Reuters 17 September 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in Reuters on France's Canal+ pairs up with Netflix in pay-TV shift. Francois said “People have already subscribed to Netflix, it’s unavoidable."
He added that "It is still unclear how much pay-TV groups will succeed in winning back clients as a result of such deals. Netflix has about 10 million subscribers in the United Kingdom, roughly the same as Sky."
The Times 16 September 2019
Douglas McCabe was quoted in The Times on Why glossy magazines need to turn over a new leaf. Douglas said “Circulations have fallen away quite dramatically, and yet the vast majority of magazines have stayed in print. Publishers have been able to take out substantial costs and maintain a profitable business. Those magazines won’t survive in the long-term. The survivors will be the ones where their publisher has bravely stuck to their guns and invested in journalism despite the heavy downturn in circulation and advertising. Readers recognise when a magazine has been invested in.”
The Guardian 16 September 2019
Douglas McCabe was quoted in The Guardian on Between the covers: how the British fell out of love with magazines. Douglas said “There is a crisis in the industry, given how much circulation has fallen there really haven’t been as many outright closures as you’d think. Some publishers are just hanging on. We would expect to see more closures in the next five years than the previous five.”
He added that “There is social media, Instagram, Mail Online. So why go out and buy a magazine, even a strong brand, when you can get updates every second? And that’s without the wider fight for consumers’ attention from services such as YouTube and even Netflix. In terms of TV listings their resilience is because there still isn’t anything out there online that is better."
Financial Times 13 September 2019
Joseph Evans was quoted in the FT on Google's move to adjust its search algorithms to promote news articles it considers “significant original reporting”, its latest move to support journalism following years of criticism of its role in the industry’s decline. Joseph Evans said: “Search is the engine of Google’s revenue, which means the team behind it has a lot of power and can stop internal attempts to fiddle with the algorithms.”
“This move is to address the longstanding complaint that instant online publishing removes the incentive for publishers to invest in original reporting as everyone can have the story straight away,” he said, adding that Google was trying to address concerns about the economics of online news.
“Of course, Google deciding who should get rewarded for what kind of reporting is going to be controversial, so it will have to proceed in careful dialogue with news providers,” Mr Evans added
Wired 12 September 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in Wired on Bad news, Brits: Disney+ may not launch in the UK until 2020. Tom said "Across five European markets Disney and Sky are bound by large content deals—which apparently run into 2020—worth in the vicinity of $1 billion/year (£800m) when including Sky’s deal with Fox. Until the UK deal runs its course, Disney+ won't launch in the UK, with the same for the other Sky territories."
Wired 9 September 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in Wired on The era of binge-watching TV shows could be coming to an end. Tom said “If you asked people, ‘Do you want everything available right now or do you want it stretched out over eight or 10 weeks?’ I don’t think many would say stretched out. If they have it all available at once and have a free trial, people will have watched everything by the time the free trial ends."
Financial Times 5 September 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in the Financial Times on Berlusconi and Bolloré set for latest media showdown. Francois said “I don’t buy [Mediaset’s] motives for doing this. They have been operating in Italy and Spain for a while and have not achieved significant savings in these quite similar markets. But if they achieve [the merger] it will considerably strengthen the control of Fininvest — as a shareholder it will become unassailable.”
The Times 2 September 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in The Times on shortform video streaming platform Quibi. The new service is aimed at mobile users, with shows filmed specifically for the format and broken into "chapters" of eight or 10 minutes each. Tom said “This isn’t really short-form video, it’s long-form divided up into chunks, which is different...There are some big questions around the content itself. Can you sustain a narrative over ten minutes that makes sense in a way that doesn’t feel truncated? It’s going to take a long time to find out what people actually want. They are going to burn through so much cash making stuff that doesn’t work, because what they are doing is quite new.”
The Times 2 September 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in The Times on Mediaset plans to merge Spanish and Italian companies into Dutchco Media For Europe. Francois said “The whole concept is challenging to say the least. No-one has ever created meaningful synergies by acquiring interests in free-to-air television across Europe,” TV and film rights and advertising are bought and sold on a country-by-country basis, he added.
Mediatel News' podcast 30 August 2019
Claire Enders appeared on Mediatel News' podcast with Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association to discuss Lord Bell, the BBC licence fee row, culture secretaries and digital advertising
BBC 5 Live 28 August 2019
Andrew McIntosh appeared on BBC 5 Live discussing how The Great British Bake Off is good for Channel 4 and advertisers. Andrew said it has been a success for Channel 4, roping in the kind of viewers advertisers like. "Bake Off has more than paid its way, not just through the programme itself but through all the spin off programmes as well." (Interview at minute 34 via link below)
Financial Times 28 August 2019
James Barford was quoted in the FT on government proposals to increase height of mobile phone masts. James said “The industry has been frustrated with the government demanding much better internet coverage, while at the same time saying ‘you can’t build [masts] here’....“A lot of rural areas get only two or three operators, but not all of them. The idea is that mast sharing will improve the offer.” James also said "Overall rollout of 5G will take another two to four years but that will not necessarily cover rural areas, some of which do not even have good 4G coverage seven years after it was first launched”
Les Echos 20 August 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in Les Echos on The BBC wants to broadcast its series in catch-up television for a year. Tom said "I can not see the BBC risk losing them to players like Netflix or Amazon Prime who will pay. On the other hand, many programs can only have the BBC as a buyer: for their producers, this means that it will be difficult for them to value the lengthening of this window, which can have consequences for their financing, often completed by the intervention of co-producers or debt finance specialists."
The Telegraph 20 August 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in The Telegraph on Great British Bake Off goes millennial for 2019 with youngest ever line-up. Tom said it was “no secret that “linear television is struggling especially with younger viewers. Channel 4 is supposed to be the more youthful public service broadcaster. They have to be providing programming for a younger audience than the BBC. So even the presenters, having Noel Fielding is to a somewhat younger audience than who they had previously."
He added that the broadcaster would be looking to make "Their biggest show a hit amongst that demographic while they still can. A lot of viewing is going from traditional linear to online viewing and traditional broadcasters want to be part of that transition to on-demand and internet television."
Medium 16 August 2019
Julian Aquilina was quoted in Medium on The potential of Twitch as a sports media platform. Julian said that this audience “can’t be reached through other mechanisms, like traditional TV or even other online video services, because they spend all their time on [Twitch].”
He added that “Twitch has that social side going for it, but for a lot of people that’s… a real detraction from the viewing experience. Younger audiences may be more comfortable in that environment. There is a real question whether that [will] change over time, whether they’ll revert as they get older and prefer to be in an ecosystem where they are just watching content themselves, not having this window running down the side of the screen where they are chatting with complete strangers about the football match they are watching.”
Les Echos 12 August 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in Les Echos on The mystery still hangs over the future Mediapro channel. Francois said "In Spain, Mediapro played well as an intermediary and managed to sell the rights of the Liga and the Champions League to Telefonica for a good price."
Financial Times 7 August 2019
Alice Enders was quoted in the Financial Times on Tencent plans to buy 10% of Universal Music from Vivendi. Alice said, "the stake sale would be an “equilibrium move” for Tencent, given it would have struggled to justify a 50 per cent share of Universal at such a lofty valuation". She said Vivendi had missed out on a huge windfall by selling such a small stake. “Selling 50 per cent of UMG at an inflated level would have been a really big score".
Financial Times 7 August 2019
Julian Aquilina was quoted in the Financial Times on the rise of online streaming services. Julian said "services like Netflix and Amazon were complementary to the traditional TV viewing habit of many viewers, adding that around half of UK homes still subscribe to pay-TV from companies such as Sky and Virgin Media....But the non-UK services are less regulated than the UK broadcasters — a significant factor behind their success, particularly among younger audiences. ”
The Drum 7 August 2019
Julian Aquilina was quoted in The Drum on the Ofcom Media Nations report. Julian said TV ad sales houses are jointly promoting TV to a new generation of digital-first agencies and buyers. The Drum got a taste of this joint pitch at The Big TV Festival last year.
TV broadcasters are also increasingly attracting online spend. “Online is a growth area for broadcasters too, with online video-on-demand services like All 4 and ITV Hub growing audiences and revenues year after year, and online-friendly investment is going into programmatic buying and more sophisticated targeting.”
Despite a decline in TV ad revenue, “TV advertising is uniquely effective for many brands, which is TV's first line of defence.”
To grow TV advertising’s share, younger viewers must be attracted to the proposition. “Whilst young people are watching plenty of Netflix and Amazon, the programmes are largely what you would find on traditional TV, in fact mainly produced by traditional broadcasters." He pointed to the likes of Love Island or major sporting events. "[Different TV formats] serve different purposes, and it’s very hard to see why young audiences would desert TV completely.”
Questions remain over a Netflix move into advertising, but YouTube has already seized TV ad spend. The broadcast TV ad revenue drop was less in 2018 (-3.9%) than in 2017 (-7.5%) indicating a return to health.
Aquilina concluded: “There are some massive differences between the broadcast and online worlds. TV, rightly, is a tightly controlled environment, with content and advertising regulations and age restrictions. Online still feels much more like the wild west, with its scale and nature proving to be a significant challenge for regulators. Brand safety is key for advertisers, and we have seen many issues over the last couple of years with platforms like YouTube".
SportsPro 6 August 2019
Thomas Thomson was quoted in SportsPro on Amazon Prime ‘an option’ for La Liga rights deal. He said that while La Liga will not want to “dilute the value of their product” by pursuing a streaming-only option with Amazon Prime, the internet giant could provide the league with a solution, having shown “they are open to experimenting with football."
He added that “With the costs of the Premier League and Champions League still weighing heavily on Sky and BT – even with the significant reduction for the incoming Premier League rights cycle – pay-TV players are looking to cut spend on secondary rights wherever possible."