Publications

Format: Jun 2017
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Sector(s) Datesort ascending
Pokémon Go and the resurrection of Nintendo

The success of Pokémon Go on iOS and Android has met long-held expectations for Nintendo’s potential on mobile

While buoyed by the strength of Nintendo’s intellectual property, the game’s reception also demonstrates how compelling augmented reality can be for user engagement

Would be imitators will quickly follow, but success is likely to be elusive without a close partnership with one of the leading online platforms

  • Google
Internet, Media, Technology, Telecoms 15 July 2016
Opportunities in online commissions

Online growth has opened up a new window of opportunity for production companies in short and mid form “online-first” content, with the last few years seeing a steady increase in the number of production companies entering this space 

So far, persistently low broadcaster online-first budgets and poor financial returns from video distributed online has held back growth of mid and short form video. Instead, the main growth in recent times has come from “brand” commissions 

Yet whatever the type of commission and its financial value, short and mid form commissions are eagerly sought after, whether as a potentially lucrative income stream, especially in the case of branded content, or as a calling card for long-form commissions from broadcasters and OTT players such as Netflix and Amazon

  • BBC
  • Channel 4
Media, TV, UK Media 13 July 2016
Retransmission fees: looking less likely

The DCMS has published the government’s response to its consultation on the balance of payments between television platforms and public service broadcasters, the so-called issue of retransmission fees

One sure outcome is that Section 73 of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act (CPDA) 1988, which has hitherto protected cable operators (i.e. Virgin Media) from having to pay retransmission fees, is outmoded and will go

But, we now have a disconnect. The government has stated unequivocally that it expects the continuation of no net carriage payments between the licensed PSBs and the platform operators and may consider legislative changes to ensure this. And yet ITV sees the government response as a welcome first step towards their introduction

  • Channel 4
  • Five
  • ITV
  • Ofcom
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
Media, TV 11 July 2016
UK mobile market Q1 2016: Future uncertain

UK mobile service revenue growth marginally improved in Q1, to 0.5% from 0.3% in the previous quarter, with the market now having been stuck at a modest but positive growth level for two full years. The improvement was driven by contract ARPU growth improvements, across all of the operators, partially mitigated by a drop in contract subscriber volume growth, perhaps influenced by a weak market for new handsets

Looking forward, the competitive outlook is very uncertain; while EE is looking to increase its network lead, whether it wishes to use this to boost share or pricing is unclear, O2’s future owners may have different strategic priorities to the status quo, H3G will likely take innovative approaches, which are tautologically hard to predict, and Vodafone UK remains Vodafone’s only large European market without a scale position in consumer broadband, a situation it is likely to want to rectify in due course

While before the Brexit referendum, we would have concluded that the outlook for market-wide revenue growth was reasonably positive in spite of this, with ever-strong data volume growth contrasting with constrained spectrum supply, the extra economic uncertainty due to the referendum result puts this at least partly in doubt. The mobile market is likely to be relatively insensitive to macroeconomic conditions given its increasingly essential nature, but there is some sensitivity, particularly if population growth slows or reverses. Our base case assumption is a dip in growth of 1-2ppts in 2017 as a consequence of Brexit

  • EE
  • Hutchison 3G
  • O2
  • Vodafone
Telecoms 5 July 2016
Consumer Magazines: Print still key; radical innovation emerging

UK consumer magazine print circulation fell -9% in 2015 while total display advertising fell -7% as magazines continue to outperform other press categories.

However, the overall picture is still one of falling consumer and advertiser demand and the fierce competition for user attention and advertising spend online is reflected in consumer magazine digital display advertising growth of just 12%: about half of the total online display growth rate in 2015.

At the same time publishers are starting to embrace radical innovation using their brands to produce multiple revenue streams ranging from e-commerce to events, as we explore in our four publisher case studies included in this report.

Media 5 July 2016
Brexit dismal media outlook

The victory of the Leave campaigners in the EU referendum offers no clear benefits to the audiovisual sector, whether we consider domestic and international broadcast distribution across Europe or the creative production sector

The present lack of a clear roadmap and climate of uncertainty promises to be harmful across the entire media sector at least in the short-term, raising the distinct prospect of a recession later this year or next, causing us to downgrade our forecasts from February this year

The Brexit process raises many issues and will be drawn out over several years as the UK finds its feet in the new world. If the UK audiovisual sector is to emerge relatively unscathed, it is vital that it retains its ties with the Single Market by joining the EEA. The alternative is unthinkable

Media 1 July 2016
Global music publishing 2016

Music publishing revenues are trending up in a broad sustainable manner across the US, Europe and Japan, underpinned by longstanding music rights regimes

Purchasing is down and streaming taking off, driving a mechanical to performance transition, with direct licensing of Anglo-American repertoire in Europe as in the US

Public performance revenues collected by PROs are also rising as live music grows, general business conditions improve, while TV audiences remain resilient

  • Bertelsmann
  • Sony
  • Spotify
  • Vivendi
  • YouTube
Media, Music and Radio 28 June 2016
Parents and their children online

Cinema, TV and VOD services share in the same ratings regime in the UK, giving parents confidence they can discern content unsuitable for their children.

Risks to children of being exposed to unsuitable content and advertising multiply on the 'open' internet. 

Parental controls supplied by ISPs are key to filtering content and sites, although a unified approach is better 

  • BT
  • Google
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
  • YouTube
Internet, Media, Telecoms, TV 27 June 2016
UK mobile user survey 2015: Ambition versus perception

Our survey results highlighted disconnects between operator ambition and consumer perceptions across customer loyalty, network performance and quad play, with noteworthy implications for future competitive performance. O2 in particular benefited from strong branding which yielded network confidence and loyalty above that of top network investors, EE and Vodafone

Convergence prospects continue to look supplier driven with consumers reporting little interest in quad play packages even when offered with significant bundle discounts. Recent advertising campaigns have sought to change consumer perceptions of a dichotomy in mobile and fixed broadband provisioning which, if successful, will be to the benefit of all quad play hopefuls

The mobile usage disparities between 16-24 year olds and 55+ users are stark, for instance near 100% of mobile users aged 16-24 own a smartphone while for those 55+, this falls to just over half. The implications are strong for service providers in all manner of industries who are seeing new (younger) users come to market that bear little resemblance to the traditional users around whom much of the operational model is typically built

  • EE
  • Hutchison 3G
  • O2
  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms 23 June 2016
Consumers and digital marketing

UK digital advertising will grow beyond £10 billion by 2018 by our estimates, representing more than half of all advertising spend and delivering the most advanced large advertising market in the world on a per capita basis.

Nevertheless, we see critical issues in digital marketing that are frequently acknowledged, but hard to fix.

At the heart of our hypothesis is the view that the marketing industry – brands, agencies and media – has focused on technology and efficiencies at the expense of consumer experience and distinctiveness.

  • Facebook
  • Google
Internet, Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV 22 June 2016
TV genres and viewing trends over time

TV viewing has one reliable, long term trend: programme genres are watched by consumers at predictable life stages and ages

At a high level, there has been little manipulation of the balance of genres being broadcast. But amongst the sub-genres, editorial optimisation has resulted in an uptick in actual viewing

As the core viewing age of linear television rises, there is an opportunity for broadcasters to leverage this to create the most desirable schedule for their available audience by daypart; with genres that transcend demographics when younger viewers tune in

  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • ITV
  • Sky
  • UKTV
Media 16 June 2016
Sky plays long term with Bundesliga

The award of the match packages in the 2017-21 domestic football rights auction in Germany is probably optimal for Sky (within the “no single buyer” constraint): it will broadcast about eight out of nine weekly fixtures including the top picks, while Eurosport’s package is complementary to Sky’s rather than substitutional

Sky will, however, pay a hefty price, with the new contract costing 80% more than the current one – although the new Bundesliga rights value is not out of line with other Continental leagues

We expect Sky’s German operations to briefly break even in fiscal 2017 before falling back into losses with a return to profit if other costs are kept under control. Management has made a bold statement of self-confidence: building scale is the priority

  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
Non-UK Media, Media, TV 14 June 2016
Europe's Creative Hubs 2016

Europe's Creative Hubs 2016 was commissioned by Bertelsmann and produced by Enders Analysis. 

  • Bertelsmann
Non-UK Media, Non-UK Telecoms, Internet, Media, Music and Radio, Non UK Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV, UK Media 8 June 2016
UK news media: less advertising, new models

The decline in print display advertising in national newspapers accelerated to -16% in 2015, while growth in digital advertising is slowing, and will be unable to offset revenue decline for the foreseeable future.

We believe this decline is structural and irreversible, continuing at a sharper pace than before despite the recovery in the UK economy in 2013-2015, and very different from the cyclical decline of 2009.

Publishers must convince brands and agencies that in the mobile era their superior content environments have added value. If scale newsrooms are to survive, costs must be reduced through collaboration and outsourcing.

  • DMGT
  • Gannett/Newsquest
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Johnston Press
  • News UK
  • Telegraph Media Group
  • Trinity Mirror
Media 8 June 2016
UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q1 2016 - Slowing start to the year

UK residential communications market revenue growth dipped down 2ppts to 4% in Q1 2016, due in roughly equal measure to slowing broadband growth, some one-off benefits in the previous quarter dropping out, and generally weak ARPU likely caused by promotional introductory price discounting

Virgin Media was the only major operator to buck the market trend and accelerate broadband growth, helped by its network extension Project Lightning, and this impact will grow throughout 2016, with the remaining operators squeezed between this and the slowing market

Growth in the rest of the year will be impacted by pricing decisions yet to be made, and slowing volumes could well drive market revenue growth below 4% during the year, but we do not expect it to drop very much below this

  • BT
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 6 June 2016
Amazon Video Direct: self-publishing for videos

Amazon’s newly launched open video hosting service, Video Direct, will appeal to creators of ‘professional’ videos by offering them a new platform and monetisation options

Amazon’s attractiveness to video creators resides mainly in the prospect of earning a portion of subscription fees from millions of Prime members

While Video Direct might not become a huge business for creators, this move cements Amazon as a media platform and risks hurting YouTube

  • Amazon
  • YouTube
Internet, Media, Technology 2 June 2016
New VOD rules for EU Digital Single Market
  • The Commission proposes to require VOD services to implement a 20% share of EU works in catalogues, which Netflix already largely meets
  • More impactful is the EU’s proposal for OTT SVOD services to provide access to the home service when subscribers travel in the EU, benefitting the UK’s 14 million subscribers
  • TV broadcasters, which observe a 50% EU works threshold in their linear programming served on TV platforms and online players, will be able to opt-in to portability
  • Netflix
  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
  • Sky Italia
  • YouTube
Internet, Ladies List, Media, Technology, UK Media 1 June 2016
Google Home takes on Amazon Echo

Google Home will compete against Amazon’s Echo in the contest to supply voice-activated home hubs to US homes

Google claims Home is better at voice-based search due to its superior capabilities; pricing is unknown, but is likely to be at par with Echo ($179)

Prime, Fire devices and media services are competitive advantages for Amazon in the US that will make it hard for Google Home to succeed there

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Spotify
Internet, Media, Music and Radio, Technology, Telecoms 26 May 2016
Vodafone Q4 2015/16 results: Positive growth in Europe

Vodafone Europe’s service revenue growth reached positive territory in the March quarter, having recovered from a long term decline that it has suffered since 2009, thanks mainly to market stabilisation within the countries where it operates

The company’s service revenues are now growing in Germany, Italy and Spain, with the UK now the laggard, having suffered from recent billing migration issues

With Europe’s major mobile markets now stabilised, Vodafone’s continued high investment levels gives it an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage and outperform its competitors, rather than just keeping up with them

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 24 May 2016
Onwards and upwards: TalkTalk Group Q4 2015/16 results

TalkTalk Q4 2015/16 results firmly indicated that operations had moved on from the cyber-attack; record low churn and strong mobile (+90k) and fibre (+72k) traction with stable gross adds were all in line with the revised strategy announced last quarter and marked the best net adds performance for the year

Wholesale subscriber net adds (+49k) were critical to on-net base stability against retail net losses (-49k), highlighting the short term value of wholesaling as a hedge against heightened (and expensive) retail competition although long term sustainability will rely on traction in retail

FY17 guidance targets EBITDA of £320-360m, with an implied 17-20% margin (+3-6ppts on FY16), which is accessible from MTTS projections, lost costs from revised trading plans, and lower CPAs before counting revenue growth contributions. The operating cost impact from blinkbox, York fibre and other new cost structures appears benign for the moment

  • TalkTalk
Fixed Line, Telecoms 24 May 2016

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