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25 Mar 19: Tom Harrington appeared on BBC World News to discuss Apple

Tom Harrington appeared on BBC World News to discuss the launch of Apple's new streaming service

Women at Work 2018

To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2018 in the centenary of the partial suffrage, Women at Work 2018 promotes the goals of professional women in the UK 

 

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  • 21st Century Fox
  • Comcast
  • Sky
  • Walt Disney
  • Non-UK Media
  • Media
  • TV

Disney announced that it would acquire Comcast’s 33% share of Hulu in a put/call agreement that can be enacted by either party from January 2024, while taking full operational control of the vehicle immediately

Under the agreement Disney will pay Comcast a minimum of $9 billion for its current stake, provided Comcast fulfils agreed capital calls, which going forward would be just over $500 million/year

Disney secured the continued licensing of NBCUniversal content for Hulu, contributing about 30% of Hulu’s library, but Comcast can loosen obligations to Hulu for the launch of its own SVOD service in 2020

  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Media
  • Technology

After the most challenging period in its history since 2012, Facebook has been able to stabilise its fundamental metrics and announce a major product overhaul

Despite talk of a business model pivot, Facebook’s focus remains on advertising, whose growth will remain concentrated in developed markets

News publishers wishing to stay relevant on the upgraded product set need to target exclusive layers of social interaction, with groups particularly important

  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
  • Sky Italia
  • Media
  • Telecoms
  • TV

Sky made a surprisingly weak start to 2019, with revenue growth decelerating to 1.9% (the first time below 4% since the European businesses merged in 2015), due to weaker ARPU trends

However, Sky expects improvement to follow, blaming one-off factors in the quarter. The ARPU weakness drove EBITDA down 11.3%, but this should bounce back across the rest of 2019 as football rights costs turn from a drag to a positive

Comcast highlighted collaborations with Sky across tech, advertising, content distribution and even news, stating it is on track to achieve the anticipated $500 million in annual synergies over the next couple of years

  • Media

The commercial challenges for media online are well-documented: online advertising pays for utilities such as search and social networking many times over, but not for media beyond user-generated content and low-investment journalism

There are also costs from a user perspective: wasted time, harmful content created to attract views, and the collection, sale, use and frequent leakage to criminals of personal data

Different sectors have found varying success with alternatives: games, video and music are attracting user payments, driving the paid online economy up 15.5% to £8.2 billion in 2018

  • 21st Century Fox
  • Walt Disney
  • Media
  • Telecoms

Disney now controls third-party content aggregator Hulu, which has 25 million subscribers in the US. Ramped up by Fox content, Hulu’s operating losses are expected to peak in FY2019 at $1.5 billion, with profits by FY2023 or FY2024 

Serving only Disney content, Disney+ launches in the US at the low price of $6.99/month this November, and in 2020 in Europe and Asia Pacific in 2021, aiming to reach the challenging goal of 60-90 million subscribers in five years

ESPN+, Hulu, Disney+ combined could contribute 13% of Disney’s revenues by 2024, which does not intend to disturb existing channels and windows for catalogue and new content, aside from withdrawing content from Netflix

  • Amazon
  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • ITV
  • Netflix
  • Media
  • TV
  • UK Media

The economic model of TV production relies upon a vibrant market for back catalogue content; programming that has traditionally driven the desirability of many linear channels and slots

New release strategies, along with the hyper-concentrated viewing encouraged by video-on-demand and the round-the-clock availability of shows calls the longevity of the value of content into question

Our analysis suggests that programmes that previously would be leisurely distributed through broadcast could now feasibly be “worn out” more quickly. This could have ramifications for the whole sector, with more content investment required “upfront” and new financial and distribution models required