Racounter 22 February 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the future of Media & Entertainment. Internet TV is beaming big-budget programming into UK homes as some viewers switch off from traditional broadcasters - Drama is turning into a crisis for traditional TV stations. Internet streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime are pouring billions of dollars into creating original, high-quality drama and programming, far outstripping the budgets of established broadcasters. Meanwhile, subscribers to internet streaming services have rocketed in the UK. Netflix subscriber numbers rose to 6.1 million by the end of 2016 from 2.7 million in 2014. Amazon subscribers climbed to 2.5 million in 2016 from 1.5 million in 2014. Claire said “the peak of UK viewing was during the 2012 Olympics across every demographic. We are looking at five years of decline since that peak”. However, Claire plays down the idea that established TV stations will be killed off by internet viewing. “Over the last 35 years, everything that comes along finds it place. Very few things ever disappear, they become more efficient”.
Financial Times 15 February 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the newspaper industry. As print's fortunes continue to decline, prominent publishers such as the New York Times are increasingly relying on their digital future. On both sides of the Atlantic publishers were reinvigorated by the globe-shaking news events of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Claire Enders says that while the trends in the UK and US mirror each other, many newspaper groups would have fared better had they not wasted so much money on new digital ventures. She added “The remarkable story in the UK is that more titles have not followed the Independent’s lead and gone digital only. There is still enough scale to keep newspapers going.”
Digiday 14 February 2017
Thomas Caldecott was quoted in an article on how The Economist is focusing on increasing profitability by growing digital subscriptions. The Economist is very clear about what it wants out of platforms: to reach non-subscribers and give them samples of Economist content to eventually turn into more subscribers. Thomas said “the slowing of digital subscribers isn’t a surprise”, adding that it’s not a reflection on the product but wider economic trends. Thomas added that “It’s a very good case study of if you provide some free content you can increase your ad scale and reach new readers, as long as it’s cleverly designed and executed intelligently. With the content that The Economist creates, they are better placed than most.”
Bloomberg 8 February 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the amendments to the proposed Digital Economy Bill, which would subject media acquirers to a so-called fit-and-proper test in order to hold a broadcasting license. The test would look at any past criminal wrongdoing and corporate-governance failures -- ensuring Murdoch and his son, James, who is chairman of Sky and chief executive officer of Fox, would face new scrutiny over their handling of a hacking scandal that derailed an earlier offer for Sky. Alice said “We don’t think this is going to derail the bid at all”, citing difficulties of getting the amendments passed through both houses of Parliament. “It’s not going to interfere with the process of regulatory clearance at the European Commission.”
Financial Times 8 February 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the book industry, where there are signs of a book renaissance all around. Waterstones, the UK book chain, returned to profit last year after suffering six years of losses. Sales of print books in the US rose by 3 per cent, while those of eBooks have fallen. Digital technology has not unleashed the same revolution in publishing that it has for music, television and news. The book, in digital or printed from, has been more stable than other kinds of media. Douglas said “we read books one at a time and each one takes us days”.
Financial Times 6 February 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the expansion of Axel Springer news service, Upday, from four to 16 countries in Europe, as the German media group accelerates its shift into digital publishing. Upday, it’s a news aggregator that uses human editors as well as an algorithm to select news stories, it was developed as part of an exclusive partnership with Samsung and launched in Germany, Poland, the UK and France last February. Douglas said that the outlook for app advertising was promising. Adding that “Publishers are able to charge a premium for app advertising because the user is more loyal and engaged than the mobile web audience, and it is a much less intrusive experience, so we see this as positive.”
Business Insider 1 February 2017
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on the dispute between Sky and Discovery. After an eleventh-hour deal between the two broadcasters, they have hit upon a compromise. The agreement, known as a carriage deal, means that Discovery will not remove its 13 channels from the Sky platform as it originally threatened. However, no details were given about the length or the financial terms of the deal, but there was still some residual frostiness in their statements. Toby said "As one broadcaster, who shall remain unnamed once said to me: When it comes to carriage deals, Sky gives you just enough oxygen to breathe", adding that "It's in the interests of both parties to reach an agreement."
Financial Times 30 January 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Bertelsmann, the German conglomerate, which owns 53 per cent, is looking to raise its stake in Penguin Random House. Especially after the UK professional publisher Pearson said it planned to sell its 47 per cent share in the company. However, it comes at a time when the digital revolution is utterly transforming traditional business models and rewriting the rule-book for industries, from music and media to travel and financial services. Moreover, when many believed publishing would also fall victim to digital disruption, Douglas said “the physical book market has turned out to be more resilient than anyone expected”.
Les Echos 30 January 2017
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on the launch of i24 news channel in the US. Three years after its launch, the international news channel extends to the US from 13 February. The US market is very crowded, besides the giants such as Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg Television and Fox Business there are few general channels. So, there is a risk of competition from new media over the long term. And above all, Francois said there is a premium to the size in this industry of fixed costs.
the Guardian 30 January 2017
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on Apple’s app business, which made almost $30bn (£24bn) as the Pokémon Go phenomenon drove purchases, taking total store sales to $85bn since 2008. This week’s latest quarterly results will confirm its importance to the tech group, with iPhone sales losing steam and the group’s services unit – home to the app store and iTunes – becoming increasingly important to Apple. Matti said the iPhone remains the cornerstone of the business, accounting for well over 60% of revenue, but the store is a key part of Apple’s strategy to make more money away from hardware. He added “the App Store business is of growing importance to Apple, following the decline in iPhone sales, the services division is becoming more important. Apple needs to do everything it can to make sure it has the best services available and top developers on board.”
BBC 27 January 2017
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on SKY TV, which, from 2018, is to offer a complete subscription television package without a satellite dish for the first time. Toby said "I don't think Sky is giving up on other things but they see this as an opportunity, there are about two million households in the UK, mostly in dense urban areas, where people can't put up dishes. He added "If they can offer the full Sky experience without the need for a dish, that is broadening their offer, but there will be questions about which homes can get it. Not everybody has the necessary broadband speed."
Financial Times 26 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the Murdoch family, and the gradual transfer of power from Rupert Murdoch to his sons, James and Lachlan. The brothers will manage the Sky bid with the aim of avoiding the fate of the last offer they made for the company. Back in 2010, the family couldn’t have handled things much worse, according to Claire Enders. Claire points to the aggressive posture taken at the time, particularly by James, who in his 2009 MacTaggart lecture lambasted the BBC, calling the scale of its activities “chilling” and describing the regulation of UK broadcasting as “authoritarianism” that limited choice and freedom of expression. Claire says this disdain carried over into the first Sky bid a year later, with “hectoring” phone calls by the Murdoch camp to government ministers. It was, she goes on, “an extraordinary farce”. The bid this time has been made in less charged circumstances. There has been no antagonism towards Ofcom or the government and no backdrop of a criminal investigation. Claire said “the previous bid was highly politicised but this bid is very deliberately not politicised at all”. The Murdochs, she adds, “are being patient and understanding and they are not hectoring”.
Bloomberg 23 January 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Theresa May’s government announcement on Monday, which detailed plans to cultivate innovation in life sciences, low-emission vehicles, robotics, nuclear power and entertainment. The so-called sector deals are part of a broader plan to boost the economy by investing in research, training and other measures aimed at lifting the country’s lagging productivity as it prepares to leave the European Union. Alice said that Britain has a long tradition of supporting a sector that “punches above its weight” globally. She added “this is not a sector that requires a lot of subsidy, it’s more so an area where subsidies can make a difference and can meet the cost-benefit test. It costs taxpayers something but the benefits outweigh the costs.”
Financial Times 12 January 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the UK newspaper crises, which is driving rivals collaboration in face of fast declining print advertising. Richard Desmond, who owns the Express newspaper group, and Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror chief executive, called on a potential merger. Douglas said “in these challenging times, newspaper owners are having to think the unthinkable. Consolidation is inevitable.”
Financial Times 6 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the future of ITV, as speculation grows over changes at the top of UK broadcaster. Claire said “this is a watershed year for ITV. This is the year that people realise that peak TV is behind us and while ITV has many different levers of revenue advertising will be tough. Adam has done a great job but the fact is ITV is in play because of the fall in the company’s share price and the value of sterling.”
Variety 5 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on British television which is facing uncertain times, as U.K. broadcasters have become targets for foreign takeovers. The recent $14.6 billion deal that will see 21st Century Fox take over London-based European pay TV operator Sky underscores the fact that the plunge in the value of the pound, provoked by last June’s Brexit vote, has made British media assets relatively cheap. Ironically, that aggressive acquisitions policy has made ITV an appealing target. Claire said “ITV is very much a significant, attractive business. The entertainment industry is ruled by a handful of companies, and there are only a handful of great prizes.”
Deadline 3 January 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the possibility that in 2017 more British companies will come under foreign ownership - Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, and the plummet of the pound sterling affected box office returns for Hollywood studios and saw a massive reduction in stock prices, devaluing British companies in dollar terms. Claire said “TV is a hundred-year-old business. For us to be concentrating on the fact that the peak is behind us is certainly not something that makes you want to jump up and down for joy. People are looking at companies such as Sky and ITV for purchase, and people are going to be much more opportunistic.”
The Times 19 December 2016
James Barford was quoted in The Times on UK broadband speeds following Ofcom's "Connected Nations 2016" report. James said "If you look at comparable countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain, we are doing extremely well. We have the fastest broadband speeds, the widest availability of superfast speeds and among the lowest prices", but added more could be done.
Daily Mail 16 December 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Rupert Murdoch, who took a big step toward consolidating his power base in British media after his U.S. media group Twenty-First Century Fox agreed Thursday to buy the shares it doesn't already own in Sky PLC for 11.7 billion pounds ($14.6 billion). Claire said that the first bid involved scandal and political intrigue."The whole thing was done in the most dramatic way as if it were a TV show — 'West Wing' or something".This time, she said the transaction is likely to be methodical and by the book.
The Economist 15 December 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bolloré race to buy up shares in Mediaset. On Tuesday, France’s Vivendi, a media firm in which Mr. Vincent Bolloré’s company, Bolloré Group, owns 20%, race to buy up shares of Italy’s biggest TV-broadcaster. The Italian firm claims a hostile takeover attempt. Francois said that Mr. Bolloré may see an opening in reports of divisions in the Berlusconi clan.