Google's golden age of search

Google has beaten Facebook in mobile revenue growth, and competes successfully in retail search with Amazon

Intelligent user interfaces based on machine learning have become a core competitive strength, with social and messaging the main remaining weak points

Rising political pressure due to Google’s growing scale and influence is now a bigger concern than commercial risk, as the threat of regulatory intervention limits strategic options in partnerships, M&A and integration

21CF/Sky transaction heads to the CMA

21CF’s bid for 100% ownership of Sky has been referred for a Phase 2 investigation to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which will decide by 6 March 2018

Third parties Avaaz and Ed Miliband MP complain of the influence of the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) and family members over the UK’s news agenda and political process 

A remedy could insulate Sky News from this influence. The offer of a Sky News Editorial Board at Phase 1 was refused. Third parties will ensure the debate in Phase 2 is very lively

The National

19 October 2017 - 10:38am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on the proposed takeover of satellite TV giant Sky by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. Ten months since Fox’s initial offer, spearheaded by Rupert Murdoch and his son James, the conglomerate is still waiting. Although the European Commission gave the deal its blessing back in April, the British government is yet to sign off on it, after the UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation last week. The question now is, will the deal go through?. Alice believes that it will be approved, albeit with conditions. She said “opponents say Mr Murdoch already exercises too much control. How can we hand him more?. But there is an obvious remedy here. It’s called a buffer between the Murdoch family trust and Sky News … including creating a fully independent editorial board, and strict editorial guidelines. Indeed, that’s what 21st Century Fox offered to Ofcom already”. As for criticism about the level of government scrutiny over the deal, Alice said “I think [the scrutiny] is abso¬lutely fair enough, that’s the whole purpose of having a regime. What we hope is that we have safeguards in the system, that in the media merger regime work. No one is afraid of it. What they’re afraid of is the reverse – that there is no scrutiny, that there are no criteria, and that it becomes a free-for-all, where a deal could be set aside simply because someone decides they don’t like Mr Murdoch. That’s not reason enough to turn down this transaction.”

Sky Q1 2017/18 results: Solid quarter, but challenges remain

Sky made a strong start to fiscal 2018, with improved customer net adds across each of its markets versus the previous quarter, as well as group revenue growth at 5%

Operating profits switched back to growth, after the negative Premier League effect annualised out, with it now settled at the full cost of £1.4 billion per year. EBITDA growth hit 11%, or 15% excluding the effect of UK mobile and the Spanish OTT launch


13 October 2017 - 10:18am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Pickthall was quoted in an article on Politico, which is using short-term email newsletters to test the ground for further expansion in Europe. The editorial package, called Global Policy Lab, runs in five-week bursts in Germany, France and the U.K. Alice said that the Global Policy Lab is “a great way to increase Politico Europe’s visibility and reputation at relatively low cost — helped by the GE title sponsorship — by getting access to big players in the business policy world. Ultimately, Politico will be seeking to grow its paid-for news services, Politico Pro, and the Global Policy Lab is another means to demonstrate high-quality and in-depth journalism”.


12 October 2017 - 3:44pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Caspar Stewart was quoted in an article on Sky viewing figures for the Premier League. Sky has drawn an average of 819,000 TV viewers per match since the season began in August, up 8 percent over a year earlier, according to data compiled by Enders Analysis. Changes in viewing behavior are causing broadcasters to focus more on social media and selling access to apps and single game passes to spur interest, rather than restricting content to monthly TV subscribers. On Thursday, Sky reported a 12 percent rise in pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment purchases in its fiscal first quarter. Caspar said that the Premier League’s encouraging early figures might indicate that recent attempts to crack down on piracy are having an impact. Adding that “they always tend to bring in the biggest audiences”.

Business of Fashion

12 October 2017 - 3:41pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on print magazines, which are turning their front covers into ads, as advertisers are allocating more and more of their advertising budgets to digital. As far back as 2014 major publishing companies from Time Inc to Hearst Magazines have been experimenting with cover advertisements. Douglas said “this would’ve been unthinkable a number of years ago but it’s become such a lucrative option and clearly a very potent one from the perspective of the advertisers to be so visible and so memorable. He added that “there is a long-term risk to these things, the independence of the media brand is more likely to be tarnished even if subliminally consumers associate media brands with advertising”. He continues “in many ways the media brands in a position not to do that, and invest in their independence, will do better in the long term. It is innovative but what it tells you is, in order to sustain business to business advertising, they are having to make sacrifices and difficult decisions”.


11 October 2017 - 12:29pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Enders was quoted in an article on Sky, which is facing pressure from a prominent business lobby group to remove James Murdoch as chairman if a majority of independent shareholders oppose his leadership at the U.K. pay-TV provider’s annual meeting on Thursday. The Murdoch family, led by 86-year-old billionaire Rupert Murdoch, is already facing questions about its oversight of the Fox News network in the U.S. and its newspapers in the U.K. On Thursday, the focus will be on their handling of the bid itself, which came in December 2016, only months after James Murdoch resumed the role of Sky chairman. Alice said “this is a skirmish that crops up time and time again. I’m a little less convinced. This is a family that owns basically 40 percent of this company and it’s a little hard to insist that there not be a family member involved in the management.”

News and Facebook

Even though Facebook is not a producer of news, 6.5 million UK internet users claim to mainly source their news from the platform. Posts and shares by friends in the user's network, in the context of Facebook's algorithm, determine the order of stories in the personalised News Feed, removing the control of the news agenda that publishers have for their websites

Supply of news in the UK

Since Communications Act 2003, the number of national news outlets supplied on broadcast and in print has been stable. Adoption of multi-channel TV, supported by Freeview, has augmented the number of homes accessing on a free-to-air basis five "all news" channels (BBC News, BBC Parliament, Sky News, CNN, Russia Today), with many more all news channels served on pay-TV platforms


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