Claire Enders was quoted in an article on 21st Century Fox decision to drop the feed of its US news channel, Fox News, from the Sky satellite platform. Fox said that it was pulling the network because of its small audience in a move that could also help address the government’s concerns about its 11.7 billion-pound ($15.1 billion) acquisition of Sky Plc, Britain’s largest pay-TV provider. Claire said “it’s an improvement for the bid, for sure. I don’t find it remotely surprising as a commercial decision”.
Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on the English Football Leagues broadcasting rights; specifically the need for the EFL to negotiate a better deal with Sky Plc and Channel Five. “Sky will want to retain as many football rights as it can while it pulls back in other sports such as tennis" said Julian Aquilina, a television analyst at Enders Analysis. “Even though the EFL does not attract the same interest as the Premier League, there are plenty of people who live in towns without a Premier League club who would subscribe to watch their team on television."
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on how magazines can still play an important role in many brands’ media mix, and advertisers and publishers are finding new ways of working together. Douglas believes this shift is due to a sentiment change among advertisers across all sectors, who prefer “shinier” digital platforms. Digital ad spend grew 13.4% in 2016 to £10.3bn. “In digital, magazines have no particular advantage like they have in print. This is also a manifestation of a very broad shift to more short-termist marketing. The point of a lot of magazine advertising is that it’s highly visual, brand marketing, whereas what’s replacing that spend is direct response advertising online,” he says.
UK residential communications market revenue growth bounced up to 3.6% in Q2, a full 1.4ppt improvement on the previous quarter and reversing the downwards trend of the previous two quarters. However, this was entirely driven by price rises at BT and Sky, with the ongoing market volume growth decline continuing at pace
Voice, and the smart virtual assistants that power voice interfaces, will be a key transformative force over the next five years
Any business providing content or services via digital means is potentially affected, as these virtual assistants promise a single front end for all digital services, representing an extraordinary concentration of control over discovery, delivery and data
Media businesses will clearly be affected. But there is an opportunity for them right now to influence the assistant providers to their advantage, a window that will not stay open forever
Facebook content shares suggest that misinformation had broad reach during both US and UK political campaigns, but outright fake news was rare, particularly in the UK
Mis- and disinformation by both established and new publishers was distributed on Facebook, but monetisation took place predominantly off-site, and content was distributed by a wide range of search and social platforms
Channel 4 revenues and content spend hit record levels in 2016, but the company faces a declining TV advertising market in 2017 due to a weaker economy and competition
The company’s ability to deliver its unique remit to audiences and producers is also under pressure from Government proposals to move staff outside London
Because Channel 4 can only commission, a move will not stimulate a creative cluster. Risks to the remit include the loss of talent and lower content spend due to higher opex
Virgin Media’s subscriber figures in Q2 were a little mixed, with total homes and broadband figures weaker than a year earlier, but pay TV much stronger. ARPU growth fell though, largely due to price increase timing effects, leading to a modest dip in revenue growth
Project Lightning premises passed during the quarter rose to 127k, making at least some progress towards upping its run-rate after changing its roll-out management team and approach, the company declined to give indications of how this will evolve
Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the Fox/Sky deal. Last week, culture secretary Karen Bradley again postponed calling in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to scrutinise the deal, asking media regulator Ofcom to further examine the Murdoch’s and their adherence to broadcasting standards. Bradley has said she intends to call in the competition regulator to scrutinise media plurality issues (as the deal would see the Murdoch’s controlling UK assets ranging from Sky News to the Sun and Times newspapers), but has not made up her mind about whether to ask it to also look at broadcasting standards issues.
Alice said that Fox will not be overly concerned at the latest extension. Bradley is widely expected to leave the decision until after parliament returns from summer recess on 5 September. She added “Fox will … feel the CMA will give a fairer, depoliticised hearing. For Bradley it is about additional legal cover. She is taking very seriously the threat of a judicial review. She is being risk-averse, and the political environment [with no Tory majority] is unfavourable. She is being cautious”.
Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on Walt Disney’s plans to end their current deal with Netflix. Tom said "This isn't surprising, Disney has experimented with a standalone service in the UK (which appears to be struggling with less than 100k subs) and in China (which was pulled by the regulators after less than five months) and are making further investment into streaming provider BAM Tech. As one of the world's most-loved brands it will certainly think that it can go alone. The longer it waits the harder it will be to crack a US market that is in the tail-end of nascency. The last couple of years have seen content providers and content producers becoming increasingly wary of Netflix, with sentiments that deals do not adequately reward successful shows or that Netflix has used their acquired content to climb to ascendency, at the expense of their own platforms/channels. As a result, Netflix is bolstering its original productions and commissions, as it is seen as a more efficient spend and also out of necessity. We don't really know what people watch on Netflix but contrary to disproportionate attention paid by the press and the company itself, viewers likely prize films and TV shows from third parties. As these become a diminishing percentage of Netflix's worldwide libraries, the desirability of its original content will be placed under increasing scrutiny."