Reuters 28 June 2017
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on the EU antitrust regulatory actions against Google's business. The European Commission fined Google €2.42bn for favouring its own shopping-related product listing ads over competing price comparison sites. Matti said "just being put on notice can limit Google's strategic options into the future”. The EU ruling is a warning shot for two on-going EU probes into Google's Android mobile operating system and AdSense ad system. Matti continues by saying that while Google may be able to meet EU objections in the AdSense case by making relatively modest changes to its advertising systems to enable website customers to run ads from Google advertising rivals, the Android case has many complicated factors with no easy solution.
Royal Television Magazine 26 June 2017
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on the new series “Genius” which encapsulates the new-look content strategy of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox. Toby said that times are tough for factual broadcast channels “they’re doing it to sex up their schedule, the amount of scripted drama made in the past few years has more than doubled, with Netflix and Amazon holding a terrific advantage in the marketplace”. However, Toby said “they need to consider the move carefully, it is a good thing to try but it is by no means certain that it will be a success”. In the UK, Genius debuted on Sky Atlantic and the National Geographic channel simultaneously. Toby observed that “it makes sense for a network majority owned by Fox to put it on Sky Atlantic in the UK to promote it and help drive people back to National Geographic’s channels”.
Financial Times 26 June 2017
Enders Analysis was quoted in an article on traditional media groups that are starting to feel the biggest impact from digital disruption. For the first time since the financial crash drove the advertising industry into recession in 2009, advertising’s big four — WPP, Publicis, Omnicom and Interpublic Group — are stalling. Enders said in a recent report “the advertising industry is undergoing profound change. Overall advertising spend continues to grow at a faster rate than consumer spending. But . . . vital signs in the market are alarming”. Adding that, the increasing focus on short-term slots — driven by the speed and efficiency of programmatic online advertising — poses a serious threat to the traditional role agencies have played in developing memorable campaigns for big brands such as Coke, Apple and McDonald’s. Moreover, Enders found that the balance between long-term brand building and short-term activation was broadly equal at 50 per cent, but would soon tip to 60/40 in favour of the short term, handing even more power over advertising to the tech platforms. Research shows that chief marketing officers hold their posts for shorter periods than other senior executives, adding to the short-termism.
Mediatel 22 June 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the independent study, conducted by Enders Analysis, on marketing effectiveness presented last month at the PPA Festival. The extensive report, sponsored by Magnetic, highlighted the rise of business and investor short-termism, which coincided with a rise in online consumption and advertising, in turn driving a surge in marketing short-termism.
“It's time to wake up” – Douglas explains in the article why the findings of a new report should set alarm bells ringing across the entire media and advertising market.
Digiday 19 June 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the complexities of converting readers into subscribers, and the importance of driving direct connections with readers. Individual business models aside, at a strategic level, subscription models focus on smaller targets of valuable readers rather than maximum reach and scale, said Douglas. He added that “calculating the right service bundle for a premium digital proposition — and the balanced and flexible means of measuring, tracking and optimizing it — is a complex editorial and management judgment. But more distribution options, more data and more content manifestations have of course made it much more complex”.
The Times 13 June 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the growing popularity of streaming services, which has sparked the biggest fall in viewing figures for Premier League football on Sky TV for seven years, prompting doubts over the future of a valuable source of income for clubs. Claire said that the fall in TV viewing figures was linked to the rapid growth of services where matches are streamed live to a device via a phone signal. She said that the impact on Sky and BT was potentially “catastrophic” unless they could come up with an improved business model. Streaming services may be via Sky or BT’s own services, Sky Go or the BT Sport app. Claire added that “It’s a well-established trend. A younger generation is quite happy with [illegal] smartphone streaming. The quality might not be great but it’s a lot better than paying £50 or £60 per month . . . There is no practical way you can exclude streaming like this from a sports stadium”.
The Times 13 June 2017
Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on illegal streamed services, which has sparked the biggest fall in viewing figures for Premier League football on Sky TV. Julian said that evidence of “cord-cutting”, where consumers cancel cable and satellite TV subscriptions to opt for the use of internet-based streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, was also an alarming development for Sky and others. He added that “the real impact for Sky is going to be if they keep losing audiences. They are going to be taking a hit on their revenues. Subscriptions are fundamental to their business model. We’ll have to wait and see what the consequences will be long term”.
Financial Times 12 June 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Guardian newspaper to go tabloid, dropping its distinctive Berliner newspaper format and shifting to a smaller print size to slash costs and reduce heavy losses. At the same time as investing heavily in the Berliner format the newspaper group embarked on an open online strategy to grow the Guardian’s brand internationally by allowing readers free access to its website. Douglas said “it always looked like an expensive and ambitious contradiction. For sure [readers] may think that the tabloid is not as attractive but the Guardian needs to communicate to its core audience that it is taking costs seriously”.
The Hollywood Reporter 12 June 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Sky-Fox deal and the shock UK election results. The U.K. election has weakened the position of current prime minister Theresa May, whose Conservative Party lost its majority in Parliament. Analysts on Friday started discussing the impact this will have on 21st Century Fox's more than $14 billion bid for full ownership of Sky. British regulators have been reviewing the deal that would boost Fox's Sky holding from 39 percent to 100 percent. The review by Ofcom and one by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) were originally scheduled to wrap by May 16, but were extended from until June 20 due to the election. After all, Alice said that the May cabinet "might be reshuffled and a new [culture] minister is named and has to take up a large number of dossiers at the same time, of which one is the 21st Century Fox/Sky deal”. She predicts a "brief delay" in that case, explaining "[There is] always a risk of delay in the formation of a new government", adding that, "there is significant opposition from Tom Watson, deputy leader [of Labour], and [Labour politician and former party leader] Ed Miliband, so the political calculus will shift to a less friendly scenario".
the Guardian 12 June 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Channel 4’s new chief executive, Alex Mahon. Mahon greeted her first executive role in public service television by saying “in these changing times, C4’s mission is more important than ever.” And these changes are significant ones, including a likely move out of London for a broadcaster that has spent its entire 25 years within walking distance of Westminster; and an advertising market hit by Brexit fears as well as long-term structural decline due to digital disruption. Claire said of the challenges “is this the right time to up sticks from Channel 4’s historic HQ? No, it’s insane! But moving is a small distraction compared with the main problem of the future of public service broadcasting in the digital age”. Relocation is the most pressing of the challenges facing Mahon, however. The most likely options for a move are thought to be Birmingham, Salford or Leeds. Channel 4 is expected to resist moving all or even the majority of its 830 employees north, but any relocation is expected to cause “very significant financial issues”, according to Claire.
Moreover, Claire said that the appointment reflected changing times in the industry where the BBC has two senior women in the executive team. Adding that “of course this is a really big breakthrough, but women of huge talent have been in the industry for a really long time. She is there because she is highly respected”.
CNN 9 June 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Sky-Fox deal and the shock UK election results. Shares in Sky fell as much as 4% on Friday as investors worried that the strong performance by the left-wing Labour Party could slow -- or even block -- the £18.5 billion ($23 billion) deal championed by Rupert Murdoch. Analysts still expect the deal will eventually be signed off by Ofcom regulators, though they may ask for some concessions to ensure the Murdoch’s don't have editorial sway over Sky News. But the takeover could then face another review by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority. Referring the deal to the CMA would be a decision for the government's media minister -- and it's unclear at this stage whether May will want to replace this official. Alice said that a CMA review would be another six month process, adding that "People see this [election result] as the cause of more delays and unknowns".
the Guardian 8 June 2017
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on the role of online platforms in UK General Elections. Major political parties have shifted their social media strategy in the final days of campaigning from general attack adverts to an array of tailored messages aimed at key marginal seats. However, research by Enders Analysis has found that most shared news and opinion on social media was pro-Labour. It also said that Facebook was the primary digital advertising platform for the Conservatives and Labour, but added that only half of the UK electorate are active users. Matti Littunen said “Facebook is taking the lion’s share of both the main parties’ online campaign ad budgets, with Labour determined not to be outgunned on the platform as it was in 2015. The platform’s ad targeting tools are much better at digesting voter databases than they were during the last general election, making it a powerful tool for targeted campaign messaging in marginal constituencies.”
The Drum 7 June 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the appointment of Alex Mahon as Channel 4’s chief executive. Claire said “Alex Mahon has a unique combination of skills and commercial experience of two of the most important challenges that Channel 4 faces in an age of infinite choice: sustaining creative innovation and leveraging digital technology". She added that "Channel 4's unique public service broadcasting mission is in very safe hands".
Financial Times 6 June 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the appointment of the new chief executive of Channel 4. The publicly owned group announced on Monday that Alex Mahon, first female chief executive, would take over from David Abraham who is standing down after seven years in charge. Ms Mahon from the special effects business Foundry will lead the broadcaster at a time of deep uncertainty over its future location and a slump in the television advertising market. She will have to navigate a difficult advertising market with analysts predicting a possible fall of 5-6 per cent in 2017. Claire said “it’s a daunting challenge because we are going to have a really tough year. Although Channel 4 has significant reserves it doesn’t have any significant other source of revenue and if the ad slump prolongs itself to next year, that is going to be quite a demanding time.”
Campaign 5 June 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Havas/Vivendi deal, which did not surprise many people in the industry, as the Bolloré Group already controlled both companies – its chairman and chief executive, Vincent Bolloré, is also chairman of Vivendi, while his son Yannick is chairman and chief executive of Havas. However, the deal is seen as a sign of media owner and agency consolidation to become the norm. Accordingly, Douglas said "this is a critical space to watch. Convergence between media, networks and marketing is the theme. We will see more investment by telecoms companies into content and advertising without necessarily triggering a series of mega-mergers."
Digiday 2 June 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the expansion of Politico, with plans to extend its trademark newsletter Playbook to London in September. Growing the London audience became a bigger priority after the European referendum, though. Politico’s Brexit-related coverage last summer gave its U.K. traffic a serious boost. Since then, it has launched two other ad-funded newsletters: Brexit Files, which has about 20,000 subscribers; and the Sunday Crunch, which has around 10,000. Douglas said Politico’s expansion of Playbook and its London team is timely. He added that “this is a really interesting move. European and U.S. politicians, economists and civil servants need to understand Westminster now more than ever. Many of the U.K. media brands are focused on reaching enormous audiences using very broad editorial remits, and Politico sees the opposite opportunity: a very tight focus, reaching a narrow but influential audience.”
Financial Times 24 May 2017
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on Amazon offering live television channels on its video platform for the first time in Europe as the US technology group steps up its push into broadcasting and ramps up its competition with traditional networks. "It makes sense for both parties,” says Tom Harrington of Enders Analysis. “If more people are watching Horse and Country through Amazon then they are more likely to buy more saddles through Amazon.”
Bloomberg 22 May 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Rupert Murdoch's control of Fox. Claire said having Murdoch run Fox News “seems counterproductive and probably not helpful in sending messages about changes in culture”
Financial Times 15 May 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Guardian strategy - the move towards charging online readers represents a major shift for a group that had been almost evangelical about offering its digital journalism for free. But the Guardian has been forced to rethink its strategy after arguably the biggest crisis in its near 200-year history hit last year, when a sharp drop in print advertising compounded disappointing digital ad revenue. Now the Guardian is relying on reader’s support to stave off crisis. However, analysts say that unless losses are reduced and new revenue streams found, the Guardian will quickly find itself in the same predicament. Douglas said “the scale of the fund and the core Guardian objective of achieving sustainability should not be intertwined. In some ways the bigger the fund the more the business is culturally inclined to accept colossal trading losses”.
Digiday 15 May 2017
Thomas Caldecott was quoted in an article on the Telegraph’s e-commerce strategy business. The Telegraph believes that its habit of creating a substantial amount of travel content and its engaged readership puts it ahead of others. It has built out its e-commerce business for the last 18 months as a way of diversifying revenue streams, and it predicts that e-commerce will overtake advertising as a portion of its total revenue in three to five years. Travel is the most mature commerce sector for The Telegraph. Thomas said “not many U.K. news nationals have pushed far into e-commerce. The potential is there”. He added that One example is MailOnline, which introduced Fashion Finder in 2013 to let readers shop celebrities’ looks. But the Telegraph has long run a large travel supplement in its print edition, so it already has good relationships with travel advertisers and operators.