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  • New
    November 15, 2018

    UBS Conference: What could the media landscape look like in 5 yea [...]

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    Venture Insights attended the annual UBS Investors Conference for 2018 on 12th and 13th November, with a number of interesting panels across the two days. The participants of the Media panel were unanimous in their view that while digital remains an important area of growth, traditional media operators are starting to get their act together and are aligning their offerings more closely with customer preferences.
  • New
    November 13, 2018

    Misplaced UK media spend in a booming identity economy: a brand o [...]

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    Most UK consumer spending, and the vast majority of its growth, is in categories which reflect who we are and where we feel we belong: lifestyle signifiers, passions, and social activities. Communities are at the heart of this growing economy, but ad spend on media which visibly targets us as members of a group in a relevant context has on average lagged behind in these categories. Advertisers recognising the power of emotionally and culturally relevant context in media, sponsorships or events, are finding an opportunity for building brands for the identity economy.
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  • November 6, 2018

    Recruitment Marketing Outlook

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    The Net Employment Outlook for 2018 for Australia has improved compared to CY2017—Employment Outlook peaked at 13% (a six-year high) in March 2018, before falling to 11% in September 2018. Unemployment rate decreased to 5.0% (a six-year low) in September 2018 from 5.5% in August 2017. Seek is the dominant player in the job boards industry, while LinkedIn is a dominant player in the Professional Networks space. While alternative job boards exist, they are unlikely to challenge Seek’s dominance at least in the Australian market. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are transforming the industry by allowing recruitment companies to offer better job recommendations and data driven insights    
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  • November 5, 2018

    UK Radio’s evolution towards a digital future

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    ­­­­Radio faces challenges from Spotify and other online audio propositions, while the radio “dial” is challenged by smart speakers and global tech. UK radio broadcasters have risen to the occasion through innovation. New DAB stations have helped radio achieve record audiences and revenues. Combined digital listening is now over 50%, but FM remains the primary platform. The current mix of FM/AM and digital maintains radio’s relevance for the medium term. The long-term future is digital—a wide-ranging sector review is required to determine how to support digital radio’s growth and the question of a future switchover.  
  • November 2, 2018

    UK PSB solidarity and collaboration

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    The Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) are in the process of sliding from TV dominance to middling contenders, in terms of content expenditure and significance to viewers. There are calls from many sides that the PSBs need to collaborate in order to thrive, in an era when global debt-funded SVOD services are making all the running. This note explores what can realistically be achieved by PSB collaboration; where partnerships work best; and the areas best avoided.  
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  • October 31, 2018

    US department stores, Amazon, and omnichannel fashion retail

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    Amazon is finding women’s fashion, a missing piece of its household-centric model, a tougher nut to crack than downmarket apparel. Higher-end US department stores are pushing back with an omnichannel model, emphasising long-term partnerships, a clever full-price/outlet model, and experiences which cross the online-offline divide. In apparel, Amazon and big box retailers have already triumphed over lower-tier American department stores, and even prestigious fashion brands are finding it harder and harder to refuse cooperation with the giants.
  • October 26, 2018

    Video Entertainment Market Outlook: The overall Video Entertainme [...]

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    We anticipate the Australian video market to marginally decline from A$5.48bn in 2018 to A$5.33bn in 2023 driven by a deflationary shift from traditional to digital platforms. While we don’t expect the overall size of the video entertainment market to decline materially, we do expect platform share to change dramatically over the next five years. Pay-TV will remain under pressure as the way video is consumed and paid for changes. Foxtel will offset some of this pressure by its participation in the xVOD market albeit this market will be heavily contested with multiple new players emerging.
  • October 25, 2018

    Disney, Fox, Sky and Comcast: future relationships

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    With Comcast’s acquisition of Sky confirmed and Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox on the path to regulatory clearance, how will the relationships of the various parties evolve?. Disney is betting on a standalone SVOD service in the US. However, its content deal with Sky in Europe is lucrative, and the performance of DisneyLife in the UK suggests its US strategy may not fit elsewhere. Sky’s relationships with Disney and Fox are crucial to its business. A joint pursuit to maximise returns from IP and distribution in Europe would be economically efficient for both Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox.
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  • October 17, 2018

    Property Advertising Market Outlook

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    Even as the RBA chooses to keep interest rates stable, the Federal Government has implemented measures to cool the rising property market. This has resulted in a decline in new listings and housing sales in major cities and a decline in real estate purchases by foreign buyers. Macroeconomic indicators, such as GDP growth, household income and consumption continue to strengthen, with labour participation increasing and the unemployment rate falling to 5.4% in June as 41,200 full time jobs were created. The RBA continues to maintain the cash rate at the same level due to a below-target inflation rate and high consumer debt that makes many households’ consumption rates sensitive to the mortgage rate. Household debt recently reached 190.0% of total annualised household income. The online real estate classified market is dominated by two players, the REA Group and Domain, which together hold 98.0% of the market. Both players reported strong annual results, with about 20% revenue growth for FY18. Despite the dominance of the two players, new start-ups continue to enter the market in the hopes of grabbing a slice of the lucrative property classifieds market. However, to date, none have gained any material traction in the Australian market.
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  • October 16, 2018

    Future Trends In Telecom and Video: Comms Day Melbourne Congress

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    On 10th October 2018, Venture Insight’s Managing Director Nigel Pugh, presented Venture’s recent Australian Mobile Survey results at the Comms Day Congress in Melbourne. The presentation includes Venture’s survey results and views on (i) consumer 5G awareness, migration and the battle for the early adopter market segment, (ii) consumer usage of mobile video and streaming services, (iii) 5G use case for mobile and telco media bundling, (iv) 5G use case for fixed wireless and (v) messaging usage versus traditional applications.
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  • October 11, 2018

    UK Esports & broadcasters: No game for old players

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    Drawn by its rapid growth and enviably youthful audience profile, incumbent broadcasters are paying increased attention to esports and its followers. Viewership of esports on UK broadcasters’ linear channels is low, with consumption on their online platforms likely the same. The market’s fragmented nature and global audience, along with the dominance of Twitch—and to a lesser extent YouTube—makes this unlikely to change. Broadcasters’ low-cost approach has primarily benefited competition organisers and games publishers. For broadcasters to create real revenues, massive upfront investment would be needed, with the risk of failure high.
  • October 5, 2018

    Apple – Price is the object: the iPhone and its services

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    With a carefully priced, strong line-up of iPhones, Apple will consolidate its main revenue line and core user base in the near term. The latter feeds into a services business showing impressive growth, but which is also marked by missed opportunities and mounting negative consequences on the rest of the online ecosystem. For media businesses, Apple’s impact is larger than ever, inevitably leading to new kinds of friction around commercial terms, App store policies and browser features.
  • October 4, 2018

    From promises to practice: AI in marketing at DMEXCO 2018

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    At DMEXCO, the top online advertising conference in continental Europe, a call for responsibility took centre stage rhetorically, but was hardly reflected on the conference floor. In contrast, concrete, on-the market applications of AI in advertising were no longer a rarity, with businesses from ad tech to consultancies demonstrating case studies in campaign management, consumer segmentation and personalisation. The industry is betting that the ePrivacy Regulation will be canned as policymakers fear Chinese and American dominance in AI, but the Chinese giants still had a confused marketing pitch at DMEXCO.
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  • October 3, 2018

    What Sky means for Comcast

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    Comcast’s £30.6 billion acquisition of Sky brings to an end the long-running ownership battle since Disney agreed to tender Fox’s 39% stake to Comcast, also ending the Murdoch Family Trust’s interest in Sky. Comcast’s US domestic cable and global NBCU media businesses complement Sky’s European operation. Sky’s telecoms business is likely to expand, while the TV side should benefit from NBCU’s global distribution might, with greater revenues generated by its original content. Fox’s long-running battle with UK regulators over the public interest dimensions of the proposed Sky acquisition has also ended. Plurality of media is preserved by Comcast’s undertakings to support Sky News for 10 years.
  • September 26, 2018

    Telcos and the battle for HDMI 1 – bringing everything under on [...]

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    The rise of SVOD platforms has driven a significant change in TV viewing habits with viewers having an unprecedented choice of content. The result is a fragmented video market which has made it increasingly complex for users to manage the various sources of content that are available.  
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  • September 17, 2018

    UK Broadcast TV is growing very old, very quickly

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    UK mobile market service revenue grew by 1.7% in Q2, up from 1.3% in the previous quarter, a disappointing result in the context of boosts from both IFRS 15 accounting and the annual price rises in the quarter. O2 was the star performer this quarter, with its service revenue growth leaping ahead to claim the top spot. BT/EE’s service revenue growth declined on an underlying basis, with weak contract net adds over the last six months catching up with it, and H3G and Vodafone were slightly improved and steady respectively excluding some one-off effects. Next quarter, the impact from the EU roaming cuts will annualise out, providing a substantial fillip to all operators. Ceteris paribus, this would put market growth in the vicinity of 4%, a figure not reached for years.
  • September 11, 2018

    UK mobile market Q2 2018: Disappointment before dawn

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    UK mobile market service revenue grew by 1.7% in Q2, up from 1.3% in the previous quarter, a disappointing result in the context of boosts from both IFRS 15 accounting and the annual price rises in the quarter. O2 was the star performer this quarter, with its service revenue growth leaping ahead to claim the top spot. BT/EE’s service revenue growth declined on an underlying basis, with weak contract net adds over the last six months catching up with it, and H3G and Vodafone were slightly improved and steady respectively excluding some one-off effects. Next quarter, the impact from the EU roaming cuts will annualise out, providing a substantial fillip to all operators. Ceteris paribus, this would put market growth in the vicinity of 4%, a figure not reached for years.
  • September 10, 2018

    Japan’s recorded music market starts to stream

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    Recorded music revenues in Japan are stuck in decline as physical sales sag, although 2017 marks the first year when streaming gained a foothold with 8 million subscribers. J-pop fans spend on 'experiences' with their idols including events, merchandise, CDs and DVDs, which streaming cannot replicate. Top native LINE MUSIC offers integration with a popular messaging app and bundling with mobile. Serving international repertoire, Apple Music claims more subscribers than Spotify in Japan, which is more localised, and has most users on the free tier. Amazon Prime Music is a looming constraint on the adoption of subscriptions. 
  • September 4, 2018

    When an Amazon TV show wins a Golden Globe, Amazon sells more sho [...]

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    Over the past two decades, Amazon has grown to become the largest ecommerce player in the world. But to think of it as just an online retailer would be underestimating its presence across multiple other services and markets. Within this, Amazon Video is fast emerging as a key pillar of Amazon’s overall business as it uses video to increase Prime memberships and improve user stickiness on the Amazon platform.

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  • September 3, 2018

    UK Commercial TV impact trends: better than viewing trends, worse [...]

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    There has been no shortage of attention paid to declining TV viewing over recent years, but much of it focuses on overall viewing time rather than advertising delivery. This is to overlook the engine driving most of the UK’s television industry. Commercial impact delivery has held up well relative to overall viewing, and is strong for certain key demographics. Nonetheless there are generational and behavioural changes afoot which are exerting downward pressures on impacts, especially for younger audiences. An archipelago of Love Islands is needed (Stranger Things have happened).

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  • August 29, 2018

    UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2018: Great volume, [...]

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    The UK broadband subscription market re-accelerated in the June quarter, bucking a consistent downwards trend that has been established for over three years, with line rental and pay TV subscriptions also accelerating having both also experienced a more general downwards shift over the last few years. The broadband acceleration may be short-lived, with line rental only a little more sustainable. Pay TV is perhaps the most robust recovery given that the over-the-top new entrants (primarily Netflix and Amazon) are now firmly establishing themselves as add-ons not substitutes.Revenue growth however took a more familiar path, dipping to 1.6% from 2.8% in  the previous quarter, as BT’s overlapping price increase predictably dropped out, partially mitigated by an improvement in ARPU growth at TalkTalk caused by an improved (i.e. slightly less damaging) mix effect.  
  • August 27, 2018

    Audible, audiobooks and lessons from Amazon in the UK

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    Audiobooks are growing fast, driven by smartphone adoption and better supply, as well as interest from people who don’t usually buy books, such as young men. The sector is dominated by the presence of Audible, Amazon’s audiobook publisher/retailer, which has driven growth of audiobooks but put publishers under pressure. Its strategy is a lesson in Amazon’s approach to media. Audio is an opportunity to sell to new customers, but publishers must acquire and use rights responsibly, and experiment while not letting the audio tail wag the print dog.  
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  • August 27, 2018

    Nine Entertainment FY18 earnings update: digital drives growth

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    On 23rd August 2018, Nine Entertainment reported its FY18 earnings. Strong ratings performance in key demographics, rise in digital subscriber base and focus on controlling costs drove an uplift in revenue and earnings for FY18.

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  • August 23, 2018

    Seven West Media FY18 earnings update: going all in on cricket

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    On 21th August 2018, Seven West Media reported its FY18 earnings. While an improving core business and focus on cost reduction delivered operating profits that were at the upper end of guidance, new programming and sports content is expected to drive ratings and financial performance going forward.
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