Format: Nov 2019
Sector(s) Datesort descending
Recorded Music

After ten years of top line decline, the total recorded music market stabilised in 2004 at $34.4 billion, but our view remains that specific factors rather than fundamental change in the key market and economic drivers explain this stabilisation. These specific factors included a 9% average retail price decline in the US leading to a 1.4% unit sales increase, a creative resurgence, and the adoption of digital sales by iPod enthusiasts. However, the CD format resumed its long-term decline in the second half of 2004 and we expect this decline to continue.

This price increase brings H3G much more into the fold of UK prepay pricing, putting its outgoing call prices on a par with Virgin Mobile, at a premium to easyMobile/Fresh, and at a much reduced discount to the larger operators.

Media 18 August 2005
TF1 - Digital Challenge

Television's old world of analogue scarcity produced a clutch of big names in free-to-air (FTA) commercial broadcasting: ITV1, TF1, Mediaset, RTL and Sat.1/Pro7 being among the most prominent in Europe - companies grown rich and powerful through advertising demand and lack of competition. Today, they face the common challenge of making a successful transition into the new world of digital plenty. Can they prosper? Or must they disappear like dinosaurs in a whirl of audience fragmentation, ad avoidance, on demand, downloading, video-streaming, convergence, piracy and whatever else the future holds?

The new UK management team, led by former Energis CEO John Pluthero, still has the opportunity to improve C&W UK’s longer-term position

Rapid implementation of a Next Generation Network to cut costs and refocusing Bulldog remain critical

  • TF1
Media 24 August 2005
NGN in the UK

BT and other industry players have announced plans to upgrade their fixed telecommunications networks to Next Generation Networks (NGNs). In the UK, BT’s ‘21st Century Network’ plans are the most ambitious. BT intends to rationalise all its existing network platforms, bringing all services and applications onto a single IP-based platform, using the same equipment for handling and routing traffic over one transmission network. The new network also has the potential to support new services.

The decline in underlying Group EBITDA is continuing to decelerate

Local loop unbundling volumes are set to explode, but the impact of LLU on BT Group revenue will be lower than expected

Fixed Line 31 August 2005
Mobile TV

Mobile TV is being hailed as the next killer consumer mobile data application, and is already credited with being the most popular 3G service where it is offered.

This report examines recent developments in Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in the UK and their implications for market structure and BT’s revenue from residential customers.



Telecoms, Mobile 18 September 2005
UK Commercial Radio

The liberalised ownership provisions in the Communications Act 2003 have facilitated consolidation of the commercial radio sector in the past year. Two top-tier groups have emerged in GCap Media and Emap, following its acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings. The pressures for consolidation have become more acute in the past year due to the structural problems of the commercial radio sector and the advertising downturn. But assets have become more difficult to value due to the uncertain timing of the recovery in advertising and the prospect that radio will be edged out of national budgets by online. UK radio groups are increasingly cautious to buy and anxious to sell, and we also discount the prospect of a bid from a major US group, expecting instead keen competition for the 35 new licences Ofcom will be allocating in the next few years.

Media 4 October 2005
3G Datacards

3G datacards slot into laptops to provide Internet connectivity when on the move. They make good use of the current patchy 3G networks: demand is likely to be concentrated in areas that are currently covered, while GPRS is a good back-up outside these areas and the ‘bursty’ nature of their usage does not put an unsustainable load on the 3G networks. However, they are far more expensive and much slower than fixed line broadband, and they are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, leaving their appeal as a ‘last resort’ rather than a genuine alternative.

The resulting outlook for C&W UK’s performance in the short term is uncomfortable

Longer term, the strategy looks feasible, but better implemented under private ownership

Bulldog’s strategy is unchanged and remains dubious

Telecoms, Mobile 9 November 2005
GCap Media

GCap Media's first financial results last week were described as "extremely disappointing” by Chief Executive Ralph Bernard. Formed earlier this year from the merger of GWR plc and Capital Radio plc, the industry’s two former heavyweights, GCap owns one national radio licence, 55 local radio licences and 100 digital radio licences.

The recent results from Vodafone’s competitors in Europe show it experiencing a clear performance lag, with growth dipping in the December quarter at Vodafone but its competitors maintaining their previous pace

Media 30 November 2005
UK TV Video-on-Demand

UK broadband network operators have begun full-scale deployment of video-on-demand (VOD) services. NTL/Telewest have almost completed the upgrade of their networks to enable homes in their footprint for VOD, hoping to achieve similar success as the US cablecos in the past five years. In 2006, BT is to launch its hybrid Freeview/VOD device to BT broadband customers and VOD will also be a part of the IPTV offers from Bulldog and Wanadoo UK. Is this enthusiasm for VOD in the UK warranted?

IPWireless’s TDtv technology offers an intriguing alternative, using otherwise spare spectrum, but it is the most costly technology to roll out, and the most underdeveloped in handset terms

Media 8 December 2005
Freeview enters 2006 with a bang

Freeview recorded its strongest monthly increase of 694,000 homes in December 2005 according to BARB survey estimates, with 6.393 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) homes projected for the beginning of 2006.

Media 9 January 2006
Consolidation in Italian mobile

Egypt-based mobile operator Orascom’s investment in Hutchison Telecom creates an intriguing if convoluted link between the 3rd and 4th players in the Italian market, Wind and H3G

Telecoms 17 January 2006
Vodafone Radio DJ

Vodafone announced last week a new extension to its range of music services that will offer European subscribers interactive mobile radio through a collaboration with Sony NetServices

More prominent profile of media in Free's mix of broadband, telephony and IPTV to improve customer retention and attract content owners to Free's broadband distribution channel, while VoIP remains the principal driver for non-access revenues

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 18 January 2006
UK TV Trends

Our presentation UK TV Trends January 2006 [2006-01]* provides our most up-to-date views on three subjects:

Media 18 January 2006
Mobile TV trial results

The UK’s first two trials of broadcast mobile TV, run by Arqiva/O2 and BT Movio/ Virgin Mobile, reported results in the last week. 3G-based mobile TV is already available in the UK, but its one-to-one nature severely limits the number of simultaneous users; for a mass market service, a broadcast network is required.

The arrival of 21CN, possibly in 2008, will see the launch of rate adaptive ADSL2+ services (up to 18Mbit/s) which should allow around 50% of customers to receive downstream data rates of 8Mbit/s

Telecoms 23 January 2006
Music sales continued to decline in 2005

As predicted by Enders Analysis in August 2005, global recorded music sales declined by 2% during 2005

Media 26 January 2006
Vodafone KPIs - strategic issues

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 27 January 2006
Music Publishing 2006

This report on Music Publishing 2006 [2006-02] updates our views on the prospects of the sector in the context of the continued difficulties of the recorded music market (Music sales continued to decline [Jan 2006]). The music publishing sector has been resilient to these difficulties for a decade by maximising its benefits from each of the new revenue streams.

Media 31 January 2006
H3G - WePay, but you pay more

H3G’s new UK prepay tariff ‘WePay’, launched this week, offers the appealing gimmick of paying customers to receive phone calls. Less appealing is the 32% outbound calling price rise accompanying this change, and the estimated net impact of a 10-20% price rise.

However, we do not share NTL management’s optimism concerning the power of the ‘quadruple play’ – to date triple play has proved attractive to less than one third of cable households

  • Hutchison 3G
Telecoms 2 February 2006
Cable & Wireless - take away the number you first thought of...

C&W UK has warned of a sharp drop in organic EBITDA for C&W UK in 2006/07

The main underlying culprit was churn; as we predicted, this has risen as the subscriber base matures, choking off subscriber growth and increasing costs 

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms 7 February 2006
BT FY 2005/06 Q3 results: light at the end of the tunnel?

Global Services is now established as the main engine of growth at BT

The company will take a significant cash hit in the early years of the project but CPW’s new-found scale in fixed telephony means the strategy is likely to succeed 

Telecoms 13 February 2006
LLU in the UK III and BT - revenue meltdown?

Over the past 18 months, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has seized on LLU as a catalyst for change, forcing BT to cut its LLU prices by up to 70%, separate its access services division from the rest of the business and commit legally to improve provisioning processes. Now the race is on to exploit LLU before growth in demand for broadband tails off, the merged NTL/Telewest emerges from restructuring and BT launches new services based on its ADSL2+ local loop upgrade and later, its £10 billion ‘Twenty-First Century’ network initiative. Two of the three surviving LLU pioneers have been sold to major players and AOL, Wanadoo, CarphoneWarehouse and BSkyB have all announced plans to implement LLU.

Telecoms 15 February 2006