Media

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    March 31, 2020

    Football and COVID-19 – Avoiding meltdown

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    In a likely scenario, the suspended football season could be concluded in empty stadiums in a June and July rush, nevertheless with severe financial consequences
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  • March 30, 2020

    Coronavirus and the UK economy – Unprecedented crisis

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    To fight against the UK’s incipient pandemic, a full lockdown is in place for all but essential workers in healthcare, telecoms, food, utilities and banks.
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  • March 27, 2020

    UK Radio and online audio – The resilience of broadcast

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    Broadcast radio has maintained its reach and listening time over the past decade: younger people listen less than before, but this is made up for by an ageing population
  • March 26, 2020

    Amazon’s Premier League performance – No challenge for pr [...]

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    Amazon aired its first set of Premier League matches in December, with proxy figures supporting reports that it attracted up to 2 million concurrent viewers
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  • All together now – Why aggregation is the future of TV
    All together now – Why aggregation is the future of TV
    March 23, 2020

    UK TV’s supply challenge – How COVID-19 affects programmi [...]

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    Although increases are moderate so far, it is inevitable that overall video viewing will rise given a reduction in competition for people’s time. So far, unsurprisingly, TV news consumption has ballooned while unmatched viewing—a proxy for SVOD usage—has increased
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  • March 18, 2020

    UK ITV FY 2019 results: Solid, but moving from one ubiquitous unc [...]

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    H2 revenue growth across Studios, advertising and online, saw ITV come in ahead of guidance in 2019, with external revenues up 3% YoY. Advertising revenue was down 1.5% for the year after being down 5% at H1.
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  • March 16, 2020

    Reaching sports audiences – All platforms necessary

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    Free-to-air broadcasters, pay-TV operators and OTT services all have a role to play in serving sports audiences
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  • March 13, 2020

    Gaming’s mainstream decade – Five defining themes for the [...]

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    2020 promises a year of transition for the games industry: eSports and games broadcasting are competing with traditional programming; game streaming services are becoming meaningful platform competition; and new consoles are on the way
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  • March 11, 2020

    Disney+: Non-exclusive deal with UK Sky Q

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    Available from launch on March 24, at this stage there will be no bundling—Sky users will pay £5.99/month, either in their bill, or log-in having signed up direct from Disney—and as such there will likely be less co-promotion and prominence on the user interface than has been seen for Netflix.
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  • March 10, 2020

    Amazon Advertising: From Duopoly to Triopoly in advertising?

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    Over the past two decades, global ecommerce giant, Amazon has focused on owning entire market verticals with books being the first market that it dominated. However, to think of Amazon as just an online retailer, would be underestimating the depth and breadth of its presence across multiple markets. Amazon’s ultimate aim is to curate the customer’s entire e-commerce journey. Amazon not only sells products; it also produces television shows and movies; publishes books; operates the world’s largest streaming video-game platform; manufactures a growing array of products. More recently the bright spot was Amazon’s advertising business, which appears to be picking up speed again.
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  • March 9, 2020

    Webscale Playbook: Apple

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    Apple has come far since its inception in 1976. It has progressed from selling user-friendly computer systems (Macintosh, iMac) and portable media players (iPod), to become a dominant force in mobile devices, starting with the launch of iPhone in 2007. In August 2018 it became the first-ever public company to breach the US$1 trillion mark by market capitalization. In fact it is the ‘iPhone’, touted as the pioneer of the smartphone revolution, that has significantly helped Apple in its journey to trillion-dollar valuation. The popular device, which dethroned the likes of Nokia and Blackberry back then, continues to be Apple’s bread and butter, and accounts for more than half of its overall revenues (54.7% in FY2019).

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  • March 5, 2020

    Virgin Media UK: Pain before gain

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    Virgin Media’s subscriber base fell again in Q4, although strong ARPU growth allowed a slight acceleration in cable revenue growth to 1.8%, and a deceleration in OCF decline to 1%. Liberty Global group OCF guidance of mid-single digit decline in 2020 is likely to be mirrored at Virgin Media, as regulatory pressure and market competitiveness continue to bite, and mass-market demand for ultrafast remains nascent.
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  • March 4, 2020

    Nine 1H20 update – results in line with expectations

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    In this report, we briefly analyse the reported 1HFY20 earnings for Nine and highlight some of the key trends across both businesses.
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  • March 3, 2020

    The BBC: Benefiting the UK creative economy

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    A monolith within the broadcasting landscape and the greater UK creative economy, the BBC, instructed by its Charter, is a guaranteed leader of investment in local and quality content, tech, regionality, and diversity
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  • February 26, 2020

    UK Media consumption: The ‘surprising’ endurance of broadcast [...]

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    Despite two decades of online disruption, the UK remains reliant on traditional platforms and brands across the media sector—more so for older cohorts, but also for younger generations. 13% of adults still do not use the internet and, in reality, an online-only media ecosystem remains a distant prospect. Traditional providers, particularly within TV, radio and news, look set to endure for the long term, aided by the trajectory of the UK’s ageing population
  • February 21, 2020

    Seven 1H20 update – revenues fall in a declining market

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    In this report, we briefly analyse the reported 1HFY20 earnings for Seven West Media and highlight some of the key trends across its businesses.
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  • February 20, 2020

    Consumers endorse Disney’s digital transition

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    Recruiting 29 million subscribers in twelve weeks, Disney+ has stormed the US market. Furthermore, the two million gain achieved after the holidays and the completion of The Mandalorian, relatively high ARPU, and rising Hulu and ESPN+ subscriptions bode well. Conversely, booming (but expected) losses of direct-to-consumer platforms—due to increase as Disney+ launches in Europe in March—are undermining group profitability
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  • February 14, 2020

    TalkTalk UK: FibreNation sorted but challenges remain

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    TalkTalk’s subscriber base and revenue fell again in Q3, and ARPU continued to decline despite good growth in its higher ARPU (but even higher wholesale cost) high speed base. The sale of FibreNation to CityFibre and the accompanying wholesale deal provides much needed cash and de-risking, although the migration to full fibre still brings challenges to TalkTalk given its low price focus. TalkTalk’s shorter term operational outlook is also still very challenging, with growing EBITDA in 2020/21 particularly difficult given stable/declining ARPU and the rising wholesale costs of migrating to high speed broadband
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  • February 12, 2020

    Sky UK FY 2019 results: a solid first full year under Comcast

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    Despite operating in a challenging market, Sky has continued to increase revenues, with the resilient performance of its direct-to-consumer and content businesses offsetting the disappointing drop in advertising income. Across FY 2019, EBITDA was up 12.2%; profit growth driven by a significant reduction in “other” costs as large one-off effects disappear and cost-cutting continues. Extended distribution deals with Netflix and WarnerMedia will protect Sky’s content proposition for the coming future, as would the mooted integration of Disney+
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  • February 12, 2020

    BT: Searching for the nadir

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    BT had a weak December quarter, with revenue falling 3% and EBITDA 4%, despite a recovery at Openreach, mainly driven by tough competition and regulatory hits, with operating metrics solid but not noticeably improving. These hits look set to continue, so the company’s hopes of a return to EBITDA growth in 2020/21 probably hinge on brand and service improvements actually becoming visible in operating performance. A successful full fibre roll-out would be a boon for BT in the longer term, and regulatory developments are headed in the right direction, if not quite there yet. However, its affordability without a dividend cut remains questionable in the current challenging environment
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  • February 11, 2020

    Subscription BBC?

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    The Government appears set on reducing the scale and scope of the BBC by dismantling the licence fee, and in its place pushing for subscription or making payment voluntary, without any evidence of the likely impact. DTT – the UK’s largest TV platform – has no conditional access capability, and so implementation would require another costly and long-term switchover. A voluntary licence fee would inevitably lead to a huge reduction in income. If just those on income-related benefits were not to pay, the shortfall would be over £500 million – in addition to the £250 million the BBC will be funding for over-75s receiving Pension Credit
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  • February 10, 2020

    Webscale Playbook: Facebook

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    Facebook has grown through leaps and bounds since its inception 15 years ago, to currently become the world’s most popular social networking company with 2.3B monthly active users. When Facebook launched in February 2004, several other social networks such as Friendster (2002), MySpace (2003), and Orkut (Jan 2004) were already in the fray, triggering notions that Facebook would meet a similar fate as its peers – some of which are now defunct or are dying a slow death. Further uncertainties creeped in with its IPO going bust in 2012, reflecting doubts over its long-term worth. Fast-forward to 2019 and Facebook now has a market capitalization of over US$540B+, US$58.7B in annualized revenues at the end of 1Q19, and has become a force in advertising to reckon with, just after Google in the US.

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  • February 4, 2020

    Winners and losers as the UK fibres up

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    The speeds made possible by full fibre build are unnecessary for most users in the short term, giving limited commercial advantage to those that can offer them, but are likely to prove essential in the medium/long term. The economics of full-scale, independent alternative networks look very challenging in our view – especially without the support of Sky – although there are some limited arbitrage/cherry-picking opportunities. The Openreach full fibre model makes economic sense under Ofcom’s proposed regulatory framework, provided it retains the lion’s share of the market, although considerable risks remain
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  • February 3, 2020

    2020 UK advertising forecasts: Robust growth despite the soft eco [...]

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    We predict 4-5% growth in advertising expenditure on UK media in 2020, driven by double-digit growth of pure play online, expected to reach 58% of total spend this year, up from 55% in 2019. The outlook for the economy in 2020 is more positive than in 2019 because the risk of “crash-out” has given way to a more hopeful prospect of an EU-UK free trade agreement by the end of the year