Joseph Evans was quoted in an article on IGTV, the longer-form, vertical video service, which will work as a bolt-on feature to Instagram as well as having a standalone app of its own, which is enormously important to parent company Facebook. Joseph said “What Facebook has found is that pre-roll ads don’t work all that well for short videos because people just scroll on and don’t bother watching them. Short videos don’t have any space to have a mid-roll ad. A post-roll ad is a non-starter because people just scroll away. So, what you need if you want to video ad inventory is you need longer videos.”
Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on The Guardian, News UK and the Telegraph that are looking to rival Facebook and Google with the launch of a joint ad platform that will allow advertisers to directly access and buy data and inventories. Douglas said that the venture is significant because it now offers advertisers and agencies a quality environment, reach and great targeting all in one place. He said “It’s not that Facebook can’t offer some of that but it’s a differentiated position because it’s equally easy to use and has a comparable scale. The downside is that it doesn’t necessarily have the same amount of time being spent on it. The upside is that it’s a quality environment that brands want to be associated with. This is a stepping stone in a journey to try and reclaim advertising for quality content in digital”.
Italy’s top football league awarded Sky the broadcasting rights to seven games per week from August 2018 until May 2021 for €780 million per year, up €208 million. UK-based Perform will carry three games for €193 million. Mediaset exits the market, freeing Sky from price competition
Online advertising became the majority of all UK ad spend last year, in step with China but ahead of all other major markets.
Direct response has further increased its share to 54% of UK ad spend, fuelled by the self-serve platforms of Google, Facebook and Amazon, while content media nets just 11% of the online advertising pot.
Gill Hind was quoted in an article on the British free television channels, grouped in Digital UK - the BBC, the public media; ITV, the British TF1; and Channel 4, a semi-public channel to resist the competition of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. They have decided to commit to investing an additional £ 125m over five years in Freeview, their common platform for DTT television access. While Freeview already reaches more than 11 million UK households who primarily access television through this channel and benefit from an elaborate program guide, the idea is that this interface will gradually provide all the TV viewing features, from linear to catch-up television. Gill said "Started in 2002, Freeview is a key element of the strategy of British free channels, which still represent 70% of the audience, to adapt to new forms of television consumption".
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on the $85bn (£64bn) takeover of Game of Thrones maker Time Warner by the telecoms colossus AT&T. The Department of Justice (DoJ) has sued to block the deal, claiming the combination of a major Hollywood studio and America’s biggest telecoms operator would stifle innovation and mean higher bills for consumers. The Murdoch family, having failed in 2014 with their own bid for Time Warner because of disagreements overvaluation, are selling up. Disney, already Hollywood’s most powerful studio thanks to the success of Pixar, the Marvel films and return of Star Wars, has agreed to buy most of 21st Century Fox for $52bn in shares. Claire said "There is a range of potential outcomes tomorrow. A middle path seems most likely. Leon could send AT&T and the DoJ to negotiate remedies, or he could force it to spin off a network or two. But this is a sensible person, and he has allowed a deal like this before, with conditions. "Come what may Comcast is going to be sharpening its pencil for a Fox bid."
UK residential communications market revenue growth strengthened in Q1, but this was entirely driven by an overlapping price increase from BT, and the decline in market volume growth continues
Continued pressure on both subscriber volume growth and ARPU has led to diverging strategies, with most operators focused on sustaining ARPU, but TalkTalk chasing volumes at the low end, with the former approach currently proving more successful
Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Gavin Patterson’s departure from BT. The Group abruptly pushed out Chief Executive Officer Gavin Patterson after the board and investors lost faith in his turnaround plan for the former phone monopoly. Patterson will step down later this year when a successor is in place, likely in the second half, BT said in a statement Friday. Mr Patterson’s position had been in question outside the boardroom since an Italian accounting scandal blew up 18 months ago, with the company then beset by profit warnings and record fines, and amid questions over its investment in sports and ability to deal with an unhappy national regulator. Claire joked that he might make a suitable candidate to replace Richard Scudamore as head of the Premier League given the amount of BT money he had spent on content rights. She said “No one has been more generous to football than Gavin Patterson”.
The BBC is concerned with the performance of the iPlayer, handicapped by its inability to monetise its content. Nevertheless, as it moves towards an all-IP future, it is experimenting with new content strategies
Data from Digital-i shows that the iPlayer's Christmas Boxsets brought 360,000 unique viewers/week to the BBC portfolio; an audience which skewed encouragingly young
The latest auction of live Premier League broadcast rights commencing in 2019/20 has concluded at last, with three different winners for the first time
The total sum has not been confirmed, but it looks to be down c. 10% from the previous auction at £1.55 billion per season—still substantial, and not far off the BBC’s entire TV content budget
As we predicted, Sky and BT remain dominant, winning 180 of the 200 games per season, whilst new entrant Amazon picked up one of the leftover packages at what looks to be a very low price