Media

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  • December 17, 2018

    Australia Out-of-Home Market Outlook

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    As traditional media segments face the onslaught of digital, OOH advertising stands out as the only old media medium that is seeing sustained growth. Traditionally OOH was mostly a real estate play but with digitalisation, it’s now becoming a true digital medium that synergises with other digital media i.e. acquisitions by OOH of Junkee and increasingly personalisation not just on a small scale but on a large scale. The overall OOH market has grown at a 13.8% CAGR from FY14 to FY17. We forecast it grow at a 5.4% from FY17 to FY22. With more than A$1.75bn of M&A activity in the middle of CY2018, the Australian OOH market has gone from being dominated by four major players to being ruled by a just two major players, effectively giving rise to a ‘Duopoly’.  
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  • December 14, 2018

    UK mobile market Q3 2018

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    UK mobile market service revenue grew by 2.4% in Q3, a level not seen since early 2011. However, this 0.6ppt improvement on the growth rate in Q2 was very disappointing in the context of an expected 2-3ppt revenue growth bolster from the annualisation of roaming tariff cuts. EE and O2 shared the top spot for growth, more than double the growth rate of H3G and far ahead of Vodafone which remains in negative territory and had only the slightest uptick this quarter. O2 is likely to be hit by its well-publicised network blackout in December, but experience from a similar problem back in 2012 suggests this will be modest and temporary, and it is otherwise performing well.
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  • December 13, 2018

    ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry – Google and Facebook have just [...]

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    On 11th December 2018, the ACCC released its preliminary report on the Digital Platforms Inquiry, and one thing is certain – Google and Facebook won’t be happy after reading it. The draft recommendations are extensive and call for significant changes to privacy and consumer protection laws and new regulatory oversight to monitor and curb the market power exerted by Google and Facebook.
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  • December 12, 2018

    UK TV advertising and consumer health check in Q4 2018

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    Despite the consumer's confidence having been shaken since the referendum vote for Brexit in June 2016, monthly retail sales, especially online, managed to grow above the private consumption trend until this October, a turning point that could mark the start of a retail recession extending into 2019. Since mid-2016, TV advertising and retailing have lost their historical covariance, with TV advertising's recession briefly interrupted in the first half of the year due to sunny weather and the FIFA World Cup. After a flat Q3, we predict a resumption of TV advertising's decline, expected to be down 3-4% in Q4 2018 year-on-year. 2018 will be flat for total TV advertising, still better than 2017. However, the medium's weakness will persist in the first half of 2019, with hopes for a recovery only in the second half, assuming an orderly withdrawal from the EU starts in March 2019.
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  • December 11, 2018

    Hulu casts a spell

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    When its acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes, Disney will own 60% of Hulu. If it bought Comcast’s 30% stake (and WarnerMedia’s 10%), it could fully leverage the platform for its US direct-to-consumer strategy. Comcast’s Hulu stake has little strategic value to it. We argue it should sell to Disney in exchange for long-term supply deals for ESPN, as well as for the upcoming Disney+ and Hulu, similar to its recent pacts with Amazon Prime and Netflix. This could naturally be extended to Sky in Europe depending on whether Disney decides to launch all direct-to-consumer or sticks with pay-TV in certain markets.
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  • December 7, 2018

    Virgin Media UK Q3 2018 results: Cautiously accelerating growth

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    Virgin Media’s revenue growth accelerated in Q3, off the back of improved subscriber ARPU and triple play growth, but actual customer and broadband figures slowed in line with the weakening market. Network roll-out was still (deliberately) slow, with the rate now well below the previous year, and the company indicating that it is not expecting to accelerate, although it is still the fastest new network builder in the UK by some margin. Both the ARPU focus and slow roll-out point to a cautious approach, with the company happier to ensure its existing customers offer good yields than to seek significant market share growth at this stage, which is probably wise.
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  • December 6, 2018

    Refocus imperative at Vodafone UK

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    Vodafone’s deteriorating financial performance is as much due to an increasing margin of underperformance relative to its peers as to challenging markets such as Italy. A strategic refocus on operational performance is long overdue and seems largely sensible, save for the continued push for discount-led convergence products which are driving underperformance. Although Vodafone posted 3% organic EBITDA growth for H1 of this year and is guiding to same for the full year, we view this definition as overly flattering with true EBITDA performance flat and revenues in decline.        
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  • December 5, 2018

    Classifieds Marketing Outlook: All Segments

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    For decades, classifieds were the domain of newspapers, which offered advertisers cheap ads sorted under specific categories. The ads gave shoppers an easy way to browse various local offers, usually from private sellers. But, the jump from print to digital was inevitable and has proven itself to be quite lucrative for digital players. However, in the past few years, as the online classifieds market matures, leading digital classifieds players are attempting to diversify their revenues into new products and services. This is being driven by the need to ensure new sources of revenue growth and to drive customer acquisition and loyalty. In the real estate market, REA and Domain have introduced adjacent services such as mortgage broking and data analytics. In the recruitment market, LinkedIn and SEEK have been investing in technology companies involved in temporary hire, skill development, alternative recruitment and employee engagement.
  • December 4, 2018

    SVOD in the US and UK: A tale of three-player markets

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    There is a belief in some quarters that there is space for a myriad of large SVOD services in the UK. Like the UK, the US market is dominated by three services, but there is also evidence that there is appetite for further offerings: Netflix households tend to take a secondary SVOD service to complement Netflix’s content library, and are likely to take up a third service, and in some cases a fourth and fifth. Potential domestic UK services will struggle to compete with the resources that foreign tech giants can marshal, along with NOW TV’s steady position and top content.  
  • December 3, 2018

    O2 UK: scope for outperformance near-term, solid results thereaft [...]

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    O2 has managed to deliver a solid financial performance over the past several quarters in spite of network constraints which are now resolved. With signs that they are becoming more assertive in the market, and with continued brand strength and low churn, there is scope for that performance to hasten from here. Over the medium to long term, turnaround plans from the other MNOs could thwart outperformance by O2 but with an holistic culture of leading-edge marketing and innovation, we expect at least sustained solid results.
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  • November 30, 2018

    UK HFSS TV watershed idea should be put to bed

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    The ban on pre-9pm TV ads for HFSS (high in fat, salt or sugar) products being considered by the Government would not play a constructive or quantifiable role in reversing the UK’s rising childhood obesity rates. The ban on HFSS product ads since 2008 around children’s programming has not impeded the inexorable rise of childhood obesity. In 2010, Ofcom termed an HFSS watershed ban ‘disproportionate’ and ‘ineffective’. In 2018, a watershed ban would be even less effective. Children’s linear broadcast TV viewing is down by half since 2010, mainly to YouTube’s advantage, which benefits from light-touch HFSS regulation.
  • November 29, 2018

    Automotive Marketing Outlook 2018

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    After hitting record highs in March 2018, new car sales have recorded their seventh straight month of declining sales numbers as declining property prices and higher fuel costs are driving households to curb big-ticket purchases. Vehicle sales for October 2018 were 90,178 vehicles, down 5.3% YoY. Passenger cars declined 23.6% YoY driven in part by the preference for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) which accounted for 44% of all new car sales in Australia for October 2018. While disruptors such as carsharing platforms (carnextdoor and goget) are reducing the need for car-ownership, there hasn’t been any visible impact on the automotive advertising market. We forecast Automotive Display Adex to grow at a 13.2% CAGR through to 2022 to A$891.2mn. Carsales is one of the largest players in the Australian online auto advertising market with a share of 37% in car listing volumes. Its average session duration is approximately two times that of its closest competitor, while the average number of daily unique visitors to its website is 57% higher.
  • November 20, 2018

    BT Q2 2018/19 results: Beating expectations, guidance still look [...]

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    BT’s Q2 results were well ahead of both its full year guidance run-rate and financial market expectations, with revenue flat and EBITDA up 3% versus guidance and consensus at -2% for both metrics. Operating metrics were more mixed, with broadband churn high and (our estimate of) net adds low, but fixed ARPU was solid, backed up by rapid adoption of BT Plus, fibre adoption re-accelerated and mobile was strong across all metrics. While part of the outperformance was likely due to H1/H2 phasing, it also reflects fairly conservative expectations and a solid operating performance, and hence full year guidance still looks very beatable, with a positive outlook beyond this.
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  • November 16, 2018

    UK PSB SVOD

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    The Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) have been mulling a possible SVOD service, a decade after their ad-supported Project Kangaroo was blocked on competition grounds. Even if a reboot between the BBC and ITV were this time to be approved, we do not think Kangaroo 2 can succeed as a significant SVOD entrant in its home turf of the UK, above all because it’s too late. Other flaws in the offer are that it would be too small, non-premium, too old (archive), and too old (viewing profile), plus lacking sufficient financial resource to produce a pipeline of unique series.
  • 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.
  • November 13, 2018

    BBC drama: a loosening grip

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    A string of big, bold hits like Bodyguard, Killing Eve and Little Drummer Girl has reinvigorated the perception of the BBC’s drama schedule, with massive ratings and a coveted place in the public conversation. However, the lack of the broadcaster’s top dramas actually produced by BBC Studios—declining to just 4 of the top 25 in 2018—is cause for ongoing concern. At a time when the BBC is attempting to bulk up the iPlayer and programme IP has become the bedrock broadcasting asset, the BBC could be better placed.
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  • 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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