International Business Times 19 July 2016
James Barford was quoted in an article on the Brexit aftermath for telecom firms, as UK phone users may suffer higher charges as a result of the vote to leave the EU. James said "a fall in gross domestic production or in population could be significant for this industry". He added "a phone is pretty much regarded as an essential service, and if there are less people in the country using your products, that leads to lower revenues. The fall in population may come about through caps on migration, or because slower growth means fewer migrants will come here to look for work."
Variety 19 July 2016
Gareth Sutcliffe was quoted in an article on Globo, Latin America’s biggest network, which from Monday will offer its flagship production “Dangerous Liaisons” in 4K High Dynamic Range to users of its Globo Play VOD service. Netflix (“Marco Polo”), Amazon (“Mozart in the Jungle”) and Vudu already offer content in 4K HDR, a standard backed by Hollywood studios and YouTube. But Globo is the first of any mainstream broadcaster, and the first non-U.S. company known to several analysts consulted by Variety, to offer content in the format. Gareth said that VOD remains “the only way to provide mass market 4K HDR programming through the medium term,” adding that “from an efficiency standpoint, there is negligible additional overhead to distribute 4K HDR over non-HDR 4K in a VOD environment, but the consumer proposition for HDR is superior enough that it could generate additional margin”. Gareth added that “4K HDR-enabled displays will become the default purchase option within the next 18 to 24 months, and as volume picks up…the cost is going to fall quickly for access to HDR”.
Variety 12 July 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on the France’s Euro 2016 soccer tourney and the outcome for the TV business. Euro 2016 matches punched spectacular ratings: yet the broadcasters who bought rights mostly lost millions; but most will be back bidding for rights to Euro 2020. Francois said “you’re always hearing broadcasters say that they don’t recoup on events like the Olympics and World Cup, but their calculations take in much more than direct advertising revenues. The exposure sets them apart from competitors and allows for in-house promotion”.
The Financial Times 11 July 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Rebekah Brooks and her return to head News Corp’s British newspaper operations. Last week Ms Brooks made the biggest splash since she returned last September, with News Corp’s £220m acquisition of the owners of Talksport radio. The deal followed the group’s £114m purchase of digital advertising start-up, Unruly, last autumn, 10 days after Ms Brooks’ return. Douglas said “Rebekah Brooks is bringing strategic clarity to News UK, and the integration of Talksport and greater Premier League distribution is a clear illustration of that”.
Yahoo 11 July 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on the Vivendi’s Canal Plus and Qatar -controlled BeIN Sports deal, which was blocked last month by Bruno Lasserre, president of France’s antitrust board. However, on Thursday the country’s competition authority confirmed that it would consider easing the Canal Plus anti-trust regs in a yearlong regulatory review. Francois said that in France, Canal Plus competition rulings are “very restrictive and prevent the group from operating in the same way as its European and U.S. peers,” investment bank Exane/BNP Paribas said in a note Thursday.
Will they change next year? France’s competition watchdog “has to relax Canal Plus’ conditions. Some rules will lapse for sure,” Francois said. Those conditions were drawn up 10 years ago, then revised in 2012, in a far less competitive environment for France’s dominant pay TV operator. Just how anti-trust regs may change, or if the watchdog would thumbs up a Canal Plus-BeIN deal, is anybody’s guess, however. “Next year, everything will be open,” he said.
CNBC 6 July 2016
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on the study led by Sonal Pandya and the fellow University of Virginia business professor Rajkumar Venkatesan which showed that country-based brand marketing can have an impact on sales during times of international conflict. The study, which was published in March in The Review of Economics and Statistics, compared U.S. supermarket sales of French-sounding products in 2002 and 2003. Products that subjects had deemed "highly French" saw a 0.4 percent decline in store market share during the week of March 16, one of the pivotal moments of the dispute. Toby Syfret pointed out that U.K. leaving the EU is not exactly the same as France not supporting the U.S.' decision. For that matter, anti-EU sentiment is also a political factor in other member countries. In addition, consumers may see a benefit in buying British, especially with the weakened pound. It's that not entirely that everyone in the EU is unsympathetic to Britain leaving the EU. Toby added that "in the end, people do deals where people think it's in their interest."
Digiday 5 July 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on UK publishers, who in the aftermath of Brexit, are capitalizing on the heightened public interest by offering new products. Douglas said launching additional print products can be an effective use of print presses, which are more idle currently than the days when print flourished. He added that “there are a lot more publishers looking at sending out additional publications, due to simple economics like that”. However, he added that it’s unlikely publishers launching “pop-up” print products are banking on big print ad revenues. “Print advertising is under a lot of pressure. No one seriously believes these kinds of products will generate lots of good print ads”.
Yahoo 30 June 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the stabilization of Financial Markets, with London’s FTSE 100 closing Wednesday above its pre-referendum level for the first time since the vote. Claire said that any celebrations were premature, suggesting that the market stabilization would be short as Britain braces for a potential recession. She said “things have become calmer in the financial markets as no one is pressing the button in the political sphere, but the reality is we are settling in for a very long-term political crisis with no chance of a common unified position before autumn.” She added that it was “very unusual” for a political crisis to cause an economic crisis, as the reverse was normally the case. “We in the business community are doing all we can to calm things down, and that’s working and the wheels are moving, but it’s a short-term stabilization, and there is no doubt that a 20% drop in the value of ITV is very significant. And overall, the picture indicates a strong chance of recession.”
Variety 28 June 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Brexit and the major consequences for UK Media companies, as those in favour of Brexit contend that Britain’s new trade agreements with the E.U. and other countries will be as good as what Britain currently enjoys as an E.U. member, including complete access to the European single market.
Alice dismisses that idea. Even if it were true, it would take many years to put in place. She said “it is going to be five to seven years before the rubble is sorted, before we are out of the E.U. and have completed the negotiations on whatever new trade agreements we wish to enter into on a reciprocal basis, and have had that ratified by the E.U. and by the U.K. parliaments and everybody else that needs to ratify it”. Adding that “We are talking here about five to seven years of uncertainty regarding market access to the E.U. The uncertainty is causing the financial market shocks that will affect the consumer pronto. And that consumer is what drives the advertising economy, the retail sector and everything else… Everybody is going to be impacted by this seismically.” Another factor affecting British stocks is the political turmoil in the U.K. now, with the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and a mutiny in the senior ranks of the opposition Labor Party against leader Jeremy Corbyn. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also raised the possibility of a new independence vote for Scotland. Alice said “Nature abhors a vacuum”.
Deadline 28 June 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on ITV, that could be subject of a takeover attempt for U.S. buyers after Friday’s share price fall. However, Claire suggested that an ITV takeover by anyone in the short-term is “Not at all likely.” Adding that “we are in a political crisis on the edge of a possible recession.”
The Hollywood Reporter 28 June 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the Brexit effect for Entertainment Industry M&A. Claire focused on the risks saying that acquisitions of U.K. creative companies could be "negatively affected by the years of uncertainty ahead." She explains: "We have benefited very disproportionately from USA investment for 15 years due to [the] European market in particular."
The Hollywood Reporter 28 June 2016
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on the Brexit effect for Entertainment Industry, with UK media and entertainment stocks down sharply Friday. Toby said "in the case of ITV, whose share price fell by almost 20 percent after the Brexit news, it does reflect an instant response to the market news. We need to see at what level it settles down to first, and then there is the question of the impact of Brexit on TV advertising revenues" and consequently ITV's financial outlook.
The Financial Times 22 June 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the fall in newspaper display advertising and the discussions that are under way between media companies to explore ways they can set aside differences and work together to address the alarming drop in advertising revenue. Douglas Said "The implications are clear: while print advertising has been in a state of secular decline for over a decade the structural forces underpinning this decline have moved up several gears."
CNBC 21 June 2016
Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on the study from the Oxford University and Budapest’s Corvinus University which have found that ‘bots’ – automated programs that post from social media accounts of their own accord – are playing a “small but strategic role” in the conversation around Britain’s referendum on EU membership. Joseph said that there is little appetite among regulators to place any form of electoral reporting restrictions on online and social media. While social content has played an increasingly prominent role in electoral campaigns in recent years, with Barack Obama credited with wielding the first effective social media campaign in the 2008 election, Evans played down the ultimate influence of social media like Twitter in votes like the upcoming referendum. "Of course social media discussion could swing undecideds, but I think the effect here is likely to be marginal, as the political speech on these platforms so often consists of trading slogans, self-congratulation and a near-total disregard for accuracy," he added, "I think the public tends to mistrust what they read on social media, although perhaps not as much as they should."
the Telegraph 21 June 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Spotify, which has confirmed that it has more than 100m monthly active user on its music streaming service today. Despite the rising revenues - 80 per cent last year- it faces competition from Apple’s Music service, which had passed 10m subscribers within six months at last count. Alice said “the economics of the freemium tier remain challenging and every single freemium user is lossmaking on a gross margin basis,” adding that “what’s heartening is it is paying off in terms of subscribers. We think it’s made very good progress this year.”
The Financial Times 20 June 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the creation of “24: The North’s National” newspaper. The family-owned publisher behind 24 said it would aim to take a northern slant on national news and would be available only in Cumbria, Northumberland and parts of southern Scotland and Lancashire, avoiding big cities where competition is fierce. Douglas said there was a market for northern news. But while CN Group had kept costs to a minimum, there was still a risk. Adding that “they are trying to recapture a market that has switched habits. People no longer go into a newsagent every morning and pick up a newspaper. You are asking people to switch back and that is very hard.”
The Financial Times 10 June 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Time Out, the magazine company founded in London in 1968, which has raised £90m ahead of a listing on London’s junior stock market. Time Out is also taking steps to boost its online advertising revenue - Liberum has forecast that Time Out’s digital revenues will increase from £11.7m in 2015 to £38.4m in 2018. Douglas warned that investors would need to take a “leap of faith” to bet that the company’s growth rate would increase so rapidly in the years ahead. He said Time Out’s editorial expertise could help it stand out from its many online rivals, but added that “the question is whether Time Out’s content is compelling enough to get to a big enough scale”.
The Sun 26 May 2016
Gill Hind was quoted in an article on the European Commission decision to allow broadcasters to air more ads during prime time TV shows. Gill said broadcasters would be unwise to “pump in 20 minutes of ads an hour” because it would annoy viewers and prove unattractive to advertisers whose slots would be diluted.
BBC 25 May 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the EU-made quota, which declares that on-demand video streaming service should call at least 20% of their catalogues to be made locally. Alice said "this is driven by the core problem that the EU identified 40 years ago, that the Hollywood studios and other US producers dominate global box office and broadcasting because they have scale that cannot be achieved in a fragmented EU” adding that “it does send out an important signal to Netflix and others. But let's face it, the online services could meet the 20% quota by loading up themselves with lots of rubbish French, Italian, Spanish and whatever content. Or they could simply remove some of their lesser-watched non-EU material."
The Telegraph 24 May 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Spotify subscription model, which despite growing revenues, the company is making a bigger loss than ever. Alice said “the economics of the freemium tier remain challenging and every single freemium user is lossmaking on a gross margin basis, what’s heartening is it is paying off in terms of subscribers. We think it’s made very good progress this year.” She added that Spotify still had to significantly grow its base of paying users to be near to profitability, and that it could adjust its model, for example by raising prices for customers.