Tencent: gaming giant heads west

Tencent, by some counts the world’s most valuable media and entertainment company but still relatively unknown outside Asia, is riding games growth to global clout

The company offers a blueprint for successfully integrating media and entertainment companies, saving on overheads while retaining key talent and organisational culture

CMA issues provisional findings in Fox-Sky

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally found that Fox’s acquisition of Sky is against the public interest on media plurality grounds, although it could proceed with an appropriate remedy

The CMA found the merger would give the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) and family members “too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda”

The CMA now enters the challenging remedies phase. Fox could offer an Editorial Board for Sky News pending finalisation of Disney-Fox (by 2019). Third parties seem likely to continue to seek to prohibit the merger

Serie A’s 2018-21 auction morphs into telenovela

The Italian league, unhappy with broadcasters’ bids of €830m, are now holding talks with Spain’s Mediapro, who has offered €950m and would produce a channel to wholesale to all platforms

Mediapro’s bid faces challenging economics given the low potential for an OTT strategy and Sky’s exclusive possession of a sufficiently monetisable subscriber base

Ultimately, we expect Sky to continue its full coverage and to increase its outlay only if it gains more exclusive fixtures

Chinese online media platforms

Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) have built their leading market positions in Chinese online media on the back of the mobile revolution and an absence of foreign rivals

The big three’s rivalry in online advertising reflects a broader struggle over key gatekeeper roles in the Chinese online economy, albeit one shaped by state intervention

While benefiting from protectionism at home, BAT are weak in most foreign markets and links to the Chinese state may hamper international expansion, particularly in the US 

Bloomberg

26 January 2018 - 12:34pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Lachlan Murdoch and his role in the “new Fox”. Today, Lachlan is the subject of more speculation in media circles than he ever was before. While his father, now 86, has groomed him for the top job, Lachlan has never independently run anything as big and complicated as what is being billed as the new Fox. He now seems all but certain to assume the helm after his brother, current Fox CEO James Murdoch, sees through a $52.4 billion asset sale to Walt Disney Co. over the next 12 to 18 months. The question - for the global media and investors alike - is what will happen then. Claire said “It is very hard to judge him because he has not made major executive decisions. His capacities have not been tested as much as those of James”.

Digiday

25 January 2018 - 3:26pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Pickthall was quoted in an article on how The Guardian put itself on the path to profits. After two battle-weary years in which The Guardian cut costs and halved losses, the publisher is starting to turn a corner. Today, The Guardian, coming off a redesign, can confidently say it is on firmer footing than it has been in years. The Guardian has halved its operating losses compared to two years ago, now looking at breaking even by 2019. Perhaps most critically, it no longer relies on advertising for the majority of its revenue. Where others like The New York Times and The New Yorker have turned to the trusty paywall, the Guardian took a philanthropic route, asking readers for one-off donations and paid memberships. So far, that decision is paying off. Alice said “The Guardian has undoubtedly exceeded everyone’s expectations. In the long term, they need to find more ways to monetize their audience than just charity, but committed digital subscribers, not just supporters”.

The Drum

25 January 2018 - 3:26pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on how should marketers react to the death of Queen Elizabeth. The last time a monarch died, the detritus of war was still hanging over the country. Brands played an incredibly minor role in society compared to now and there is no evidence that any made mention of King George’s death at all. This time around, things will be very different – not just in terms of emotional reaction, but the way in which this reaction and the news itself will be communicated. The consensus is that Royal Warrant holder brands will react differently to those without a crest. It’s unlikely that campaigns from entire sectors will be pulled like they were following the news of Diana's death, however TV advertising will certainly be affected. Alice said “these are called special events in the history of the news and they displace ordinary programming and associated marketing messages. If the event is joyful, like a royal wedding, it's a boon for audiences and the advertisers that buy slots. If the event is sombre, it will cut out advertising as it's very hard to strike the right note. And audiences don't like interruptions anyway in these ceremonies."

Mirror

24 January 2018 - 10:22am -- Olga De Giovanni

Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on the rise of Netflix. This weed The US company’s stock market value topped $100billion (£71billion) this week as customer numbers soared to more than 117 million in over 190 countries – watching 140 million hours of TV shows and movies a day. Tom said “it’s quite remarkable it will have been just five years since Netflix released its first major original series. Back then, there were 30 million subscribers in the US and a million in the UK, and many questioned why big names would be making a TV show that would only screen on the internet. Now there are around 118 million subscribers worldwide and Netflix is set to spend up to £5.7billion on its library of content in 2018. To put it in perspective, the BBC last year had just £1.7billion to spend on its TV programmes”.

Financial Times

24 January 2018 - 10:21am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the Sky-Fox deal. The Competition and Markets Authority, the UK regulator scrutinising the latest deal, provisionally ruled on Tuesday that the offer by Mr Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for shares it does not own in Sky would give him too much influence in the UK media market. Analysts, however, still expect the deal to be approved. This is because of the remedies outlined by the CMA, which include the sale or divestiture of Sky News and “firewall” remedies that would keep management and control of Sky News separate from the Murdoch family. Claire agrees, and said “the CMA has fashioned something that can easily be removed. It’s a flexible set of proposals”.

Digiday

19 January 2018 - 10:25am -- Olga De Giovanni

Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on how Reuters is expanding its consumer business. The news giant, which has 250 staffers dedicated to consumer publishing globally, wants to modernize how it presents content on all 17 of its editions. So far, that has involved reorganizing thousands of articles into new topic channels such as The Future of Money, The Trump Effect, North Korea and Investigations. The publisher is testing this on the U.S. edition and plans to extend it internationally in the next six months. With these updates, Reuters hopes to give its users the chance to personalize their news feeds by selecting the most relevant topic channels for them. This method has worked well for the Reuters TV app — the first of its consumer products to feature personalized video news feeds. Joseph said “There’s a certain type of consumer for whom Reuters is a highly trusted news brand, so there could be an opportunity there. I can also understand the desire to diversify their business in the face of the financial pressures their B2B customers are under, but going further into consumer news provision is not the best way to escape a reliance on declining consumer news providers”.

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