Digiday 28 September 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the New York Times ambitious target of doubling its digital business in the next five years. Douglas said that the 150-year-old brand’s global reputation in Europe is excellent. But like any news business expanding internationally, it’s typically limited to expats or professionals for whom a U.S. angle is relevant — a challenge it will need to overcome to grow. He added “the international edition does not yet transcend those limitations. Clearly, events such as the forthcoming U.S. election will make the NYT, and other U.S. media, more relevant to more people, but on an ongoing basis, its appeal and necessity will be relatively niche.”
The Times 26 September 2016
Alice Enders was quoted in an article discussing the UK's possible post-Brexit trade arrangements with the EU, saying “All of this can be done without any mess or fuss. There can be a transitional period of post-Brexit tariff-free trade between the UK and the EU until a formal free-trade arrangement is finalised — this is the wholehearted wish of EU companies reliant on supply chains involving the UK. “There is much precedent for such an arrangement from the EU side. And this would not involve the UK continuing with unchecked migration from the EU or substantial payments into the EU budget.”
Ms Enders was absolutely not in favour of Brexit: this is dispassionate analysis, not politically motivated wishful thinking.
FIPP 20 September 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on news content in the digital era which, despite the overflow of information available on the internet, consumers are keen to digest from trusted news brand. Douglas said “they want the news in a timely way and they want to understand the context and the implications of the news, the weekend newspapers and news magazines are particularly good at the latter, and as information and news moves more quickly, these digests grow in importance rather than otherwise.”
Consumers are being updated on how their world is changing constantly throughout the day, and get their news not only from traditional news suppliers, but also brands, social media and other platforms. He added, “But, that in no way reduces the need, indeed, it could be argued it increases the need for a news provision that details the context, that provides commentary and analysis, that provides an authoritative view and opinion on what is happening and why it is happening,”. The rapid pace and creation of news content online means people can be constantly up to date with events as they happen. However, having a detailed commentary, background, analysis or opinion on the event is not something people want to necessarily read every minute, according to Douglas. “There is something just that intuitively feels right about a digest on a weekly basis,”. He added “How often do you need a commentary and digest of what has happened? Is it appropriate to provide that on an hourly basis, a daily basis, a weekly, a monthly basis? A quarterly basis? Weekly just feels right.” “That is why, generally speaking, weekend editions of quality newspapers or weekly magazines are holding up a bit better than weekday newspapers. News magazines are clearly doing very well. Circulations are fairly stable and they tend to have quite high subscription volumes and so on.”
Financial Times 19 September 2016
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on the war for content in broadcasting. Last week, public service broadcaster Channel 4 bought the rights to screen The Great British Bake Off, the UK’s most popular TV show, for a reported £75m over three years. The deal reflects how competitive the market for watchable programming has become. Toby reckons that Channel 4 should make a modest profit on its rumoured outlay if more than 5m viewers regularly watch the show.
The Guardian 14 September 2016
Toby was quoted in an article on the decision to move the popular show “Great British bake off” from the BBC to Channel 4. Toby said that even if Channel 4 drew less than half the audience that Bake Off had on the BBC, it would still prove financially beneficial. He estimated that advert and media buys would bring in about £3m per episode, with each series currently made up of 11 episodes. He says “if Bake Off gets even half the success on Channel 4 that it got on the BBC, it will more than cover itself,” adding that “Channel 4 are likely to charge premium rates in terms of airtime, in the region of £50,000 to £100,000 for 30-second slots, even if it just gets audiences of around 3 million, and if Bake Off draws in 5 or 6 million then that will be another step up. “It doesn’t have to get anything like the audience it had on BBC1 to be successful and make back the £25m it spent.”
The Times 2 September 2016
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on the BBC, ITV and other traditional broadcasters who will struggle to attract A-list stars if Netflix and the major streaming giants continue to outspend them on shows. Tom said that the streaming giants are still in their relative infancy and so are splashing out vast sums in a bid to outcompete traditional broadcasters. He added that, as younger viewers turned in increasing numbers to streaming services, terrestrial channels may start to target an older audience with their programming, catering to the ageing demographic of those who prefer traditional scheduled TV.
Further, he said that “what’s happening right now is that it is early days for streaming services and they are rushing to fill their arsenal with programming, you will see a lot of the major talent, the proper movie stars, on the streaming channels, as they are rushing to snap people up. If it’s a head-to-head money-wise [for the biggest names] then the traditional broadcasters will lose.” He added, however, that the current levels of spending from Netflix and Amazon on original series were unsustainable in the long term and that the BBC and ITV could still trade on the “cachet” and prestige of appearing in a flagship prime-time series on terrestrial TV. Tom explained that there is “a lot of life left” in traditional TV schedules, but added: “Watching linear TV is going down, mostly among younger age groups, where streaming is going up... So TV shows may be targeted at an even older demographic.”
Financial Times 18 August 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article which confirms Telegraph Media Group is not for sale rebuffing expressions of interest from potential buyers in the past six months. “The Telegraph is better placed than most. It has a large subscriber base and circulation seems reasonably robust. Newspapers, even great and profitable newspapers, are not quite the prized assets they once were, but the Telegraph is a powerful voice in the British political and cultural landscape.”
Financial Times 12 August 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the increase in sales for magazines dealing with current affairs which goes against the trend of decline in print circulation
Politico 11 August 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on British publishers, who are enjoying a Brexit bounce, as media sales and traffic are up. However, the question now is, how long will the Brexit sales spike last? Douglas said “Not everyone is so upbeat” adding that the outlook for U.K. publishers remains gloomy. For years, revenues from publishers’ print editions have been diminishing as readers and advertisers move to the internet. Despite building large audiences online, media companies have struggled to replace print income with digital advertising or subscriptions. Those long-term structural changes would’ve continued regardless of the referendum outcome, McCabe said. In fact, Enders Analysis is forecasting that, if anything, Brexit will probably make it worse, as the wider economy slows. Companies will be nervous about spending money on advertising, and the shift away from print will accelerate. In support to this Douglas said in an email that “Circulation growth and site traffic growth have been very encouraging, at times of crisis consumers go to trusted sources, and the aggregated levels of consumption and engagement through Brexit have evidently been very high”. “However, print circulation will of course return to the pattern of before Brexit very quickly. Consumer interest will not be sustained indefinitely. As important, the structural advertising change engulfing the news industry has continued throughout”. Moreover, in the first three months of this year, advertising in the print editions of the U.K.’s national newspapers fell by 16 percent, according to a closely-watched measure of spending published by the Advertising Association and advertising specialists Warc. Enders predicts newspapers’ revenues from print advertising will fall again by as much as 20 percent in 2016 and 2017, wiping out a huge chunk of the publishers’ incomes.
Bloomberg 11 August 2016
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the scandal at 21st Century Fox Inc. which gives James Murdoch a new chance for redemption. It’s been a year since Murdoch, assumed the role of chief executive officer at 21st Century Fox from his father Rupert and several more since he stepped down from a top job at the family’s other company, News Corp., over his handling of a phone-hacking scandal at the News of The World newspaper. Claire said “he was swift in response, it was not left to fester, there was no cover-up”, she added that “he is cutting loose on an old pal of his dad’s as fast as possible and in the right way.”
Business Insider UK 28 July 2016
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Guardian’s owner, Guardian Media Group (GMG) which reported a £8 million decline in revenue on Wednesday. Douglas told Radio 4 Media Show “One of the big and truly unexpected issues that The Guardian faces and indeed, is in a sense an existential long-term question for the entire news medium, is that online advertising is not growing at anything like the levels that one would have hoped for. The key issue here is that online display advertising has moved away from publishing services, particularly news sites, to social media sites. Facebook and Google are growing massively in market share."
Variety 27 July 2016
Francois Godard was quoted in an article on the strategic alliance between Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi, and Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset, which was left in the air Tuesday after Vivendi confirmed that it was backing out of an agreement to buy 100% of Mediaset’s loss-making pay TV business. Francois observed that Mediaset Premium’s operating profits as earnings before interest and taxes amounted to €115 million ($126.5 million) for 2015, and he suggested on April 18 that losses “would more than double through 2016 and beyond”, “the deal is positive for Mediaset but the benefits for Vivendi can only accrue long term”. He added “Mediaset needs this deal more than Vivendi. Vivendi, knowing that may have raised the stakes one notch too high”.
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.”