UK mobile market Q1 2018: Primed for revenue acceleration

Service revenue growth for the UK mobile market improved in the first quarter of the year, lifting from 1.0% to 1.2%. There was an easing of the EU roaming regulatory impact helping growth improve, but the SIM-only drag likely grew to counteract this, suggesting a modest underlying improvement overall

We expect continued market growth improvement in the coming year due to a number of tailwinds, namely annual price rises, the arrival of IFRS 15, and the EU roaming impact dropping out

the Guardian

4 June 2018 - 9:55am -- Olga De Giovanni

Claire Enders was quoted in an article on Sir Martin Sorrell, who is plotting his return. Last week, he announced the reverse takeover of another small listed vehicle – to be renamed S4 Capital in reference to four generations of the Sorrell family – fronting £40m of his own money to rebuild his empire. Claire says that like these other business leaders, whether he succeeds or fails, Sorrell cannot step back “He cannot change his character and be someone who retires: it is not his way”. She adds “There are 33 years [spent at the helm of WPP] he can’t have again – and whether he has the same judgment is another matter – but Sorrell is a workaholic and incredibly motivated by achievement”. Claire points out that in the media industry, gerontocracies are strikingly common: Rupert Murdoch is 87, Liberty Global owner John Malone is 77, serial entrepreneur Barry Diller is 76 and Viacom’s Sumner Redstone, aged 95, is still hanging in there – albeit leaning heavily on his daughter Shari. With Sorrell’s telephone book, she reckons few would bet against him. “He has fantastic contacts with every major chief executive on the planet: he can get a meeting with anyone,” she says. “If anyone can build a business, he can”. Claire believes that Sorrell may even look to make the ultimate final deal – bidding for parts of the WPP empire that he created, such as data business Kantar.

Deadline

4 June 2018 - 9:54am -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on Canal Plus’ loss of the rights to Ligue 1 soccer to Spain’s Chinese-backed Mediapro for the 2020-2024 seasons. Canal’s Chairman of the Managing Board Maxime Saada told Europe 1, “I’m disappointed not to have won the rights. But at these prices, it’s completely unreasonable. It was impossible for us to wager such sums and I think it’s impossible for anyone”. François agrees, “They were right to not be bulldozed into overbidding”. He added “Mediapro is making a one-way bet: They don’t have to pay the league anything until 2020. If they manage to sign up Canal Plus, Orange or SFR and the maths add up, they will make money. If they don’t, they can withdraw like they have just done in Italy, by failing to produce the bank guarantees required by their contract. My expectation is that Mediapro will never pay the league the money they promised”.

Variety

4 June 2018 - 9:53am -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on Vivendi, who lost the French Premier League soccer rights. In what analyst, François describes as “the biggest shock to the French broadcasting system in a generation,” Spain’s Mediapro outbid Vivendi subsidiary Canal Plus, Europe’s second-biggest pay-TV player, for rights to French Premier League soccer matches for 2020-24. On Wednesday, the day after the auction, Vivendi stock plunged 3.64% by market close. It clawed back 0.56% by mid-morning Thursday, but analyst sentiment looks to be that Canal Plus now has a problem. The only question is how large.

News brands and reader subscriptions

Bleak prospects for digital advertising leave no choice to news publishers but to generate revenue from readers, and the lack of widespread frictionless micropayment options means there is no alternative to subscription — the vast majority of western ‘quality’ newspapers have rolled out paywalls; meters and registrations are the most promising approaches

Hitting targets, but pushing too hard? TalkTalk Group Q4 2017/18 results

TalkTalk hit both its subscriber and EBITDA targets for 2017/18, but Q4 contained some worrying trends including core consumer revenue in decline despite strong subscriber growth, with strong business revenue growth compensating

It held fast on guidance for 2018/19, although the 15% target underlying EBITDA growth is largely driven by regulated cost cuts, and revenue growth may be (again) achieved through the business side, which will be purely wholesale following the sale of its direct business customer base

Bloomberg

30 May 2018 - 10:22am -- Olga De Giovanni

François Godard was quoted in an article on Vivendi, the pay-television channel, which lost its three-decade hold on the broadcasting rights to French soccer, a major upset for the media company as a Chinese-backed competitor and other newcomers bid up prices by 60 percent. Mediapro, a Spanish TV and film producer, won the rights to three of the main live packages for four seasons starting in mid-2020 and will create a sports channel to show the matches, the League of Professional Football said late Tuesday. Vivendi shares fell the most in more than three months. François said it’s “one more strategic defeat” for Vivendi after Vincent Bollore’s French media conglomerate lost control of Telecom Italia SpA’s board to activist Elliott Management Corp. He added, “Canal+ will see its position as the gateway to all the best content on TV downgraded to that of one supplier amongst others”. He said Mediapro’s bid was “completely irrational” and that the company won’t be able to recoup its investment. “To me, this auction is another instance of football being clever enough to trap a new ingenuous rich investor -- after the telecoms, the Qataris, now come the Chinese”.

AV ad measurement – The JICs saw puzzles coming, complete with missing pieces

Technology has brought both capability and complexity to audience measurement. Joint Industry Committees (JICs) face the twin-headed problem of measuring the online versions of existing media, as well as a raft of new online media and formats across a range of devices

While JICs wrestle with discrete media, cross-media measurement is a melee of methodologies across platforms, devices and companies. The operational reality is an abundance of metrics – including the incompatible and unsuitable – but with crucial pieces missing, such as universal online currencies

The Times

29 May 2018 - 1:02pm -- Olga De Giovanni

Douglas McCabe was quoted in an article on Jeff Bezos, whom after his success in taking The Washington Post global is rumoured to be looking at ways to add to his publishing portfolio. Under the Amazon founder’s direction, the Post has been transformed from a local newspaper fixated on Capitol Hill skulduggery to a national heavyweight with more than 1m digital subscribers. If the rumour mill is to be believed, the 54-year-old is eyeing further acquisitions in the publishing sphere. Douglas said “Amazon has a forensic attention to detail on getting the right service for consumers. Bezos has applied the same rationale to The Washington Post”. He added, “this industry spent 20 years teaching everyone in the world that news should be free. The truth is, readers are smarter than that. They know high-quality journalism is expensive to produce and they are willing to pay for it, but you have to ask them”.

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