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    September 16, 2015

    BBC TV airwaves beyond 2026?

    The DCMS Green Paper on Charter Renewal does not mention the DTT spectrum, but the question of its future is never far away, in particular where it refers to the recent explosion of choice and poses questions about universality. The former 470-862 MHz band reserved for broadcast TV will already have shrunk to 470-694 MHz by 2022 following intense international pressure from the mobile sector. Absent a strong defence case, we cannot rule out total clearance from the mid-twenties. As things stand, replacement of the DTT spectrum by the internet will have devastating consequences for the entire TV broadcast ecosystem. Most importantly, examination of viewing trends leads us to conclude that the UK public will not be ready for at least another 20 years.

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    September 16, 2015

    Apple battles for control

    New ‘s’ versions of the iPhone 6 and 6Plus will help to maintain Apple’s grip on the high-end smartphone market. A notebook-sized iPad Pro and revamped Apple TV round out this year’s iOS device upgrade. iPhone sales may be further boosted by a new leasing plan, initially US-only, allowing users to upgrade handsets each year more easily, which also should enable the company to take a share of the used iPhone market, and could even be a precursor to an Apple MVNO. While the new iPad and Apple TV are unlikely to have a material impact on profits in the near term, they should be seen in the context of the wider battle for control of the connected office and home.

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    September 3, 2015

    UK quarterly internet trends Q2 2015

    The UK’s love affair with the smartphone continued in Q2: 85% of adults under 55 and a third of over-55s now have smartphones, which are becoming the primary method of accessing the internet, accounting for over 40% of time online. Among teens and younger adults internet usage is now higher than TV viewing, though this is still offset overall by the massed ranks of older viewers who remain glued to their TV sets. Commercial revenues derived from mobile devices still trail their share of internet usage but the gap is closing fast: in Q2, smartphones and tablets generated nearly half of consumer e-commerce transactions, while mobile ads represented 34% of internet search and display advertising.

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    September 2, 2015

    Numericable-SFR: Costs down but growth elusive

    Ten months after the acquisition of France’s SFR by Numericable, cost cutting targets appear likely to be exceeded, but the promised resumption of revenue growth may still take time to materialise as downward price pressures persist and the subscriber base has yet to stabilise. Profitability has increased faster than expected, while debt ratios look sustainable and set to decline. The challenge is to relaunch marketing while achieving the guided ambitious EBITDA margin growth. Investments, even if lower than planned, may be enough to sustain network competitiveness. The rationale for consolidation between Numericable, Bouygues and/or Iliad remains strong. But Numericable’s model looks sustainable without this. Side investments in media may at best bring political clout. The main risk stands with parent company’s Altice’s debt-finance expansion.

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    August 27, 2015

    UK internet device and consumption forecasts: Smartphones rule

    The UK is now a smartphone society: by the end of this year smartphone users will exceed the PC internet audience and by 2020 we project penetration will reach 83%. The average smartphone user now spends an hour and three quarters a day online, significantly more than the equivalent for PC and tablet, and phones already account for nearly half of all time online. We are positive on tablet user numbers, and think PCs will be resilient, especially for work users. All in all we expect connected time in 2020 to be 21 billion hours higher than in 2015, up over 35%. Commercial revenues via smartphones and tablets still lag their share of internet usage, but the monetisation gap versus the PC is closing fast: the newer devices accounted for 27% of internet search and display advertising last year, up 8ppts versus 2013, and 36% of e-commerce transactions, up from a quarter a year earlier. Consumers are already thinking mobile-first; businesses will have to follow.

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    August 17, 2015

    FLASH – Nine NRL rights deal – diamonds or stones?

    Has Nine stolen a jump on its rivals with its NRL rights deal? At A$925m only time will tell if there is a return on its investment. What we can say is: this underpins the value of sports to delivering live audiences and it reinforces that broadcasters will remain the key rights holders for the next rights cycle at least.

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    August 6, 2015

    Disruption In – Banking on disruption

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    Banks act as the intermediary between borrowers and lenders. Digital disruption is the enabling platform that connects borrowers and lenders while circumventing banks. Where banks once relied on scale (including brick and mortar infrastructure), asymmetric information barriers, regulatory barriers and vertical integration – technology is unbundling the value chain. This report is part of our ‘Disruption In’ series and uses our proprietary Disruption Framework to analyse the potential for disruption in the financial services industry.

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    July 24, 2015

    Apple Q3 2015: Watch this space

    Apple delivered strong results in Q3 2015, selling a record number of iPhones for the June quarter, though iPad sales slid dramatically as consumers switch to ‘phablets’ and the company did not provide any detail on early sales of Watch, its biggest product launch since 2010. We remain bullish both on the iPhone and the Watch’s long term potential, though the latter remains a work in progress and, like many of Apple’s existing customers, we await the next iteration with interest; by contrast the iPad may have peaked already. Rising revenue from App Store, up 24% year-on-year, as well as new products like Apple Music and Apple Pay, should continue to boost the contribution from Services, and we expect this to evolve into a more material part of the business, but ultimately it’s still all about the iPhone.

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    July 20, 2015

    FLASH – Netflix 2Q – Content and that’s the bottom line

    Netflix’s 2Q results demonstrate that original content is driving strong take-up (ahead of expectations) and with Netflix announcing an increase in original content investment (including investment into movie content for the first time), this raises the question - where might they go next and what will be the response from linear broadcasters?

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    July 16, 2015

    Telstra Air – here, there and everywhere

    We believe Telstra has stolen a lead on its competitors with the launch of Air. We believe this network will be hard to replicate and will therefore drive customer retention and acquisition benefits for Telstra. WiFi is also increasingly important to help manage network capacity pressure while providing new revenue opportunities to telcos (critical given the pressure on core telco revenue).

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    July 9, 2015

    Disruption In – Coming soon to an industry near you

    The ICT industry is undergoing significant transformation as a result of the rapid pace of innovation. We give an overview of the Australian ICT sector identifying how digital disruption is causing continued evolution. We discuss the likely impact on businesses and how ICT transformation will create opportunities within multiple sectors.

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    July 1, 2015

    A new Fox bid for Sky: when, not if

    News Corp’s original bid for full ownership of BSkyB was withdrawn because of the phone hacking scandal. It was never blocked by regulators. Had it not been for the scandal, the bid would almost certainly have been approved. With the phone hacking scandal fallout largely over and the election of a friendly government, the climate is now much more favourable to a renewed bid. With undertakings, we believe it would be approved by regulators. The increasingly global scale of TV and film distribution means the commercial case for the bid is, if anything, stronger now than in 2010. The questions are simply whether the right price can be agreed, and how high up it is on James Murdoch’s list of priorities.

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    June 30, 2015

    SVOD and telco – Frenemies or Foes?

    Video is critical for Australian telco’s growth prospects but a standalone strategy is fraught with difficulty. We believe telco’s best strategy is to be an enabler of video by partnering with video operators whether OTT and increasingly traditional (FTA offers a real opportunity as it evolves its multi-screen proposition).

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    June 29, 2015

    FLASH – SVOD first battle won, but watch the data

    The launch of SVOD continues to make headlines with recent data declaring Netflix the clear winner. Unless there is a dramatic change in the market, it looks like the other players are fighting for a distant second place, given that Netflix is likely to accelerate its Australian investment as a consequence of its success. So what does this mean for the TV / video ecosystem and how do the incumbents respond?

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    June 18, 2015

    Apple at WWDC: intelligent design

    Apple has confirmed the launch of Apple Music, its streaming music service, available on iOS devices by the end of June, and later on Android. Priced at the same level as Spotify’s premium tier and lacking a free ad-supported offer, much hinges on the appeal of its curation tools. Other key announcements included a news app, the roll-out of Apple Pay to the UK, improvements to maps, and new operating systems for Mac, iPhone/iPad and Watch. The main theme was one of increasing intelligence in services, with Music and News both being curated and the software getting better at understanding and predicting user needs. This is a necessary step to prepare for the next wave of consumer technology: wearables and connected devices.

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    June 16, 2015

    Mary Meeker’s State of the Internet

    We have synthesised the key themes from the latest Internet Trends Report from Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. We don’t purport this to be our own ideas, but provide it as an interesting resource (see below for Australian ramifications). Three key trends are evident to us from the report: the shift to mobile, the shift to a service economy and finally that disruption of traditional industries is likely to continue for some time yet.

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    June 10, 2015

    The evolution will be televised – assessing the SVOD impact

    The launch of three SVOD platforms heralds a new era in the Australian video market. Our proprietary survey of 5,300 consumers suggests there will be high adoption of SVOD with Netflix the early winner. We expect SVOD to have the highest impact on TVOD and Physical Media. The risk to Pay TV is real, but not game changing while the immediate risk to FTA is less apparent.

  • June 5, 2015

    UK quarterly internet trends Q1 2015

    The latest numbers for Q1 2015 show strong device and internet user growth, with more of the population online than ever before, including more than 90% of under-55s. Growth amongst older groups, however, has slowed to a crawl. Participation in online activities is up across the board, but digital media data shows spend on ebooks and digital music struggling, with the latter being heavily impacted by the rise of unlimited streaming models such as Spotify. The story of mobile's surge continues, with almost a half of e-commerce transactions and a third of search and display ad spend now going to mobile. Most of these mobile devices are Android, but iPhone seems to have gained long term share with its larger phones. Google services, however, have cross-platform reach.

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    June 2, 2015

    Moneyball — Sports rights negotiations

    Sports remain critical for both FTA and Pay TV. We believe that Nine has the greatest capacity to pay for rights and will retain its NRL contract, albeit with lower inflation than Seven and Ten will face as they chase AFL rights. We expect Foxtel to retain its Pay rights (possibly increasing its tally of NRL games per week).
  • May 13, 2015

    Video games: buoyant year ahead

    The Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw major announcements in virtual reality and new generation streaming game consoles, as well as further opening up of access to game engine software. Latest earnings reports show that major publishers and developers are currently in buoyant form as growth in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One install base boosts revenue and consumers migrate to digital sales. Results for developers dependent on the mobile or online ecosystem are more mixed: King (producer of Candy Crush) continues to grow, but Zynga is struggling, although recent performance hints at a possible halt in its decline

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  • April 27, 2015

    Media & Telecoms: 2015 & Beyond slides

    Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference, in conjunction with BNP Paribas and Deloitte, in London on 17 March 2015. The event featured talks from 13 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides the accompanying slides for some of the presentations.

  • April 27, 2015

    Media & Telecoms: 2015 & Beyond

    Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference, in conjunction with BNP Paribas and Deloitte, in London on 17 March 2015. The event featured talks from 13 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides edited transcripts from some of the talks, and you will find accompanying slides for many of the presentations here. Videos of the presentations are available on the conference website.

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    April 20, 2015

    GE 2015 update: Election and government outcomes

    There are still two and a half weeks of the campaign to go before polling day, but postal votes are already being sent out to voters and many have already made up their minds. We believe there is now a small range of likely seat outcomes, and therefore possible governments. Our central case sees the two main parties almost level on seats, resulting in a Labour minority government dependent on the support of the SNP and its allies (the Greens and Plaid Cymru). Slightly different outcomes are also possible, depending on the final size of the swing from the Conservatives to Labour in England and Wales, over which there is still considerable uncertainty. If Labour does worse than we expect, it could require the votes of the Lib Dems as well as the SNP; if it does better, it could require only Lib Dem votes. The upside case for the Conservatives is now that they win enough seats to make a minority government dependent on the support of the Lib Dems, DUP and UKIP possible. We think that scenario is now unlikely, but even if it were to occur, we think it would be very challenging to both knit those parties together and persuade the parliamentary Conservative party that its interests are best served by doing so. For these reasons, we think a government led by the Conservatives can now be all but ruled out.

  • March 16, 2015

    Apple Watch: the next must-have device?

    Apple has provided more details on its smartwatch range, on sale from April, priced between $350-$17,000 to appeal to a wide range of would-be buyers and initially focusing on enhancing the iPhone through added convenience. The Watch is likely to develop quickly in the next few years, and has the potential to become an indispensable tool for managing payments, health data and identity, as well as controlling other connected devices. The company is laying the foundations for Watch to become a must-have device, but the case is still to be made and ultimately its success depends on a number of key groups and factors outside Apple’s control.