Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the announcement by Karen Bradley, the UK culture secretary, on the Sky/Fox bid. Ms Bradley said that she was minded to widen a referral to regulators about the £11.7bn deal, to include scrutiny of corporate governance controls at Fox News. Ms Bradley raised new concerns about the transaction, overruling a recommendation from Ofcom, the media watchdog, that regulators consider only the deal’s impact on the UK media market. Claire said “Ofcom hasn’t changed its mind. “There is no new news, but the secretary of state has decided to go for the safest option to protect her from a judicial review. This shows the government just needs a quiet time”.
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Fox’s Sky bid. Today in parliament, the UK Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said she is minded to refer 21st Century Fox’s bid to seize full control of Sky to the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct a months-long investigation into Fox’s commitment to broadcasting standards, in addition to the widely expected review over whether the deal would give the Murdoch’s too much influence over U.K. media. The scope of the planned CMA referral surprised investors, given Bradley had initially said she was inclined to confine the review to questions of media-influence. Alice said “the direction of the political winds in the U.K. are less favourable every day with Labour rising. Who knows what the climate will be like by the time the CMA reports in April 2018 if not June 2018”.
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Express, once the best-selling newspaper in the world, which could be heading for new ownership. On Friday, Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, as well as 150 local UK titles, said it was in exclusive talks to acquire the Express and Star newspapers, along with the magazine assets owned by Mr Desmond’s parent company, Northern and Shell. Although both sides stressed that a deal is still some way off, Trinity’s renewed interest — the two sides tried but failed to clinch a deal back in 2015 — presents Mr Desmond, 65, with the opportunity to bail out of the rapidly shrinking newspaper business. Throughout Mr Desmond’s time in charge, the Express group has posted healthy profits. But during his ownership, the daily newspaper has been eclipsed by rival the Daily Mail, with circulation falling from more than 1m at the time of Mr Desmond’s takeover in 2000, to just below 400,000 today. Douglas said “every publisher has had to make cuts over the past few years. But the Express group has been more ruthless than most”.
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on last Saturday’s launch of the X Factor, which had the lowest ratings for a debut episode since it first aired in 2004. Tom said “contest formats have had remarkable longevity, and it’s natural that they’re going to tail off. I wouldn’t say it’s a tired format, but it is becoming less interesting. Audiences had become overexposed to such shows”. He added “there’s so many variations of the same theme, and there’s probably the feeling that a lot of the talent has already been mined. There’s only so many ‘we found a person who can sing who we didn’t think could sing’ stories you can have”. Tom said there had been some noticeable failures in the genre recently, for example, Gary Barlow’s Let it Shine, which the BBC canned after just one season. “It becomes saturated. There’s a hit and then everybody commissions stuff which is almost identical, and it reaches a tipping point. He continues “what we call appointment viewing – what people sit down to watch – has moved on to shows like Bake Off and others outside of the musical space”.
For the second consecutive year, the global recorded music industry body IFPI reported rising trade revenues, growing 5.9% to reach $15.6 billion in 2016
Our forecasts supplement IFPI’s trade revenue data with richer national-level consumer expenditure data from local bodies in core markets, and project CAGR of 2.3% to 2021, tapering off as streaming approaches maturity
Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on the growing numbers of people using mobile devices to access social media or watch films and popular television boxed sets. Accordingly, Enders Analysis research published yesterday showed that for the first time more than half of the total number of minutes spent online by Britons is via mobile devices, with more than 36 million people spending an average of two hours accessing the internet on their phones or tablets every day. Matti said that bigger screens, the availability of faster and better connections and the rising popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime were helping to drive higher levels of smartphone use. He added that the rising level of smartphone penetration was being driven further by “changing attitudes” towards banking, ecommerce and dealing with local government. Increasingly, this was encouraging people to perform everyday tasks online that previously they would have done manually. “It’s only logical that for people who don’t need a big screen, they will gradually shift towards mobile only”.
With smartphones in the pockets of 3/4 of the UK population, and accounting for over half of all online minutes, the mobile revolution is in its final stages, allowing us to survey its impact
As the number of social media users continues growing, untapped older demographics and Instagram help the Facebook suite of apps grow in the UK, but Snapchat is the social media app of choice for UK teens
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on News UK, which has launched a startup incubator to unearth new sources of revenue. The News UK startup Lab will take up to six small companies and host them in a month-long incubator programme starting in October. Douglas suggested that at a time when news businesses are structurally challenged with revenues certain to decline, tangential innovations are "essential", and that a startup incubator removed from the core business "strikes the right balance of business opportunity and capital risk". He added, "Publishers also have limited experience of rapid innovation, so an in-house unit would not be the right way to approach it. In any case there is also already too much pressure on the cost base of news operations, and risks being a management distraction. We will see more of these structures in the future".
Alice Pickthall was quoted in an article on Condé Nast’s Ars Technica struggles in UK expansion. The magazine publisher, which debuted the technology-focused site in the U.K. two years ago, has all but ceased its U.K. operations. Launching a digital-only media brand is tough, and Condé Nast Britain isn’t the only publisher to find that brands successful in their original markets — like Ars Technica in the U.S. — aren’t guaranteed longevity in foreign markets. Alice said “Ars Technica is online-only in an increasingly challenging digital marketplace for magazine brands. Condé Nast may seek to reshuffle investment toward their stronger consumer brands, such as Wired, which is a similar proposition”.
Toby Syfret was quoted in an article on 21st Century Fox decision to stop airing Fox News in the UK. Toby said "timing of the announcement is, of course, the interesting feature”, highlighting that Fox, of course, said the decision to end the U.K. feed of Fox News was purely a business decision. He added "however much 21st Century Fox (or the Murdochs) may play down the issue and insist the decision has nothing to do with the takeover bid, friends, the detached and critics alike cannot but make the connection. But the decision does make sense from a commercial perspective”. Asked what it means for the Sky deal, Toby says "It cannot harm the bid - indeed, [it] may help a little – from the regulatory perspective regarding the question of broadcasting standards; though I cannot see it affecting the plurality issue and related competition concerns".