TV platform forecasts to 2022: stability rules

Despite significant changes in people’s video viewing habits over the last few years, the TV platform landscape has appeared to reach an equilibrium

We expect pay-TV to retain its utility status for most existing customers. At the margins, movement from Sky and Virgin Media to free-to-air or pay-lite services will be mitigated by population growth

The excitable growth phases for Netflix and Amazon are likely to be over, but they have carved out prominent positions in the market. Meanwhile, the uncomplicated allure of free TV remains strong for half the UK


6 July 2018 - 5:28pm -- Claire O'Brien

Julian Aquilina was quoted in an article on the anticipated viewing figures for England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden. 24.4m people tuned into ITV for England’s last-sixteen against Columbia. Julian remarked that “these are very, very big numbers, figures that are not far off the top TV programmes ever, so in that sense it is particularly surprising. It shows that people still love these really big live events that bring shared experiences and there’s nothing quite like the World Cup to bring the whole nation together. When it comes to Sweden people will want to be part of that,” and viewing figures may rise. Julian said “It’s on at the weekend, it’s in the middle of the day, and while that could mean figures go either way, people are more likely to be at home to turn the football on.”

The Guardian

6 July 2018 - 3:55pm -- Claire O'Brien

Claire Enders was quoted in an article contemplating the prospects of former Chief Executive of WPP Sir Martin Sorrell, and his new company, S4 Capital. His former employer has already issued a legal threat if he pursues a take-over bid for Media Monkeys, and sceptics argue his personal reputation will inhibit him. However, he has already managed to attract £11m from investors, including Schroders and Lord Rothschild. Claire was quoted saying “he has certainly got a lot of mojo. That matters in the real world and he has been very rapid and aggressive in defending his reputation. People admire that. Do people care he is a bully, no. Most people have encountered that. He does have a good reputation for creating businesses. People accept these flaws, as long as there is no wrongdoing.”

Europe's Creative Hubs Update 2018

This third edition of Europe's Creative Hubs, produced on behalf of Bertelsmann, highlights the challenges of the digital age for enterprises of the creative industries of France, Germany and the UK from new consumer behaviours and the advent of new competitors and new forms of competition for users and customers from tech giants, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix.

Daily Mail

5 July 2018 - 4:43pm -- Claire O'Brien

Tom Harrington was quoted in an article on the launch of Amazon’s free, ad-funded TV channels. This launch represents a threat to commercial broadcasters and their domination of the TV advertising market. Tom explained that 'Amazon has offered its channels service for a while but what this would do is expand their offering. They will likely be looking to strike more partnerships across Europe with free-to-air broadcasters. The next obvious step would be for Amazon to then deal with the advertising end of things, selling the ads that appear alongside content that appears on Prime. But broadcasters like ITV, the BBC and Channel 4 are very worried about the growth of Amazon and Netflix and they will not want to run the risk of giving up their relationships with advertisers. I imagine they will be reticent about the prospect of any deals like that, even though it could be easy money at a time when revenues are under pressure.'

Digiday UK

5 July 2018 - 12:39pm -- Claire O'Brien

Matti Littunen was quoted in an article on Amazon’s pay TV expansion in Europe. Having previously relied on monthly subscriptions, Amazon are now developing free and advertising-funded channels. Though this, alongside their $5 billion budget for increasing video content, should bring in audiences from both traditional TV and over the top services, they may face difficulty attracting U.K. and European broadcasters, who are reluctant to hand power to digital platforms. Matti warned that ‘For most European broadcasters the core free-to-air business is still relatively robust, supplemented by growing video-on-demand ad revenue from their own over-the-top services. They are much less desperate than publishers to jump at every partnership opportunity. The deal would have to be very sweet in terms of promotion of content, revenue share and transparency. No one wants to strengthen Amazon’s gatekeeper position any further.’ Matti also added that ‘even the broadcasters who are fine to partner with the U.S. platforms on subscriptions are hesitant to give up ad inventory.’

Financial Times

4 July 2018 - 12:23pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on the Telegraph Media Group’s 32% dip in operating profits which comes in face of declining print advertising. Nick Hugh, TMG’s Chief Executive since summer 2017, plans to reverse this decline by through registration. He aims to have 10m registered users and a target of 3m by the end of the 2018 fiscal year. Douglas stated that “At one level no one wants to embrace a big profit decline, but on the other hand it does reflect a strategic investment in journalism which looks sensible, as does the focus on membership and subscriptions.”

BBC News

4 July 2018 - 11:08am -- Olga De Giovanni

Alice Pickthall was quoted in an article on the Telegraph Media Group profits, which halved last year as revenues from print advertising and circulation fell by 9%. The publisher of the Daily Telegraph and its Sunday stablemate said pre-tax profits fell from £27.1m in 2016 to £13.7m last year. Operating profit fell £11.5m to £21m, which the statement said reflected a £10m investment in "journalism, data and technology ... we anticipate revenue to stabilise in 2018/2019 with profits to follow". Alice said the Telegraph's digital push would not make up for the decline in print revenues in the short term but was a necessary move given the sliding sales of the papers.


4 July 2018 - 10:58am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Disney, which launches its own OTT service next year. Disney has bought the necessary technical expertise by acquiring control of streaming specialists BAM Tech in a multi-billion deal, and recently launched a sports service ESPN+ in the US following on from Disney Life in the UK. Disney will not try to match Netflix for volume but will offer four to five original series and a similar number of movies such as Toy Story 4 and the sequels to Frozen and The Lion King. Claire believes that the paramount OTT battlefield will be in North America and rollout launches elsewhere will come later. As has been previously announced Disney will stop licencing content to Netflix in the US from next year. She added “Disney told me they had no plans to cease licencing Netflix outside North America for the foreseeable future. I asked them, ‘surely you are not planning to do one size fits all are you?’ And the answer was, ‘no we are not’”. Enders believes that the OTT innovation is essential for the saturated, cord-cutting US market but that outside the US where cord-cutting is not an issue, it is more important to protect, and grow, the pay TV business without risk of cannibalisation probably at least for another five years.

Virtual Reality in 2018: Ready Player None?

Yet another annual hype cycle in 2018 can’t hide a tepid consumer appetite for all VR platforms and heavy weather for the industry as a whole

The launch of Oculus GO, a standalone device at an attractive price, is a milestone for VR; nevertheless, even Facebook remains worried about reach and the state of the industry

Mobile AR is still a strategic focus for Google and Apple, producing diverse applications instead of just games, but new headsets from Microsoft and Magic Leap which promise advanced MR experiences have no launch dates


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