

  • April 3, 2003

    Wanadoo FY 2002 Results

    Wanadoo reached an important milestone in 2002, reporting its first (very small) positive EBITDA margin on its French Internet business, thanks to broadband-related revenue increases and lower narrowband and broadband access costs. In contrast, losses widened at Wanadoo's Internet properties outside France, in particular Freeserve in the UK and Eresmas is Spain, but these were more than fully offset by profits on the Directories segment. This note looks ahead to 2003, when Wanadoo expects to reach positive EBITDA on the Internet segment as a whole, thanks to continued improvement in France and tightly contained losses at Freeserve and Eresmas.

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  • March 28, 2003

    Sony vs. Xbox Live

    The recent launch of online gaming from the major games consoles makers has focused attention again on the future of Xbox. Will the online version, Xbox Live, enable Microsoft to improve its position versus Sony? Our view is that Sony's dominance of this generation of consoles will continue.

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    March 18, 2003

    Piracy

    The troubles of the global music industry are usually assumed to derive from the growth of piracy. This report argues that physical piracy is probably no more of a problem than it has been in the recent past. Digital piracy is indeed becoming more important, but still is by no means the only explanation of declining music sales.

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    March 7, 2003

    Churn

    Little research has been done into why consumers move from one supplier to another. Churn, as this phenomenon is known, is much discussed but little understood. We carried out some research to show what types of people churn, why they do it, and whether it is an outcome of a certain type of personality.