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Public Service Broadcasting
Enders Analysis is a firm believer in strong public service broadcasting which boosts the entire UK creative industry and is consumed by almost everyone. We have published a number of reports covering the BBC and Channel 4 over the last few months. To download any of our Channel 4 reports please click on the links below:
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Streaming is now mainstream and we predict 113% growth in expenditure on subscriptions for 2015-18 in the top four markets (US, UK, Germany and France)
Free vs paid-for streaming is the central question for the music ecosystem: free yields fractions of pennies, making subscription the only credible business model
Market leader Spotify is facing competition from tech giants Amazon, Apple and Google, with deep pockets, for whom content is a pawn in a larger game
Timeshift viewing on the TV set has doubled since 2010, mainly due to PVR adoption. This has compensated for about 40% of the decline in live viewing, which has fallen by 19% per person on average
Timeshifting habits are widely spread across all age groups. They are proportionately higher for the young, who watch much less live TV, but are still substantial among over-55s, whose total viewing has hardly changed since 2010
Large genre variations in the volume of timeshift viewing (dramas high, live events low), and the fact that this still occurs very soon after the live broadcast, underlines the strength of the linear schedule. And, despite widespread initial concerns that timeshift viewers would fast-forward through all ads, nearly 50% of timeshifted commercials are viewed
21st Century Fox and Sky plan to notify their proposed merger to the European Commission, perhaps by March, and obtain clearance on competition grounds, as rapidly as in 2010.
The merger could also face, along the lines of 2010, a separate regulatory process in the UK on media plurality grounds, by a decision of Secretary of State Karen Bradley.
If the UK process happens, Ofcom will provide its advice on the merger’s impact on news and current affairs, whose consumption has shifted massively online since 2010.
European mobile service revenue growth recovered to nearly reach positive growth in Q3, improving a whole percentage point over the previous quarter to -0.2%
The main driver of the improvement was continued ‘more for more’ price increases combined with a lack of price wars at the lower end, although the current detente does not feel very stable. Furthermore, the pressure on growth from the general trend towards SIM-only and the consequent lower contract revenue looks unlikely to alter
Revenue growth of around zero as almost achieved this quarter is sufficient for the operators to grow the bottom line, but not to transform their network coverage in the style envisaged by 5G enthusiasts – more substantial growth is needed to cover the costs of such a step-change
UK mobile service revenue growth improved in Q3 to -0.8% from -1.7% in the previous quarter, a welcome turnaround after three quarters of declining growth. Pricing remains firm, data volume growth remains robust, and some of the one-off factors affecting the previous quarter have dropped out
Sky Mobile soft-launched at the end of 2016, and it is taking an aggressive approach with a very deep MVNO technical model with substantial fixed costs, a high advertising budget and ambitious internal subscriber targets. To date the fixed MVNOs have not had a substantial impact on the MNOs, targeting a customer base that is non-core, but with SIM-only on the rise this may change
Looking at recently released network performance statistics, the impact of spectrum disparities is clear, with EE both able to offer faster speeds nationwide due to its large blocks of 4G spectrum, and offer much faster speeds in London. EE also has a lead in geographic coverage, and is planning to push its coverage much further, creating a challenge for the other operators to keep up
TalkTalk’s broadband subscriber decline has re-accelerated, with retail weaker than wholesale, and its consumer revenue is declining at 6%. This is partly due to price change timings, partly due to last year’s cyber-attack, but also partly due to underlying weak retail broadband subscriber growth
EBITDA did grow strongly, although this was in part due to less subscriber growth. The new pricing plans will likely drive more short term revenue weakness, but could potentially drive lower churn in the medium term, and they have renewed TalkTalk’s price competitiveness, particularly on high speed products
Longer term, we still think that the company will find it challenging to stabilise its retail broadband base in the face of a slowing market and Virgin Media’s network extension, at least without significantly upping its marketing spend and sacrificing some margin