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.
IBC 15 May 2017
Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on Facebook, which looks set for a move into original content, with reports suggesting that the social media giant has already begun commissioning longform and short form content. For Joseph Facebook is likely to be keen to create its own because it wants premium video ad inventory. “Its current video ad offering depends on autoplay ads that users see as they scroll past on the newsfeed, or that play in between short clips”. He added that “Facebook doesn’t have the premium inventory that broadcasters or even YouTube can offer advertisers, so it’s had to promote the questionable value proposition of things like 1-second ad views. “Long term, Facebook would undoubtedly like to combine inventory that can support 30-second TV-like spots with its data and targeting, to capture even more digital ad spend. This is absolutely vital as TVs get connected and people’s media consumption shifts back to the big screen.”
Bloomberg 15 May 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on 21st Century Fox, who is prepared to make concessions to U.K. regulators who are scrutinizing its suitability as a media owner, in order to seek government approval for its $15 billion deal for control of Sky Plc. Murdoch’s previous bid for Sky was sunk by a phone-hacking scandal six years ago. Fox is also being investigated by federal prosecutors in the U.S. over whether investors should have been informed about payments the company made to employees to settle sexual harassment allegations. One of the accusers’ lawyers, Lisa Bloom, addressed some Sky investors this week in a meeting hosted by Enders Analysis, the U.K.-based media consulting firm that provides industry research to clients including investment groups. The meeting was attended by a small group of media investors that include HBK Europe Management, Pine River Capital and Pentwater Capital Management. Alice said “there’s no question that what’s been going on has some relevance. All of this is burdening the bid.”
Digiday 11 May 2017
Thomas Caldecott was quoted in an article on the European expansion of The Atlantic, who has recently pitched up in London to expand international readership and foster closer relationship with advertising clients in Europe and Asia. However, media companies migrating from the U.S. face challenges from local incumbents, and with monetizing audiences and scaling branded content. Even so, industry onlookers appear optimistic. Thomas said “It’s not moving into an easy market, but it’s a strong brand with a reasonable U.K.-based following. There will always be a significant minority of U.K. readers interested in quality American brands.”
Campaign 11 May 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on a study conducted by Magnetic and Enders Analysis on direct-advertising. A distinct shift away from longer-term brand marketing towards the more immediate results of activation marketing is damaging the industry. Douglas said "the study shows that brands have gone from the traditional ratio of 40% activation and 60% branding to 50:50. But direct-advertising alone won’t allow brands to retain market share". However, most people in the industry know better, according to McCabe: "they understand that the consumer funnel is more complicated than the last click, that there are multiple touchpoints, and that brand building is a subtle and long-term game". The problem, Douglas explained, is that marketers are being held to quarterly results, their tenures only average around four years, and they just do not have much to gain from the big bet on long-term brand building. He added that "no one company, or part of the value chain, can fix this. We need to get to a stage where the industry agrees that these are the terms for discussion, these are the key issues, this is what we need to do to solve it."
the New York Times 10 May 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the claims of sexual harassment at Fox News, which are creating uncertainty around the Sky takeover bid. Under British law, Ofcom examines whether people who control media enterprises have "a genuine commitment" to broadcast standards. The regulator also has "an ongoing duty to be satisfied that the holders of broadcast licenses are fit and proper to be licensed." Alice Enders said that while Ofcom will listen to the testimony and take such evidence into account, phone hacking and sexual harassment are very different types of conduct. Alice said “people are fanning the flames and the smoke signals are rising, but it’s got to be more than a group of people aggrieved by their workplace environment”. She added that it was also important to be judicious in the conclusions drawn, “I think it’s very important that we realize that people are typically innocent until proven guilty so every allegation that’s made around 21st Century Fox is not, in fact, fact”.
The Financial Times 8 May 2017
François Godard was quoted in an article on Vivendi’s control on Telecom Italia. On Thursday, the French media and telecoms conglomerate won shareholder approval for its entire slate of 10 candidates to be appointed to a newly formed 15-member board. Vincent Bolloré, the billionaire who controls Vivendi, plans to create a southern European media and telecoms powerhouse, but has already met regulatory opposition. However, some presume Vivendi’s success in taking de facto control of the Telecom Italia board plays to a longer term plan by Mr Bolloré. François said: “I’m impressed by Bolloré’s stealth skills. Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom failed at this before him. This is pure raider behaviour. I see no other strategy than swapping this stake for another one in a bigger target like Orange or Telefónica.”
The Times 8 May 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on a broader change in the media industry - publishers are turning their back on the social network. Many publishers have concluded that the expected deluge of digital advertising is unlikely to materialise. Last year roughly 89% of the growth in digital ad spending in Britain was soaked up by just two companies, Google and Facebook, according to figures from Enders Analysis. Douglas said “the idea that digital advertising was going to be this great wave of money to save the new industry is now being seen for what it is: a complete illusion”. A spate of recent controversies, from “fake news” to the YouTube extremist content advertising scandal, has opened a route to salvation — and it looks very much like the business model that has sustained the news industry in the past. YouTube’s inability, and for a while unwillingness, to remove ads appearing next to extremist content and hate speech have given advertisers pause. Douglas said: “advertisers are slowly but surely coming back to the idea of trying to reach quality audiences in quality environments. It’s come full circle.”
The Times 4 May 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Adam Crozier’s departure from ITV which has opened up one of the biggest jobs in British media. Claire suggests that ITV may plump for an internal appointment, an option that would have the benefit of ensuring maximum continuity. The obvious internal candidate, therefore, may be Ian Griffiths, ITV’s finance director, who will lead the company on an interim basis alongside Sir Peter Bazalgette, the executive chairman, until a permanent replacement is confirmed by the board. However, he appears to have ruled himself out, even though Claire said: “it may be an arrangement that is very successful. The Bazalgette-Griffiths combination is a tough one to beat”.
Bloomberg 4 May 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Brexit and the consequences for broadcasting companies in the UK. More than 600 channels are based in the UK including Disney, Sony, NBC and the Discovery Channel all need just one license to broadcast across the EU in multiple languages. Alice said “if they want to keep exporting channels, they’ll have to move someplace in the EU where those channels can be licensed. It would certainly be a reason to move not insubstantial operations to the continent, or to Ireland. There’s no precedent of a free-trade agreement with audiovisual services, and “that’s why people are worried”.
the New York Times 2 May 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the Murdoch family, which for most of the last 10 years has wanted to complete ownership of the popular and highly profitable Sky satellite and cable network. For James Murdoch, a Sky deal would solidify his hold on a business he’s credited with adroitly expanding to Germany and Italy and into broadband. But there’s something more at stake: “a chance at full corporate redemption,” as Claire Enders put it to me last week, “after his perilously close brush in 2011”. That brush is most closely associated with his testimony that he did not know the extent of the hacking inside the newspaper division that fell under his purview at the time. Nonetheless, 21st Century Fox says it’s confident it will win approval. It’s certainly hoping that regulators will focus on improvements James Murdoch and his brother, Lachlan, have ushered in at the company, like enhanced benefits and a new emphasis on diversity. While some old opponents remain steadfast, like the consumer group Hacked Off, one former opponent, Ms. Enders is not opposed this time. In an interview, Claire pointed to James Murdoch’s successful work in expanding Sky’s business — while placing a large number of women in senior positions — and a speech he gave at a conference in which he spoke warmly about the BBC. Claire said “He’s understood the error of his ways”, adding that he is now “20 times more cautious, anxious, obsessed with the corporate governance of Fox.”
the Guardian 2 May 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Sir Martin Sorrell, and his big paydays which have been seen as symptomatic of what critics call “Sorrellcentricity” at WPP – the view that Sorrell is autocratic and dominates decision-making – which in turn has led investors to increasingly challenge the governance of the company. A change in attitude to corporate pay from the public and investors – and more recently Theresa May’s warning that she would curb boardroom excess – has started to loosen Sorrell’s once unquestioned control. Claire said the perception of Sorrell’s domination is a fallacy. “Martin has a thousand great people across the world in the first tier,” she says. “Year in, year out, [the company] makes WPP a systemic large-scale success rather than the daily product of one man spinning.”
Deadline 25 April 2017
François Godard was quoted in an article on the media reactions to the French Presidential Election. Earlier this month, François Godard, Enders Analysis, published a note saying that a Macron presidency could reshape the French media and telecom corporate landscape, particularly were the state to fully privatize France’s largest telecoms group, Orange. The state still controls 23% of Orange and last year Macron, then Economy Minister, blocked a proposed Bouygues-Orange merger because he opposed Bouygues becoming the largest private sector investor in Orange without paying a control premium. François wrote that the play would change if the state decided to offload its stake, an option contemplated by Macron when in government. He also said it would expect a Macron administration “to demonstrate more independence than its predecessors in the face of a powerful cultural industries lobby.” Macron is committed to a full review of French cultural policies which could result in “a shake-up of the tight regulation of television that diverts content investment into the politically connected film industry to the detriment of other scripted video content.” In contrast, were Le Pen to advance and were she to succeed at the difficult task of pushing ahead with a Frexit, it’s thought the French television and production industry is relatively isolated. François said “there are barriers so that it’s not deeply integrated into a European industry”. Per François’s note - “we think there is a post-populist scenario ready to emerge from the French elections that is worth certainly as much attention as the barbarians-at-the-gate story.”
The Independent 21 April 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Bill O’Reilly departure from Fox News. Claire said that she was sure the decision to dump the right-wing presenter was influenced by UK regulator Ofcom being poised to rule on whether Mr Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan would be ‘fit and proper’ owners of the satellite broadcaster. Claire added that “Keeping Bill O’Reilly, would have meant a festering scandal and questions about why the management of Fox wasn’t taking action against him. It will reflect well on James Murdoch and the management of 21st Century Fox that they have taken action as soon as possible.”
Variety 20 April 2017
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the scandal of Bill O’Reilly which could affect Murdoch’s quest to expand his presence on the European broadcasting scene. In Britain, where James Murdoch has already been faulted by the government for past “failures of corporate governance,” regulators are now wrestling with whether 21st Century Fox would be a “fit and proper” owner of Sky, the pan-European broadcaster that Fox is trying to take over and the Murdoch’s have long coveted. According to some analysts, the agency is limited in what it looks at, and while it does take into account any criminal investigations, the mere fact of sexual harassment lawsuits and settlements at a company is no way disqualifying. Otherwise, Claire said “not one broadcaster would pass the ‘fit and proper’ test. He has seemed in the past to give the top priority to loyalty and ties of employment over corporate governance,” Claire said of the elder Murdoch. But “when things get serious enough, they’ll be weighing how it looks for their business as a whole.”
Financial Times 19 April 2017
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the luxury magazines market, which is starting to see a shift in readers and advertisers to online social media platforms. UK circulation for women’s fashion and lifestyle magazines fell by 5 per cent year on year in 2016, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. But for many of these magazines, the loss of readers is of less concern than the shifting advertising market, where they have traditionally earned most of their revenues and profits. Douglas said “It is absolutely true that advertising at the luxury end of the market has held up much better than advertising as a whole. However, it is also true that publishers of those magazines will be nervous that some of the transition that has taken place in other parts of the ad market from print to digital could happen at the luxury end as well.”
CNN 12 April 2017
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Rupert's Murdoch bid for Sky. Five years ago, the problem was the outrage over phone hacking at Murdoch newspapers. Now, with a second takeover bid underway, accusations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Fox News star Bill O'Reilly are threatening to deny Murdoch his prize once again. Alice said accusations of sexual harassment at Fox are unlikely to sink the Sky deal. But Ofcom will examine whether Fox executives erred in not telling investors about the claims. She added "the test is there to make sure that a person who is a criminal doesn't get to run a broadcaster in the U.K. In this case, the focus would be on the failure to disclose the sexual harassment settlements to shareholders, rather than the sexual harassment itself."