the Guardian 17 May 2018
Claire Enders and Gill Hind were quoted in an article on the biggest TV day of the year. In fact, Saturday hundreds of millions of viewers are expected to tune in around the world to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and Chelsea take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Claire thinks more young people will watch the wedding, or share images of it, on their mobile, while her colleague Gill said “There will probably be higher audiences in the US than last time but probably less interest elsewhere”.
BBC News 17 May 2018
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on Robert Downey Jr who plans a YouTube series on Artificial Intelligence. Tom said "If you look at all of YouTube Red's original stuff, most of it is people who became famous on YouTube. This is just them diversifying. It gives the whole product offering a look that isn't a bunch of kids talking at a camera and pulling pranks, which is the dismissive attitude that a lot of people take to vloggers". YouTube Red first launched in 2015 as an answer to other paid subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Video and Spotify. Tom said that working with stars such as Robert Downey Jr was a way of expanding the platform beyond its original scope, which focused on monetising personalities who became famous on YouTube.
Media Week 11 May 2018
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on the advertising industry. In recent years, the big story in the advertising industry has been the soaring market share of digital disruptors such as Facebook. At first glance, the idea that traditional media might come back into fashion seems outlandish, and the growth of the digital giants appears to be continuing unchecked. Despite recent scandals over data privacy, Facebook posted strong first-quarter results, as did Google parent Alphabet. By contrast, advertising group WPP has endured a torrid year, culminating in the exit of chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell. His departure led to claims that the writing is on the wall for the traditional advertising agency. However, Matti said that there is “no uniform picture of panic across established media. In fact, there are a number of positive stories as well”. TV advertising, for example, has proved remarkably robust.
The Telegraph 30 April 2018
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bollore, who has been arrested and interrogated over allegations of corrupt deals with African politicians. The Bollore-controlled advertising group Havas allegedly helped influence elections in exchange for the logistics contracts. Nevertheless, Bollore’s legal troubles are a gift to his Italian enemies. As well as the Berlusconi dynasty, he is up against Elliott Management, the US hedge fund controlled by billionaire Paul Singer and his London-based son Gordon. Francois said “there is no direct link between the African ports case and Telecom Italia. But Bollore’s arrest is obviously a boost to people arguing in Italy that he is not the right person to control Telecom Italia”. He added “things did not turn out as expected as AT&T, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and even Telefonica failed to bid. This battle with Elliott may reveal that Bollore does not really have control of Telecom Italia, undermining his stake’s value. Investing in Italy is like walking in quicksand and Bollore is now up to his chest.”
The Economist 27 April 2018
François Godard was quoted in an article on Vincent Bolloré, who is being investigated over his business in Africa. The authorities suspect that Havas, a communications firm that Bolloré then owned, gave African politicians heavily discounted help in their election campaigns. Vivendi bought Havas last year in a manoeuvre that seemed to have “no industrial rationale” according to François. More troubling are Mr Bolloré’s missteps in Italy, in particular, Vivendi’s grab of Telecom Italia (TI), the former state provider, and its attempt to snatch Mediaset, the country’s biggest television broadcaster, from a firm belonging to the family of Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister. François judges that Mr Bolloré has “spectacularly failed” in Italy and that he—or his son—would sell TI given the chance. Along with all his headaches over Africa, he can count on little respite in Europe.
BBC News 26 April 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on BuzzFeed who has announced a journalism-orientated documentary series produced in partnership with Netflix. Launching on 9 July, the weekly 20-show run of 15-minute episodes will go behind-the-scenes as its journalists pursue a variety of stories. Claire said "This is really one of the first times that Netflix seems to be interested in getting into news. I'm hesitant to think that Netflix will have committed massive budgets to this, but it's a way of expanding their schedule from drama, comedy and movies”. She added “both parties will be hoping that they'll kind of feed each other's audiences, and millennial audiences in particular".
Press Herald 26 April 2018
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the U.S. media giant Comcast that on Wednesday offered 22 billion pounds ($30.7 billion) for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite television company. Comcast said it would pay 12.75 pounds for each Sky share, 16 percent more than Fox’s offer. Sky shares rose 3.9 percent to 13.59 pounds as investors bet Fox would sweeten its bid, and Sky withdrew its recommendation that shareholders accept the Fox offer. Alice said “That is very important mood music to the takeover panel. The important thing about the Comcast bid is that they appear to match the remedy that has been offered by Fox”.
Marketing Week 16 April 2018
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on the advertising industry, which has been shaken over the weekend by the shock exit of Sir Martin Sorrell from WPP. His departure puts into sharp relief the challenges facing the ad industry and the agency-holding model WPP led the way in building. WPP had its worst year since the ad recession of 2009 in 2017, with a performance Sorrell called “not pretty”. Matti said “Many are using WPP as an example of the challenges facing the agency holding group model, which we agree are existential, but thanks to its unique assets and best-in-class agencies, the group Sorrell built is actually relatively well placed for the future compared to its peers”.
Hollywood Reporter 16 April 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Netflix, and the challenge the streaming giant is experiencing, as it tries to grow internationally while staying above the local political fray. Netflix is under fire, around the world, not for its disruptive business model but for the political content of its programming. Claire said “This isn't just a free speech issue and isn't just about politics,” adds Claire. For Enders, who has been observing the European media industry for 4 decades as a U.S. ex-pat, the current debates around Netflix are really about regulation. As the company's international viewership grows, local politicians are beginning to pay attention. Claire said “By 2020, Netflix' audience in the U.K. will be larger than (national commercial network) Channel 4. Do you think they'll be able to avoid the same kind of regulation imposed on every broadcast and pay-TV network in this country? They won't”. Enders predicts the U.K. will lead a regulatory crack-down on the service within the next 2 years, with the main focus being child protection and the high level of violent and sexually explicit content on Netflix. She added “Since having programming with loads of sex and violence is one of Netflix' main selling points, that could have an impact on their popularity”.
The Telegraph 16 April 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the resignation of Sir Martin Sorrell as CEO of WPP. “Finding someone who is a charisma machine with chief executives in the same way Martin is will be tough,” Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, said. “There is no other Sir Martin Sorrell in the world.”
Digiday 12 April 2018
Robert Jenkin was quoted in an article on Politico Europe’s paid subscriptions, which now account for half of its overall revenue, up from 30 percent in 2016, with the rest coming from advertising and events, according to the publisher. European businesses have been increasingly on alert about how political developments, particularly relating to the European Union, international trade, data regulations and Brexit, could affect them. That’s led to increased demand from businesses for premium, political news analysis, which Politico has managed to tap into successfully, according to Robert. He said “Having developed as a trusted, quality brand in the U.S., Politico was well-placed to take advantage of the increase in demand — particularly from businesses — for nonpartisan, objective political information in Europe. Their subscription revenue model seems well-suited for this business-to-business product”.
Mediatel 4 April 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on young viewing habits. According to the BBC, 82 per cent of children go to Google-owned YouTube for their on-demand content, half to Netflix, with only 29 per cent choosing the BBC iPlayer. Five years ago 40 per cent of 12-15 year olds watched CBBC; now it is more like 25 per cent. In part the cause is obvious - an explosion of choice from four channels mainly aimed at children in 1998 to 35 channels today, most of them of North American origin. Yet just beneath the surface, there lurks the issue of regulation, or more precisely lack of regulation, of what has been called the £10 billion a year onslaught from the US tech companies providing UK relevant content online, most of it designed for the 15 plus or 18 plus market. Claire said, "You have Netflix of which 80 per cent of the choices offered on the front pages are 15 plus rated, YouTube with infinite attractions to children and you have the same phenomenon with Amazon, and you don't have the parental controls that operate on those three major online platforms". She added that one way to look at the issue is that these companies "are carpetbaggers, they don't pay tax, they don't have a watershed, they don't operate under any advertising regulations, and they don't have editorial (such as news or difficult documentaries)".
Financial Times 4 April 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Walt Disney, who has waded into the years-long dispute over Rupert Murdoch’s influence in UK media by offering to buy Sky News, attempting to ease political and regulatory fears that Fox’s acquisition of the television outlet would deepen the media mogul’s dominance in Britain. Claire said that Fox has presented two very credible options to the CMA. But she added that the regulator or Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, could look to extract a “third option” from the company which would involve Disney also committing to a governance and independence model. She said “It may be that this is not enough and the secretary of state may want to get his pound of flesh as well”.
BBC News 3 April 2018
Chris Hayes was quoted in an article on Spotify, the music streaming firm, which will be publicly traded for the first time later on Tuesday when the firm debuts on the New York market. The flotation marks a turning point for the firm, that, after 12 years, has not yet made a profit. Spotify's listing, which could value it at $20bn (£14bn), is unconventional: it is not issuing any new shares. Instead, shares held by the firm's private investors will be made available. Chris said that while it may not be as a direct result of the share listing, he also expects Spotify to evolve. He added "I think over time they're going to have to diversify their offering”, helping to set them apart from a sea of rival streaming services.
QueryOk 23 March 2018
James Barford was quoted in an article on Vodafone, which agrees to buy Spain’s Ono for $10 billion. The deal is part of a broader trend of mergers and takeovers in Europe, where the mobile industry is split among some 150 major operators crisscrossing national lines — compared to just four in the United States. Grupo Corporativo Ono S.A. provides phone, mobile and television services to 1.9 million customers and has the largest "next-International Lead Generation network" in Spain, reaching 7.2 million homes, or 41 percent of the country. Vodafone says Ono has abundant spare capacity, giving it space to expand. James said the price was high and was sceptical that the focus on "quad play" — the industry term for bundling phone, broadband, mobile and TV services — will pay off. He added "It's a little bit the tail wagging the dog in terms of justifying such a high cost. There's an assumption that 'quad play' is essential, but there really isn't evidence that consumers have a strong desire to buy the fixed line and the mobile services together".
Marketing Week 23 March 2018
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on Mozilla, which becomes the first brand to pull ads from Facebook following Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company behind the Firefox web browser says it will not return to advertising on Facebook until there are strong protections around user data. Matti said “There are PR benefits right now in announcing a boycott, but ultimately what will matter for most advertisers is return on media investment”. He added “We don’t expect any big effect until advertisers are able to see the consumer response: will users abandon Facebook in droves in the core markets? If so, then an advertiser exodus will follow”.
NBC News 16 March 2018
Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on big tech companies who are progressing their way into the world of live sports. Facebook, Amazon and Google, better known for making social networks and search engines, have spent the past few years buying up the rights stream live sports events over the internet. Though most of these contracts have been small compared to the billion-dollar agreements paid out by broadcast networks, the steady drumbeat of deals by tech companies with plenty of cash to spend has put the media industry on notice. Julian said “I think Amazon and Facebook have shown their hands and bought sports rights in the past. They will continue to pick on the fringes. They haven’t secured a major sport with exclusive rights. When they do that, it will be the day that everyone takes a step back and says, ‘They’re really here”.
IBC365 14 March 2018
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the UK’s leading commercial broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, who have joined forces to champion TV advertising in the face of online threat. They had come together to mark the fact that ITV, Sky and Channel 4 had united to hold the Big TV Festival to celebrate the virtues of television as a medium and introduce those virtues to young digital natives in the advertising and marketing industries. According to Claire, the new wave of competition has unleashed 10 billion dollars a year of UK relevant content into the market. She said “we have never seen such an onslaught before”.
the Guardian 14 March 2018
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on NME, who published its final print edition on 9th of March. As a paid-for title, NME had spent years battling declining sales, with ABC figures from the second half of 2014 showing an average weekly circulation of around 14,000. So in September 2015, publishing company Time Inc revamped NME as a free magazine, bringing circulation up to a reported 300,000 copies per week. However, the disappearance of NME speaks to the complexity of the free publishing model – trickier than just ripping off the price tag – and forging a new identity from a brand steeped in six decades of music history. Douglas agrees that free isn’t a means to an end, particularly when translating a niche product for the mass market. He said “In the end, its very soul seemed to have been lost somewhere. Think about how Stylist has become the kind of magazine that people take home. You flick through NME for 10 minutes on the tube, which isn’t a deep enough relationship to really work”.
BBC News 14 March 2018
Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on Apple who is buying Texture, the magazine app subscription service, for an undisclosed amount. Texture offers US-based users unlimited access to more than 200 titles for a monthly fee of $9.99 (£7.19). It is currently owned by Next Issue Media, which is backed by magazine publishers Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp, Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. Joseph said "A lot of this is talking the talk. If they really wanted to help journalists, they could give publishers a waiver on the 30% tax Apple takes from App Store revenue. That wouldn't cost Apple anything, and it would be a big help to publishers. But instead they do these user-facing things". He acknowledged, however, that Apple's involvement could boost interest in the eight-year-old service, which in turn would help publishers earn more money.