BBC News 19 September 2018
James Barford appeared on BBC News to discuss the issue of mobile contract sleepers. Sleepers are out-of-contract customers needlessly still paying a handset-inclusive tariff when they could take up a SIM-only plan. This issue is covered in more detail in: UK mobile market Q2 2018: Disappointment before dawn [2018-084]
BBC News 18 September 2018
Douglas McCabe was quoted by BBC News in an article on the surge of billionaires buying newspapers and magazines. "The wealthy have always been attracted to news media, chiefly because influential media buys access and influence for owners," he said, before explaining that the "enormous pressure" placed on media outlets by their dwindling advertising revenue, makes them quick to embrace tycoons.
BBC Radio 5 Live 13 September 2018
James Barford appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss roaming after Brexit. He concluded that customers of larger operators travelling to big European countries are unlikely to be affected. There may be issues with smaller European countries if operators there play hardball and offer high wholesale rates to UK operators. In 2017 most of the UK operators made a big deal out of the introduction of free roaming, so customers might feel let down if this is reversed without good reason and the operators will not want to irritate them in this way.
The Mac Observer 7 September 2018
Thomas Thomson was quoted in The Mac Observer in an article on Amazon’s coverage of the US Open tennis. Viewers complained of poor audio and video quality, but Thomas says that “These issues are a recurring theme, not just for Amazon, for other new entrants in sports video. Amazon has had a brief history of playback and picture quality issues with last years livestream of NFL Thursday Night Football; YouTube TV suffered regional outages in its World Cup coverage in the summer; and, Perform Group’s [experienced] high-profile problems in Italy with the Serie A [Italy’s top soccer league] over the last fortnight.” Starting next year, Amazon will be broadcasting 20 coveted Premier League football (soccer in the U.S.) matches on Prime. While there is time to correct the problems seen at the US Open, Thomas said there are “most certainly” concerns. “This will be a key litmus test for sports OTT as a sector,” he said. “Whilst their outlay on this Premier League package was low, the reputational risk is significant. The User Interface will need to be revamped, and if they can’t deliver at least an SD quality picture to 100% of viewers, then they will not be able to realistically compete with Sky and BT with traditional satellite and cable transmissions.”
Digiday 5 September 2018
In an article on Immediate Media’s acquisition of BBC Good Food, Digiday quoted Douglas McCabe. According to Douglas, it was a foreseeable transition. “It’s a great brand — in print, online and as a live event — and understandable that BBC Studios would want to hang on to it, but in the end Immediate Media provides a more natural home.”
Euronews 4 September 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in a Euronews. article on the announcement of Mark Read as the new WPP CEO. "The conditions under which Martin left were such that there is a premium in appointing someone who knows the ropes and can smooth things down," analyst Claire told Reuters, ahead of the announcement.
Marketing Week 4 September 2018
Matti Littunen was quoted in Marketing Week in an article on WPP’s appointment of Mark Read as the new CEO. Focused less on cost-cutting and more on client relationships, Read strikes a stark contrast with Martin Sorrel, and is set to revolutionise the WPP business model. Matti says “Starting from the needs of the clients and integrating capabilities sounds good, but is very difficult to do in practice across a large holding group structure. However, Mark Read has experience of integrating very different types of teams as he helped turn Wunderman from a direct marketing agency to a more holistic digital shop (absorbing several agencies along the way). I liked the phrase ‘we won’t let our own structures distract us or get in the way’ – most effective treatments start from the right diagnosis, and this one is spot on.”
The Guardian 3 September 2018
Alex Fenton was quoted in The Guardian in an article on the competition between the BBC’s Bodyguard and ITV’s Vanity Fair. “Premium drama remains the crown jewel content for broadcasters and streaming services. It has become a fiercely competitive arena over recent years, and its importance has only increased as the deep-pocketed Netflixes and Amazons of the world have entered the fray,” said Alex. “The competition for eyeballs has opened up and driven up production costs and standards, and bigger, better dramas are a good way for content providers to differentiate themselves.” He said there was still a substantial value for traditional channels to make appointment television that brings in viewers at a set time every week. “ITV tends to skew older in its viewership, but younger viewers tend to be the most valuable demographics to advertisers, so any content which can reassure younger people of the relevance of broadcast television programming is a big win for them.”
Campaign 28 August 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in a Campaign article speculating on WPP’s next CEO. Alongside other analysts she backs Mark Read – currently the joint Chief Operating Officer - to take over. Claire said: "I think in the very difficult, unique circumstances [of Sorrell’s abrupt departure], it really requires an insider. Mark has a plan that he’s presented to the board and it’s the only plan I’d proceed with." It would involve "cost-cutting", "deeper thinking", a "more aggressive" approach and "essentially reducing the number of people in all these companies whose roles overlap.” She expects a "complete change of strategy" and predicts WPP will halt its decades-long approach of using acquisitions – what she described as "buying, buying, buying" – to drive growth. She also added that "keeping the company financially safe" and "not taking risks" are priorities for the £16bn group, which has £5bn of debt. "The whole solvency issue is really important to WPP," she said.
FYI Music News 23 August 2018
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an FYI Music News article on the latest media movements. Despite the decline in print advertising somelarge-scale companies are expressing optimism. “In the magazine sector as a whole there has been enormous over-supply problem, and why we’ve seen such a car crash in the middle market where advertising has practically collapsed,” says Douglas. “But high-end magazines with a commitment to high-end editorial values, well-heeled demographics and a high-end supply of advertising have been living in a much less volatile market.”
Business Insider 23 August 2018
Matti Littunen was quoted in a Business Insider article on the impacts of the EU’S General Data Protection Regulation. News UK, The Guardian and The Telegraph have recently joined forces developing the Ozone Project. Ozone will enable them to jointly sell their online inventory and ad space, offering advertisers an accumulative 39 million users, a figure which allows them to compete with tech giants such as Facebook. "This kind of consolidation is natural in most maturing industries," Matti said. "GDPR has just accelerated it."
The Guardian 22 August 2018
Joseph Evans was quoted in The Guardian on Snaptchat, Facebook and Twitter’s declining growth. Following an unpopular redesign and a public disparaging from Kyle Jenner Snapchat suffered a 1.5% drop in daily users. “Kids are fickle and Snapchat definitely seems to be falling out of favour with young people, who are its biggest fans,” said Joseph. “For young people there are a million ‘next big things’ every year – look at the global craze for the Fortnite game – it’s difficult to keep their attention for any length of time, as Snapchat is finding out. It doesn’t help when Kylie Jenner, a Pied Piper for kids, blasts Snapchat – then its definitely not cool.” Meanwhile, Twitter has lost 1 million users and share prices have dropped by over 20%. “It is perfectly possible that Twitter has topped out,” said Joseph. “Twitter is a spent force if you are just thinking about user [growth]. From a user point of view it is definitely stalling at best. I wouldn’t want to say we are definitely at peak Twitter, but it is not going to reach that next order of magnitude. Until recently the strategy was to grow users and become a Facebook competitor. But it is never going to be a billion-user business. The recognition now is that is never going to happen. But with 300 million users Twitter is a decent product and you can sell a business off that.”
Les Echos 22 August 2018
Francois Godard was quoted in Les Echos on Altice’s financial trajectory “Given the costs of the Champions League and the little additional revenue expected, Altice's figures will deteriorate in the next quarter," said Francois. “The question is: will Altice keep up?"
BBC News 21 August 2018
Alice Enders was quoted in BBC News on the accusations from Prager University that Facebook removing its content was not a mistake, but the deliberate censorship of conservative ideas. “Facebook is caught between a rock and a hard place,” commented Alice. “It is simultaneously exhorted to ‘do something’ – employing human monitors or tweaking the algorithm – to identify take downs, and then vilified by those whose freedom of expression is ostensibly prevented.”
BBC World News 16 August 2018
Jamie MacEwan appeared on BBC World News to discuss Tencent's Q2 2018 results. Jamie said although the decline in profits is unexpected “the days leading up to this announcement the markets were starting to believe that profits would not be as high as expected and this comes at a time of a softening mobiles games market in China. Part of this has to do with regulation, the Chinese government fused its games regulators in March 2018 and this means the pipeline for new games has been blocked so unfortunately Tencent cannot refresh those mobile games that have been driving its profit in recent years”
The Guardian 13 August 2018
Douglas McCabe was quoted in The Guardian on the relaunch of Interview magazine. Douglas said “In the magazine sector as a whole there has been enormous over-supply problem, and why we’ve seen such a car crash in the middle market where advertising has practically collapsed...But high-end magazines with a commitment to high-end editorial values, well-heeled demographics and a high-end supply of advertising have been living in a much less volatile market.”
Bloomberg News 9 August 2018
Alice Enders appeared on Bloomberg News to discuss Fox results and the battle for Sky. Alice said “The stand out is how well the cable programming network did with 60% of Fox revenues and the centre of profitability. These “New Fox assets” won’t transfer to Disney, but Fox brings filmed entertainment as well as 39.1% of Sky, the number one Pay-TV business in Europe to Disney, 2019 is about a direct to home offer”
MailOnline 8 August 2018
James Barford was quoted in the MailOnline on the fact one in ten homes in the UK are still not connected to the internet, with less than two thirds of over 65s online. James said "It's very much an age thing,' he added. 'As with most new technologies, older people have been slower to adopt. It is a question of choice – some people aren't yet interested."
BBC World Service 7 August 2018
Tom Harrington appeared on BBC World Service to discuss Disney's new streaming service. Tom said when the Disney Fox deal goes through it will change the landscape for film and TV. "This is an amalgamation of great proportions. These two power houses coming together, that's 50% of the US Box Office, it's a massive share of TV viewing especially amongst the youth in the US. Disney's first stand aloneservice will be targeting families so they can feasibly sit side by side with Netflix. With other services creating an ecosystem such as sports packages, they can create a bundle which can get into every home including those who may not have considered streaming videos before"
BBC News 7 August 2018
Tom Harrington was quoted by BBC News on how the use of commercial video streaming services has surged ahead in Great Britain, according to official figures.Tom said "If you look at the breakdown of who is using these services, it's starting to bleed outside the younger tech-savvy audiences and getting traction among older groups as well."You can see that reflected in the types of programming being made available, with Netflix and others commissioning original shows pitched at more mature audiences."