the Guardian 8 April 2015
James Barford was quoted in an article about the fact that Britain's newly built superfast 4G networks are slowing down as more people sign up and traffic increases. Ofcom published a study reporting that the average speed at which a mobile phone can download content fell between last spring and last winter. James said "When the network becomes shared amongst more users the average is going to decline", continuing "The art of network planning is to ensure it doesn't decline too much".
BBC 2 April 2015
Ian Maude was quoted in an article about V-Nova, a new method of data compression that could result in 4K (ultra-high definition video) being streamed on TVs and other devices using around 50% of the bandwidth currently needed. Ian said "This is cutting-edge technology that will be welcomed by pay TV companies, and TV manufacturers because it will help drive 4K sales. But there are still limiting factors..."
the Telegraph 30 March 2015
Alice Enders was quoted in an article about EU plans to impose a digital single market and the threat that this could pose to Britain's creative industries. At the moment rights holders and distributors usually charge different rates for downloads and streaming services depending on interest in each country. Now Brussels officials are to introduce rules that will result in all European citizens being able to buy online services from any country.
the Financial Times 30 March 2015
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article about the news that Trinity Mirror is in discussions with David Montgomery's Local World to increase its stake in the company, or a full takeover to create the largest regional newspaper group in the UK. A takeover would invite scrutiny from the UK's competition watchdog. Douglas said there would "certainly be competition issues".
the Financial Times 23 February 2015
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article about fears from broadcasters of falling revenues as viewers switch to on-demand TV, with much of the focus being on the shift from 'linear' TV to on-demand services, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, seen among young people. However Toby said "the habits of the parents are changing too", with live TV viewing having fallen 11 per cent among adults aged 35 to 54 since 2010.
the Guardian 23 February 2015
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on plans by Uber, the San Francisco based company known for their fast growing and controversial taxi app, to expand beyond cabs and shore up their $40bn valuation by getting into the delivery business. Douglas said "Relatively small deliveries make a lot of sense. It's the same model as delivering a person. Not least, there is probably spare vehicle capacity during the day".
the Financial Times 20 January 2015
Thomas Caldecott was quoted in an article on The Sun's decision to end forty four years of Page 3 in print, instead making its photos of topless women only available online. This may be seen as an attempt by Murdoch's media empire to improve its image following the hacking scandal. However it also represents a move by The Sun to boost its digital subscription numbers, by adding topless women to its exclusively online mix the tabloid could attract more of its core audience. Thomas said "They clearly think it's going to have some positive effect.
the Financial Times 7 January 2015
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Waterstones plans to open more stores in light of news that book sales are on the rise, with sales of the Kindle ebook reader falling this Christmas as the physical book market shows signs of improvement. Physical book sales at Waterstones rising 5 per cent in December, as the company reveals plans to open at least a dozen stores in 2015. Douglas McCabe said "The rapid growth of ebook sales has quite dramatically slowed and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse".
the Financial Times 2 December 2014
Michael Underhill was quoted in an article about premiership TV rights, with the next auction of live matches for the 2016-17 season expected to take place early next year. Sky, which has long dominated the sports rights market, is facing greater competition. Currently, Sky pays an annual £760m for five packages to broadcast 116 games a season, while BT pays £246m for 38 games. However BT is expected to pose a greater threat to Sky this time around.
the Guardian 2 December 2014
James Barford was quoted in an article about mergers in the UK telecoms industry, as BT attempts to buy its way back into the mobile phone market. With speculation spreading that this will trigger copycat mergers across Britain's fragmented communications industry, the idea of 'communication supergroups' already an established in continental Europe. James said "One major trade sale alternative would be market consolidation and I would observe that Three Ireland bought O2 Ireland".
the Financial Times 26 November 2014
James Barford was quoted in an article on Gavin Patterson; the chief executive of BT. James said "He has imposed his own direction after a very strong chief executive [Ian Livingston]. But the sport strategy was inherited and mobile could be his first big decision to make". The acquisition of a mobile business would fit the bill by launching BT's ambitions to re-enter the consumer mobile market.
the Telegraph 26 November 2014
James Barford was quoted in an article regarding the news that BT is working on a takeover of either EE or O2. A deal would mean that the vast majority of Britain's broadband, home phone, mobile and pay-TV requirements would be served by just three giant providers. Each would own fixed-line infrastructure and one of the main mobiles operators. However the question remains whether British customers are interested in such bundles of services. James said "The UK sticks out like a sore thumb among European markets. In most countries the top fixed line operator is also the top mobile operator.
the Financial Times 25 November 2014
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article discussing the fact that The Sun newspaper has doubled its number of digital subscribers to 225,000, but has failed to offset a decline in its overall paid readership. In August 2013 it introduced a pay wall and 102,000 people started paying in the first four months, however the new figures show that the rate of sign-ups has slowed substantially since. Douglas said the figures were "reasonably positive", while cautiously adding that there was a lack of historical data to judge them on.
the Wall Street Journal 24 November 2014
James Barford is quoted in an article as BT enters into early talks to buy Telefonica SA's UK mobile business, O2. If the transaction goes ahead it would see BT return to consumer mobile services. BT also confirmed that a second UK cellphone operator, rumoured to be EE, had expressed interest in a potential sale. James said "Defensively, BT has [mobile] covered through the [EE mobile virtual network deal] anyway. It would be a strange decision to do this because of quad-play", adding that "part of the justification is likely to be an ability to cross-sell products".
the Independent 19 November 2014
Toby Syfret discussing the launch of an Ofcom investigation into the £1bn-a-year Premier League TV rights deal, following the successful lodging of a complaint in September by pay-Tv firm Virgin Media. Ofcom suggesting that the shortage of live games is distorting competition and driving up prices unfairly. The premier league currently only sells the live rights to 154 games a season out of a possible 380. With the last auction in 2012 seeing a 70 per cent increase on the 2009 auction, following a bidding war that broke out between rivals Sky and BT.
the Independent 19 November 2014
Toby Syfret on the launch of an Ofcom investigation into the £1bn-a-year Premier League TV rights deal, following the successful lodging of a complaint in September by pay-TV firm Virgin Media. Ofcom suspecting that the shortage of live games is distorting competition and driving up prices unfairly. The Premier League currently only sells the live right to 154 games a season out of a possible 380. With the last auction in 2012 seeing a 70 per cent increase on the 2009 auction, following a bidding war that broke out between rivals Sky and BT.
the Guardian 17 November 2014
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article about the rising costs of pay-TV, as increasing production costs and competition for talent and sports rights mean consumers are now facing bills of up to £100 a month. As the threat from streaming services, such as netflix, drives the cost of television. The consumer being left confused as the choice of services to subscribe to has exploded, and TV companies often 'upselling' so that individuals buy more premium services - increasing costs incured by the consumer further.
the Financial Times 17 November 2014
Claire Enders is quoted in an article about Youtube and whether it is rewriting the rules of broadcasting. The rise of so called 'vloggers', such as Zoella, becoming disproportionately important to YouTube - despite only representing a fraction of the overall programming upload to Youtube, with music videos still accounting for more than half the six billion hours of content. With more than 6.5 million subscribers Zoella is a dream advocate for many fashion and beauty brands.
Telegraph 14 November 2014
James Barford was quoted in an article discussing BT's plans to scrap their £2.4bn Wholesale division, subsuming the multi-billion pound busiess into Openreach. A move that will concern BT's rivals who already fear its power. If the plans go ahead Openreach would overtake the outsourcing division to become BTs biggest business, with a turnover of nearly £7.5bn, 41% of the group total.
the Financial Times 13 November 2014
Alice Enders was quoted in an article as YouTube launches a music subscription service, called 'YouTube Music Key'. This will offer advertising free videos, offline viewing and the ability to play music while the phone is locked. At full price it will cost $9.99 a month, with the people who play the most music on YouTube being given a free trail for six months.