Publications

Format: Jun 2015
Sector(s) Datesort ascending
TalkTalk Group Q4 2014/15 results: Steady underlying growth

TalkTalk accelerated subscriber and revenue growth in the March quarter, but stripping out the effect of acquisitions we estimate that organic growth was roughly in line with the previous quarter

Its EBITDA grew 15% for the 2014/15 financial year, but margin expansion reversed in H2, with lower gross margin and higher broadband marketing costs causing the damage

The company’s 25% EBITDA margin target in 2016/17 continues to look challenging, but continued strong revenue growth and some margin expansion looks likely

  • TalkTalk
Fixed Line, Telecoms 29 May 2015
UKTV bucking the viewing trends - 2014 results

UKTV 2014 results show a 2% increase in total revenues and a 10% year-on-year increase in EBITDA to £74.1 million, though the costs associated with the launch of Drama in 2013 will have contributed to the higher EBITDA increase

The 2% total revenue increase is surprisingly low, since we would have expected a circa 8-9% increase in UKTV’s main advertising revenue stream in 2014 due to a 5.4% increase in total TV NAR on top of a 2.9% growth in UKTV adult SOCI during 2013, with the lagged revenue benefits accruing in 2014

Whilst the outlook for 2015 appears very promising, the focus is now on investment in content, above all on new commissions, as a driver of revenue and audience share now that the factors behind UKTV’s successful rise since the Freeview launch in 2002 have largely played out

  • UKTV
Media, TV, UK Media 29 May 2015
Virgin Media Q1 2015 results: A pause in momentum

Virgin Media’s subscriber trends were a little weak in Q1 compared to previous trends, with intense promotional activity from competitors hurting, but it still expanded its base

ARPU was also relatively weak due to various VAT and pricing changes, but it still grew, leading to cable revenue growth of 3% versus 4% in the previous quarter, and OCF growth of 5% versus 9% in the previous quarter

This growth level is likely to accelerate over the year as subscriber momentum improves and one-off effects annualise out, with the benefits of footprint extension mainly impacting from 2016

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 27 May 2015
Future of the BBC - no immediate need for the blues

With both the current Royal Charter and licence fee settlement expiring in the next two years, press headlines proclaim the BBC has much to fear from the new Conservative government

Having read through the Culture, Media and Sport Committee's recent "Future of the BBC" report, which was led by the newly-appointed Culture Secretary, we do not share the same view

However, any reduction in BBC funding is likely to lead to further tightening of TV and radio programming budgets, with far reaching consequences across the entire UK creative sector

  • BBC
Media, Public Policy, TV 20 May 2015
BT Q4 2014/15 results: Revenue a bit weak, fibre great

BT had a somewhat mixed March quarter, with growth in consumer still strong but weaker than before, growth in UK corporate weak and even weaker than before, but fibre growth re-accelerating and cost-cutting very strong

The company is still well on track, with 2015/16 revenue guidance reflecting fibre-driven consumer growth countered by UK corporate weakness, and EBITDA guidance reflecting strong cost-cutting partially mitigated by extra football rights costs

Operationally the next few months will likely be dominated by the launch of BT’s Champions League coverage and associated marketing, with various regulatory processes keeping the company busy at the strategic level

  • BT
Fixed Line, Telecoms 19 May 2015
Video games: buoyant year ahead

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) and Mobile World Congress (MWC) saw major announcements in virtual reality and new generation streaming game consoles, as well as further opening up of access to game engine software

Latest earnings reports show that major publishers and developers are currently in buoyant form as growth in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One install base boosts revenue and consumers migrate to digital sales

Results for developers dependent on the mobile or online ecosystem are more mixed: King (producer of Candy Crush) continues to grow, but Zynga is struggling, although recent performance hints at a possible halt in its decline

  • Microsoft
  • Sony
Media, Technology 13 May 2015
US music publishing 2014-17

The US music publishing market, worth $2.2 billion in 2013, is poised for moderate CAGR of 2.5% in the period 2014-17, thanks to performance royalty growth from broadcast and new media uses, offsetting flat mechanicals as the physical-to-digital transition in recorded music continues to place pressure on this revenue line

ASCAP and BMI, the performance rights organisations, have been engaged in an intense period of litigation against Pandora, the popular ad-supported streaming service with around 80 million users, in which Pandora has prevailed

ASCAP and BMI have also sought to loosen the consent decree regime in place since 1941 and overseen by the Department of Justice in order to enable "market-driven" rates, but this effort also looks set to fail in light of the firm opposition of all classes of licensees

  • Bertelsmann
  • Vivendi
Media, Music and Radio 11 May 2015
US and UK TV ad markets - apples and pears

The US is seeing steep decline in measured TV viewing by younger age-groups and rapid increase in digital media adspend, prompting fears about the future of TV ad revenues across the major broadcasters and cable networks. The UK has seen similar trends, prompting suggestions that it will see similar effects

However, comparison of US and UK TV ad revenue trends since 2000 shows big differences in the underlying growth rates after taking economic factors into account. These undermine the inference that the decline in viewing and rise in digital adspend will have similar effects on either side of the Atlantic

Examination of the US and UK TV ad markets further points to big differences across a raft of major variables relating to supply and airtime trading practice, such as can be expected to yield very different outcomes with respect to TV ad revenue growth

  • 21st Century Fox
  • Channel 4
  • Discovery
  • Five
  • ITV
  • NBC Universal
  • Turner
  • Viacom
Non-UK Media, Media, TV, UK Media 7 May 2015
EE Q1 2015 results: Strong metrics, weaker revenue growth

EE reported improved mobile service revenue growth in Q1 but it is still shrinking at -1.7%; a disappointing performance now that all of its competitors have moved back into growth

The main causes of its underperformance appear to be the impact of the gradual retirement of the Orange and T-Mobile brands, and the loss of sales from Phones 4U which closed last year, with differentiation through superior 4G not (yet) able to make up for these factors

EE’s fixed line business was the star of the quarter with 50k customers added and 15% revenue growth. It seems to have cracked the formula of cross-selling broadband into its mobile base, a useful skill in the current market context

  • EE
Mobile, Telecoms 6 May 2015
Party positions on media & telecoms for GE2015

The UK’s three main Westminster parties converge on sustaining the dynamic growth of the digital economy and the vibrant creative industries.

The biggest area of divergence is on the EU. The Conservatives plan to hold an “in-out” referendum by 2017, while Labour and the Lib Dems are pro-EU and plan to engage with the Digital Single Market.

Other important areas of disagreement include the future of the BBC and the Licence Fee, press regulation and reform of media plurality policy.

  • BBC
  • News UK
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Press, Public Policy, Technology, Telecoms, TV 30 April 2015
Media & Telecoms: 2015 & Beyond slides

Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference, in conjunction with BNP Paribas and Deloitte, in London on 17 March 2015. The event featured talks from 13 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides the accompanying slides for some of the presentations.

Videos of the presentations are available on the conference website.

  • BBC
  • Bertelsmann
  • BT
  • ITV
  • Liberty Global
  • NBC Universal
  • O2
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Telefonica
  • Trinity Mirror
  • Vivendi
Fixed Line, Non-UK Media, Non-UK Telecoms, Internet, Media, Mobile, Non UK Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV, UK Media 27 April 2015
Media & Telecoms: 2015 & Beyond

Enders Analysis co-hosted its annual conference, in conjunction with BNP Paribas and Deloitte, in London on 17 March 2015. The event featured talks from 13 of the most influential figures in media and telecoms, and was chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette. This report provides edited transcripts from some of the talks, and you will find accompanying slides for many of the presentations here.

Videos of the presentations are available on the conference website.

  • BBC
  • Bertelsmann
  • BT
  • ITV
  • Liberty Global
  • NBC Universal
  • O2
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Telefonica
  • Trinity Mirror
  • Vivendi
Fixed Line, Non-UK Media, Non-UK Telecoms, Internet, Media, Mobile, Non UK Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV, UK Media 27 April 2015
Sky plc off to a good start - Q3 2015 results

Sky plc has produced a strong first quarter across its three markets in terms of subscriber growth, record low churn and continuing firm control over costs, which has contributed to a 5% increase in revenues and 20% increase in operating profit over the first nine months of fiscal 2015

As expected, practically all the retail customer growth in Q3 occurred in the UK & Ireland and in Germany & Austria. Nevertheless, the results were also positive in Italy, as it registered the highest net customer increase in 3 years and record low churn

It is still too early to judge the success of the Sky plc strategy in terms of synergies, innovation and content origination. Whilst the potential appears great, the imminence of the next Bundesliga auction is a reminder that the issue of sports rights inflation is unlikely to disappear even after the latest PL auction

  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
  • Sky Italia
Fixed Line, Media, Telecoms, TV 24 April 2015
GE 2015 update: Election and government outcomes

There are still two and a half weeks of the campaign to go before polling day, but postal votes are already being sent out to voters and many have already made up their minds. We believe there is now a small range of likely seat outcomes, and therefore possible governments.

Our central case sees the two main parties almost level on seats, resulting in a Labour minority government dependent on the support of the SNP and its allies (the Greens and Plaid Cymru). Slightly different outcomes are also possible, depending on the final size of the swing from the Conservatives to Labour in England and Wales, over which there is still considerable uncertainty. If Labour does worse than we expect, it could require the votes of the Lib Dems as well as the SNP; if it does better, it could require only Lib Dem votes.

The upside case for the Conservatives is now that they win enough seats to make a minority government dependent on the support of the Lib Dems, DUP and UKIP possible. We think that scenario is now unlikely, but even if it were to occur, we think it would be very challenging to both knit those parties together and persuade the parliamentary Conservative party that its interests are best served by doing so. For these reasons, we think a government led by the Conservatives can now be all but ruled out.

Media, Public Policy, Technology, Telecoms 20 April 2015
Free-to-air TV business models

Prospects for European free-to-air commercial broadcasters are clouded by a weak advertising recovery, decline in TV set viewing by younger age groups and increased competition from pay-TV and international operators

Growth opportunities are nevertheless to be found in fine tuning families of channels to sustain audience shares, increased production of differentiating original content, wider HD and catch-up programmes distribution and smart pay-TV developments – broadcasters must focus on strengthening the quality gap between the TV set experience and online entertainment

ITV has shown the greatest increase in profitability, benefitting from its global production strategy. RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 have a modest upside from carriage fees for HD channels but production and pay-TV initiatives have yet to pay off. TF1 and M6 have withdrawn from pay-TV and face regulatory obstacles to launching channels and production investments. Mediaset in Italy should benefit from the ad market stabilising, but risks large pay-TV losses. In Spain, Mediaset and Atresmedia enjoy an ad boom

  • Canal Plus
  • Channel 4
  • Five
  • ITV
  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
  • Sky Italia
  • Telefonica
  • Vivendi
Media, Non UK Media, TV 20 April 2015
Local media: new structures emerging

Local newspaper circulation continues to decline precipitously, while decline in some categories of print advertising has slowed marginally.

Digital traffic exploded in 2014, however, substantially outperforming the market generally, resulting in signs of stabilisation across print and digital in some marketing categories, notably recruitment and pockets of display.

Industry leaders have moved beyond cost-cutting and are no longer reproducing their print products online: local platform solutions, and strategic technology and business partnerships, mean fundamentally different companies are emerging in local media.

Internet, Media, Press 16 April 2015
European mobile in Q4 2014: The recovery continues

European mobile service revenue growth improved for a fourth consecutive quarter jumping 1.7ppts to -2.7%, the slowest rate of decline in over three years. Easing declines in France, Italy and Spain largely drove the improvement but a full recovery in these markets is still some way away given that all of their growth rates remain below -5%. The UK, and now Germany, are experiencing positive mobile service revenue growth although their improvements in the quarter were more modest

Three announced consolidation transactions have yet to be approved by the regulators although none of these deals are likely to offer much market repair, being either of the wrong kind of deal or being in markets that are growing. Consolidation targets remain in France, Italy and Spain which offer clearer routes to market recovery as seen in Germany where the consolidation of O2/E-Plus has already led to positive rhetoric on medium term market growth prospects

Network investment continues with 4G roll-outs at or over 70% population coverage in all markets and targets being accelerated, supporting long term optimism in the sector. Strong data traffic growth coupled with the growing importance of data to service revenue give a clear focus for operators on value-adding network quality investment, although the impact of pricing competition in some markets could weigh on the ability to capitalise on these trends in the medium term

  • EE
  • Hutchison 3G
  • Iliad
  • Orange
  • SFR
  • T-Mobile
  • Telefonica
  • Vodafone
Telecoms 13 April 2015
Radio – set for a digital future?

Radio’s transition from analogue to digital has been slow, with no switchover date yet in sight 16 years after Digital Audio Broadcasting’s (DAB) commercial launch

Recent initiatives intended to boost DAB are welcome, but most will not be transformatory as they offer little new to the consumer

However, the award of the second national commercial multiplex to Sound Digital with the launch of new, compelling content in 2016 could finally give radio listeners the reason to upgrade and make a case for switchover

Music and Radio, Media 30 March 2015
BT Mobile goes fourth

BT announced this week its fourth launch of consumer mobile, following three failures since it split from O2 in 2001

The product is SIM-only, low-end priced and lacks any ‘convergent’ features as yet, but is well structured to target those likely to take a BT mobile service in our view

While its ambitions may be modest, take-up may well be higher than its over-ambitious over-complicated predecessors, as well as giving BT experience in cross-selling mobile prior to its EE acquisition

  • BT
Mobile, Telecoms 26 March 2015
UK quarterly internet trends Q4 2014

During 2014, the PC finally lost its crown as the main device for accessing the internet: for the first time, aggregate usage on mobile devices accounted for more than half of all time spent online.

Two thirds of people now have a smartphone, which is becoming the main method for getting online, while tablet penetration appears to be flattening out and the PC internet audience is in decline.

Mobile monetisation still lags that of the PC but the gap is shrinking: smartphones and tablets generated 40% of e-retail sales in Q4 and across the year ads on mobile devices represented a quarter of internet search and display advertising with further strong growth ahead.

Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media 24 March 2015

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