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  • April 29, 2021

    Netflix Q1 2021: Muted growth, but after a massive 2020, does it [...]

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    Growth is down but the benefits from COVID-19 have been banked and are enduring

    Netflix added four million subscribers (net adds) in Q1 2021, compared to 15.7 million in Q1 2020. As we have noted in previous reports, 2020 was the most abnormal, fertile and opportune environment imaginable for streaming services—see the growth of Disney+—pulling forward new subscribers, delaying churn, and allowing Netflix to add 36.6 million net subscribers globally (versus 18.2 million in 2019). All, while pushing up engagement levels as linear competition was disproportionally hobbled by production shutdowns and out-of-home entertainment was put out of action.  
  • March 11, 2021

    Nine, SevenWest results reflect COVID19 rebound, transition to di [...]

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    The recent Nine and Seven results highlight the impact of COVID19 and digital transformation. Free to air (FTA) broadcasters have traditionally played a dominant role in aggregating television content from multiple content owners and creators. However, over the last decade, the growth of subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) has driven significant transformation in TV viewing habits. Audiences today have unprecedented choice when it comes to content and how to watch it.
  • February 24, 2021

    Sports rights market hits an inflection point: New distribution p [...]

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    The fire smouldering beneath the traditional sports broadcasting model burst into flame in 2020. We have argued that sports rights payments in the ANZ market were not sustainable. The rising value of deals could not be reconciled with falling broadcast TV revenues. In this report, we discuss the current state of the Australian sports rights market, delve into the current struggle of traditional broadcasters, and contemplate what is next for the delivery of sports content.
  • February 12, 2021

    Video viewing survey: household consumption across formats to rem [...]

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    Venture Insights conducted a video consumer survey in late November/early December 2020 in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology. The survey was conducted nationally for 1,003 respondents, with a representative survey sample across demographic and regional groupings. Those respondents who watch free to air TV, pay TV, catch-up TV or SVOD services qualified to participate in this survey.
  • February 9, 2021

    Amazon and sports rights: Gaining confidence

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    • Thanks to lockdown momentum, Amazon Prime Video grew substantially in 2020. Christmas time coverage of the Premier League seems to have played a part, informing Amazon’s approach elsewhere
    • Upping its game, Amazon has acquired more expensive Champions League rights in Germany and Italy. It also bid in Monday’s failed French Ligue 1 auction
    • In the impending Premier League tender Amazon may be ready to increase its outlay if needed to meet subscribers’ expectations, but without any real incentive to challenge Sky and BT’s dominance
  • February 4, 2021

    Top 5 Media Trends in 2021

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    2020 was a disruptive year for everyone, including the media industry. The pressures have exposed industry fault lines and toppling entrenched arrangements. Our top media trends for 2021 are:
    1. SVOD market flattens
    2. Sports rights shakeout to continue
    3. We’ve passed “peak platform”
    4. Programmatic advertising transcends the cookie
    5. Localism’s last throw
    This report explores these trends in greater detail and how they will impact the media landscape.
  • January 28, 2021

    2021 Video Entertainment Market Outlook

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    • We forecast the Australian video market to decline at a 2% CAGR to about A$5.5bn in 2024, driven primarily by the revenue deflation as viewing shifts from traditional to digital platforms.
    • COVID-19 has provided a massive boost to SVOD revenues, which will continue to grow at a 9.3% CAGR through to 2024. However, we forecast a significant decline in Pay-TV and Physical media formats.
    • Pay-TV will remain under pressure driven by the structural changes in the way video content is consumed. While Foxtel will offset some of this pressure by participating in the SVOD market, it will not be able to recover the losses in its traditional Pay-TV business.
  • January 22, 2021

    Netflix Q4 2020 results: 200 million subs with cash piling up

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    Netflix believes that it no longer needs to raise external financing for its day-to-day operations

    This has come quicker than expected: the company had previously gone from the opaque “next few years” narrative it held for some time, to “rapidly closing in” on sustainable positive cashflow just last quarter, meaning that it was a “couple” of years off. One quarter later Netflix is confident its free cash flow will break even in 2021, up $1 billion on its prediction three months ago.
  • July 13, 2020

    Canal+: Time to reclaim its ‘national champion’ mojo

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    The pay-TV platform’s revenue has almost stabilised in France, while positioning has shifted to that of an aggregator—thanks to deals with Netflix, Disney+ and BeIN Sports
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  • July 6, 2020

    Telecoms and pay TV – Opportunities beyond lockdown

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    The Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior will cease to be broadcast in the UK. Carriage negotiations with the major platforms have clearly been going on for some time, with the March agreement for Sky Q to carry the new SVOD service Disney+ completed without any reference to the linear channels.
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  • November 29, 2017

    Google: A Trojan Horse for the TV industry?

    While Google dominates the online video market via YouTube, efforts in the TV industry have constantly fallen short of expectations. However, Google is now positioning itself to become a critical part of the TV value chain.
  • November 28, 2017

    UFC: pay-per-view heavyweight, subscription contender

    TalkTalk continued to maintain positive broadband net adds in Q2 despite increased churn, and its on-net revenue growth turned positive as well, helped by the turnaround in subscriber growth trends and an overlapping price increase implemented during the quarter. The return to growth is taking its toll in marketing costs however, and the company is now guiding to a full year ‘headline’ EBITDA at the lower end of its previous given range, and this is after redefining ‘headline’ to exclude losses from its winding-down mobile business. Even this looks challenging given the cost trends in the first half of the year. The company’s new strategy of subscriber growth and focusing on the basics is probably the right one, but it is proving tough to implement in a slowing and increasingly competitive market
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  • October 23, 2017

    21CF/Sky transaction heads to the CMA

    21CF’s bid for 100% ownership of Sky has been referred for a Phase 2 investigation to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which will decide by 6 March 2018. Third parties Avaaz and Ed Miliband MP complain of the influence of the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) and family members over the UK’s news agenda and political process. A remedy could insulate Sky News from this influence. The offer of a Sky News Editorial Board at Phase 1 was refused. Third parties will ensure the debate in Phase 2 is very lively.
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  • August 29, 2017

    Video Market Outlook – FY17: SVOD is driving growth of the mark [...]

    The Australian Video Market is plateauing, as growth continues for SVOD alongside losses for traditional media. We anticipate the market to reach A$5.3b by 2022. Streamed digital media (SVOD, TVOD and EST) are growing strongly at the expense of physical media (Blu-ray and DVDs). SVOD subscriptions are anticipated to reach over 6 million by 2020, driven predominantly by Netflix.
  • June 1, 2017

    ITV et al. facing the NAR squeeze

    ITV’s latest trading Q1 trading update has sent a clear warning signal to the commercial TV industry as it gave guidance of 8-9% year-on-year decline in TV NAR (Net Advertising Revenue) in H1 2017. A substantial portion of the projected decline may be attributed to economic issues and relatively tough Q1 comparatives as per ITV guidance; however, there are clear signs of growing intrusion by online video advertising on traditional broadcast TV NAR. A review of trends points to major biases that swing the market towards the online space. It is time for all to reconsider both the impact of CRR (Contract Rights Renewal) in restraining TV NAR and the factors – by no means all sound – pushing up online video spend

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  • March 16, 2017

    BT tightens grip on Champions League TV

    The latest auction of UEFA Champions League televised UK rights has seen further high inflation (32%) as BT renewed its ownership for the three seasons from 2018/19 for an annual payment of £394 million. Although BT annual payments are to increase by £95 million from 2018/19, the new contract offers added commercial attractions, though we expect BT’s efforts to monetise them will fall some way short of the cost increase. However, BT had to win to cement its position against Sky as a strong number two in UK premium pay TV and we expect weaker future inflation of premium football rights. For Sky followers, the focus is now on the UEFA auctions in Germany and Italy, where the outcome is far from certain.
  • November 30, 2016

    The future of free-to-air television Part 2: Profiting from New F [...]

    The provision and consumption of on-demand video is exploding. FTA broadcasters must adapt to these new media and audience behaviour trends. They are well placed to exploit the significant opportunities that exists in redefined ‘TV’ and adjacent markets but the price of failure will be irrelevance and decline.
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    October 19, 2016

    Revenues what count for Sky: Q1 2017

    2017 has started well as group revenues grew by 5% on a like-for-like constant currency basis and operating costs were 2% lower year-on-year. The outlook for continuing strong revenue growth in the coming quarters is very positive in light of the numerous and ongoing product and service synergies in all three Sky markets. Cord-cutting is now a major concern in the US; however, there is no evidence for it with respect to Sky operations in Germany & Austria and Italy, while the evidence from the UK & Ireland is so far inconclusive. We expect some to occur, but not on the scale seen in the US.

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    September 16, 2016

    BT Sport: positive first year with the Champions League

    BT Sport has seen a very clear positive impact from its first year airing the Champions League, with viewing up 60% year-on-year to June. Remarkably, its reach is now not too far off Sky Sports, though it still has some way to go in terms of consistent viewership.

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    August 12, 2016

    US and UK: Cord-cutting-shaving-nevering

    Cord-cutting has become a major headache for US pay-TV operators in the last three years, while cable network channels face further erosion due to cord-shaving and we now see a rapidly growing population of cord-nevering households that have never taken a pay-TV subscription. Should we expect it to be only a matter of time for the UK to follow the US? The short answer is no, due to major differences in the pay-TV market infrastructures of the two countries, which leave the UK much less exposed. However, downward pressures from the online space do exist in both countries, while the big cord-cutting-shaving-nevering threat we now see in the UK has most of all to do with the chill Brexit winds on the economy.

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    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.
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    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.
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    September 30, 2015

    Video Market Outlook – Physical makes way for Digital

    We don’t expect the overall size of the video entertainment market to change materially but we do expect the platform share to change dramatically over the next five years. We expect xVOD services to represent 20% of the overall market from around 5% currently (replacing Physical Media and Premium Pay-TV).

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    September 10, 2015

    BBC TV – impact on investment in UK content

    Responding to the Green Paper’s question on the BBC’s market impact, this report finds that the UK’s creative economy would suffer a 25-50% decline of investment in new UK content “if BBC TV did not exist at all”. Advertising-supported broadcasters would gain little, if any, extra revenue from expanded commercial audiences. ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and non-PSB multichannel broadcasters would be unable to fill the gap in investment left by the BBC. Pay-TV platforms could gain significant revenues although the loss of BBC TV programming, with 30% viewing share, would increase costs. Pay-TV platforms invest <10p on the £ of revenue in new UK content excluding sport so they, too, would not fill the gap left by the BBC.