Broadcast 20 November 2019
Claire Enders was quoted in Broadcast on Gordon Brown in battle for over-75s. Claire said “Jeremy Wright was especially keen on Gordon’s plan; he was sympathetic. There was a moment when we felt like everybody was sympathetic but Mrs May began to get shirty and the BBC always expected too much. It expected the government to say ‘OK, this was a cock-up’ but that was never going to happen.”
She added that Johnson’s staff and ministers generally take a less favourable view of the BBC. “Boris has called the BBC the Brexit Bashing Corporation and is very cognisant of the fact that lots of Brexit Party members want to see an end to the BBC."
“The BBC is praying for a happy outcome at the General Election. I don’t know how the situation would be advanced in the case of a hung parliament, but if the Tories or Labour get a majority, this could be an opportunity to sort something out quickly and reverse the requirement.”
Bloomberg Quint 18 November 2019
James Barford was quoted in Bloomberg Quint on BT Fends Off Sky to Keep Champions League Soccer, at a Price. James said ”It is disappointing from BT shareholders’ point of view that they were not able to get a reduction, given the likely lack of serious price competition from Sky, ITV and anybody else."
Deadline 18 November 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in Deadline on The Trouble With BritBox, Britain’s New Weapon In The Streaming Wars. Tom said “The problems are obvious. Major shows are still available on other streaming services. If you want to watch Downton Abbey, it’s on ITV3 and is not hard to find online. Over time this will be ironed out, but at the moment they want people to pay for stuff that’s readily available elsewhere.”
Tom added that a low-key originals strategy is smart as BritBox finds its place in the market. “It’s modest, which is a good thing. If you spend a lot of money, you risk losing a lot of money."
The Hollywood Reporter 18 November 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter on Why Mediaset Upped Its Stake in ProSiebenSat.1, but Ruled Out a Full Takeover. Francois said “If it is their corporate strategy, it's not well thought out. Mediaset has not been able to create meaningful synergies, neither in programs nor in advertising, between its TV operations in Spain and Italy, despite the markets being quite close culturally, so why would they manage to do that with the very different TV market in Germany?”
He added that “There's a good reason why British and French broadcasters are pulling together on the digital side, because they share an ecosystem, they share an audience and they share an advertising market. They are trying to migrate their competitive advantage on live TV —where they traditionally dominate — into the digital world. But there is no pan-European audience and no pan-European advertising market. It doesn't exist.”
The Telegraph 15 November 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in The Telegraph on Disney+ lures 10m subscribers a day after launch. Tom said “It’s certainly a healthy start to Disney+’s quest for scale at all costs. But there are unresolved lumpy architectural issues with the service that were inevitable since Disney has never done anything like this."
He added that hiccups in the servie ran the risk of early subscribers taking the view that “Netflix works better."
IBC 13 November 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in IBC on Disney bets big on the streaming revolution. Tom said “If any studio is going to succeed in this transformation [to direct-to-consumer], it must be the Walt Disney Company, the only one reaching 100 million households today with its triad of video, consumer products and theme parks. Disney+ will both leverage and further cement Disney’s relationships with customers.”
Les Echos 13 November 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in Les Echos on Streaming: will Frenchman Salto have a place in the Disney competition? Francois said "If a producer offers TF1 or M6 an exciting project, do you really think it will give priority to Salto?"
He added that "Households SVoDists have on average 1.5 subscriptions in the United Kingdom, and 1.7 in the United States, and the growth is done primarily by an increase in the number of households that by the multiplication of the subscriptions, which makes the arrival of the new more difficult."
The Guardian 11 November 2019
James Barford was quoted in The Guardian on BT on defensive as Sky prepares to bid for Champions League. James said “The Champions League matches are a core part – along with Premier League matches – of BT’s offering, and their loss would have implications for BT’s pricing across retail and wholesale, but it would be unlikely to be terminal for BT Sport."
He added that “From the perspective of BT’s shareholders, a rise in Champions League rights costs would be totally unacceptable in our view."
The Telegraph 11 November 2019
Jamie MacEwan was quoted in The Telegraph on How ByteDance became the first Chinese tech giant to break the West. Jamie said "Bytedance's ability to expand internationally is an asset in its rivalry with Chinese platform companies, which have struggled to gain a foothold outside Asia. Its teams have a knack of creating user-friendly apps like TikTok that spread virally through other social networks. [TikTok's] simply video creation tools and its low-friction and sticky interface" – meaning that it's easy to start using and hard to stop – appeal to under-25s across the world."
The Times 11 November 2019
Douglas McCabe was quoted in The Times on Will Middle England pay for a digital Daily Mail? Douglas believes a subscription model is the right step. “By building a premium solution with audio, email alerts and video, the Mail is starting to create a more sustainable multimedia future. Too much reliance on either social platforms or online advertising creates volatility, and they are also restrictive.”
Financial Times 11 November 2019
Douglas McCabe was quoted in the Financial Times on Ties fray between Daily Mail and MailOnline. Douglas said market forces may eventually push the MailOnline and Mail titles towards a more co-ordinated approach for its digital businesses. “The Mail is unique: two distinct powerhouse media assets overseen by separate leadership teams that share a brand. Online supply and demand dynamics, a too-low ceiling on advertising and the rise of premium consumer services, may be a trigger for some convergence as the brand designs a sustainable multimedia model.”
Financial Times 11 November 2019
Claire Enders was quoted in the Finanial Times on Online streaming: Television’s looming car crash. Claire said “We are looking at a multibillion-dollar car crash coming, funded by US capital markets."
The Guardian 4 November 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in The Guardian on Apple hopes its new streaming service will make a splash. Tom said “They’re trying to get to scale very quickly. They’re basically giving it away for free. Apple wants to make the app a destination and once you’re there you sign up for third-party subscription and then Apple takes a cut. It’s a gateway to entertainment.”
“They’ve got scale, they’re making more than anyone else, they understand what shows work in streaming – more than anyone else does,” Tom said of Netflix. “But in developed markets like the US and the UK, growth is difficult and if growth is slowing for Netflix, and you’re coming in and being supplementary to them, it’s going to be hard for you.”
IBC 1 November 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in IBC on Apple bites into the streaming market. Tom said “As it stands $4.99 is probably cheap enough for inquisitive Apple customers to take a plunge on." He says the price is “cheap enough to worry Netflix” – not necessarily because it will lose subscribers to Apple – but because for Netflix “reaching sustainability requires raising prices.”
He added that “it will take years to build the cohesive library that many consumers will expect from a paid service.”
DIGIDAY 1 November 2019
Alice Pickthall was quoted in Digiday on Why Future has turned into a media consolidator. Alice said “What Future does with those brands is the most interesting aspect of this. [Future’s] strategy has been calculated thus far. It’s very data-driven. It’s done a phenomenal job in applying that strategy to other brands.”
“The entire model is to take a category and work out how to monetize readers in the most circular and holistic ways. Often, traditional publishers approach serving content and building a brand. Future looks at things in a circular way at how best to optimize and appeal to readers, whether that’s e-commerce or even B2B.”
She Concluded that “Future stands out in terms of other magazine publishers. Not just from their acquisition pathway, which has been forceful, but the way it looks at monetizing brands and maximizing their assets. It’s clearly leading.”
The Economist 1 November 2019
Claire Enders was quoted in The Economist on Who will buy Britain's Telegraph? But with an unpredictable election due, the Telegraph's role as Downing Street’s paper of choice is also up in the air. What is clear, says Claire Enders, is that “it is not going to be evaluated as a purely financial investment”. As with the cocktails at the Ritz, its worth will be less about its intrinsic value than what it represents.
The Hollywood Reporter 31 October 2019
Tom Harrington was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter on How HBO Max May Approach Its Global Rollout. Tom said "Currently, HBO content is piped into 20 million-plus households where it is treated with almost reverence by Sky and given great attribution, marketing etc while providing a guaranteed revenue stream. It's a good deal for HBO. Most of the shows don't even do particularly well, with an obvious exception [in Game of Thrones]. Succession season 2, for example, was watched by under 100,000 [viewers] per episode in the U.K., but there is undoubted prestige that can be marketed."
Tom believes Sky was willing to pay up to keep HBO's content given that prestige and what the streaming wars have meant for content from other entertainment giants. "Given that Sky's Disney/Fox deal will be severely downgraded going forward due to so much content destined for Disney+, there would have been a willingness on their part to hold onto, pay more for the ultimate in premium content."
DIGIDAY 30 October 2019
Douglas McCabe was quoted in Digiday on The balancing act facing the next Guardian CEO. Douglas said “The first phase is to take the business by the scruff of the neck and say, ‘We are a business’ and be unapologetic about that. The next stage poses a complex dilemma that involves balancing two very different business models. The readers who pay and monetizing the ones who don’t."
He concluded that “Structural change never comes without its challenges to business culture. Phase one has tackled many of these, but the underlying need for change has not stopped,”
Variety 29 October 2019
Francois Godard was quoted in Variety on Could Banijay-Endemol Shine Deal Be Vivendi’s Ticket to Becoming Global Powerhouse? Francois said “It’s impossible to know for sure at this point." Right now, “it seems that Bolloré sees its participation in Banijay primarily as a good investment, and Stephane Courbit has a tight grip on the new group and has no intention of letting it go to Vivendi." Noting Vivendi remains a minority shareholder in Telecom Italia.
DIGIDAY 29 October 2019
Alice Pickthall was quoted in Digiday onThe Economist is trying to convert its 1m YouTube subscribers into paying members. Alice said “Sustainable video investment is a difficult thing to justify by itself as the ad revenue projections alone are rarely enough. So video strategy needs to include a combination of promotional value, revenue and value for the core audience.”
Alice added that The Economist has been spending more to attract new subscribers, marketing costs rose 14% in 2019, but subscriber numbers only rose 1%. “To succeed in the long term, they will need to address these rising costs.”