Format: Feb 2018
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Conservative proposals to tackle CRR

The proposal by the Conservatives to remove or to moderate Contract Rights Renewal if elected would put ministers back into the thick of competition issues

The Conservatives strongly supported the move to make the competition authorities independent of government in Enterprise Act 2002, and should this stance be reconsidered, the regulatory landscape for business would acquire a political dimension, to the detriment of UK business generally

CRR is a side issue and the Conservatives could be better advised to examine closely the marketplace for TV advertising sales in order to make it more transparent and thus work better for the industry as a whole

  • ITV
Media, TV 19 March 2010
Consolidation in Italian mobile

Egypt-based mobile operator Orascom’s investment in Hutchison Telecom creates an intriguing if convoluted link between the 3rd and 4th players in the Italian market, Wind and H3G

Telecoms 17 January 2006
Consolidation in Media Buying

The last three years have seen huge concentration in the marketing services industry. One source suggests that 56% of the world’s advertising billings now pass through just seven buying groups, up from 32% in 1999. Though the advertising recession in major economies shows little sign of abating, the major groups continue to grow by acquisition, often financed by debt. At the same time, media planning and media buying have moved to the centre of these groups after a century of being little more than a clerical activity at the periphery of their business.

Media 9 September 2002
Consolidation in UK commercial radio – positioning for a digital future

Global Radio’s acquisition of GMG Radio has cemented its dominant position in the commercial radio sector, giving it a 51% share of revenues and a 47% share of listening.

If approved by the Competition Commission, the deal will allow Global to extend the Heart brand to the North of England and Scotland, helping to establish a stable listener base ahead of the digital switchover.

We believe there is scope for further consolidation, which is likely to focus around Planet Rock and Absolute Radio – two groups that are leading the way on digital platforms.

Music and Radio, Media 7 October 2012
Consumer books: slow transformation

The appearance of mass market consumer eBooks was delayed, evolved explosively, and has since plateaued more quickly than other media. Physical books are attractive objects and elegant devices compared to CDs and DVDs.

Furthermore, “all you can eat” is not a reader’s mindset, limiting the relevance and growth of mass market eBook subscription services.

Amazon’s mission is to grow market share, and strategic initiatives to move up the supply chain into publishing do not address its core issue: digital provides a poor discovery solution for dedicated book lovers, hence the continued necessity of retailers for publishers.

Media 19 August 2014
Consumer magazine publishing, Part one: The power of brands and industry collaboration

Evidence is mounting that the consumer magazine market is reaching an existential threshold. In this two-part overview of the UK consumer magazine marketplace we address the need for industry collaboration and brand innovation.

The print market is seeing sector-wide declines and the real structural fallout has only just begun; a supply chain review is urgently required.

Magazine brands lack a unique selling point in online advertising, and although long-disastrous ad tech trends may be finally turning in favour of premium publishers, developing must-have consumer services remains the key.

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • News UK
Internet, Media, UK Media 5 October 2017
Consumer magazine publishing, Part two: The power of brands and industry innovation

In a challenging digital marketplace, publishers face a crisis of purpose. To navigate the turbulent seas, publishers must invest more in their brands and the industry as a whole must innovate

Consumer engagement, previously held by magazines, has sailed to social media where young influencers across Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat challenge established norms of content discovery and curation

Magazines are more heterogeneous than is commonly assumed, and strength lies in a distinctive brand. To right the course, we recommend the industry carry out bespoke reviews that outline brand-specific audiences, use-cases and revenue solutions, and exploit systematic audience data to optimise all brand manifestations - with enhanced marketing income a secondary benefit

  • Facebook
  • Google
Internet, Media, Mobile, UK Media 6 October 2017
Consumer magazines: economic and technological disruption

Persistent, anaemic economic growth continues to constrict all spend on recreation and culture, especially for lower income consumers. Female readers, the bedrock of the magazine industry, will be especially hard hit by government austerity measures, which will begin to bite in 2013

Smartphone and tablet ownership amongst wealthier consumers has already impacted their spend on magazines. The industry can expect further shocks as mobile device penetration grows among older and also lower income demographics

New publishing platforms pose familiar challenges: publishers must compete with new online players from very different sectors; complexity and rapid change are a constant; historically low print magazine subscription volumes make the transition for publishers to data strategies and to develop flexible charging models more demanding than might otherwise be the case

Media 28 January 2013
Consumer Magazines: Print still key; radical innovation emerging

UK consumer magazine print circulation fell -9% in 2015 while total display advertising fell -7% as magazines continue to outperform other press categories.

However, the overall picture is still one of falling consumer and advertiser demand and the fierce competition for user attention and advertising spend online is reflected in consumer magazine digital display advertising growth of just 12%: about half of the total online display growth rate in 2015.

At the same time publishers are starting to embrace radical innovation using their brands to produce multiple revenue streams ranging from e-commerce to events, as we explore in our four publisher case studies included in this report.

Media 5 July 2016
Consumer Payment Companies

In this short note Chris Goodall looks at consumer payment technologies. He says that the banks and credit card companies are under no immediate threat from new technologies. Do not be confused by the wizard new technologies coming out of Nokia; technical advances are not going to change payment systems much in the next five years. Rather, he suggests, observers should focus on three interesting companies which use low technology solutions to solve particular payments problems. These companies support, rather than undermine, existing players in the consumer payments industry.

Media, Telecoms 25 October 2001
Consumer Reactions to 3G

The service from '3' in the UK is one of the few examples of a 3G network in action in Europe. In this report we look at the evidence of customer experiences at 3 to determine the potential popularity of the services to a wider audience. Our sources include two studies performed by GSM operators and an NOP survey.




Telecoms, Mobile 27 October 2003
Consumers and digital marketing

UK digital advertising will grow beyond £10 billion by 2018 by our estimates, representing more than half of all advertising spend and delivering the most advanced large advertising market in the world on a per capita basis.

Nevertheless, we see critical issues in digital marketing that are frequently acknowledged, but hard to fix.

At the heart of our hypothesis is the view that the marketing industry – brands, agencies and media – has focused on technology and efficiencies at the expense of consumer experience and distinctiveness.

  • Facebook
  • Google
Internet, Media, Technology, Telecoms, TV 22 June 2016
Content marketing online in Europe to 2020

Paid placements for content marketing online in Europe will increase by 186% from 2014-2020, to over €2 billion

It is a particularly exciting area for premium publishers, who can leverage their content expertise to reverse the flight of ad money to lower-cost properties. Almost all are developing creative content offerings to capture this value

Metrics and measurement, disclosure and cost remain as challenges for content marketing online, but growth is strong due to high commitment to spend from advertisers

  • Facebook
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Vice Media
  • Yahoo
Non-UK Media, Internet, Media, Mobile 3 May 2016
Content marketing: publishers' saviour?

Brands are investing more than £5.2 billion a year in content strategies, £1.2 billion of it with consumer media, and investment is growing at 25% per annum, massively outstripping growth in traditional advertising

Content marketing defies the broader direction of travel in the digital era – response-measured programmatic advertising – by expressing value in content and context, much of it at the top of the discovery funnel

In a rapidly converging marketing value chain some consumer publishers are adopting agency values and practices by responding to the changing demands and expectations of their advertisers

Internet, Media, UK Media 6 July 2015
Context is queen: the value of media environment

New evidence suggests brand owners and agencies have considerably different perceptions of how the digital marketing marketplace is performing.

The timing of these findings is critical, as digital display growth in the UK is far more advanced than in any major advertising market.

One of the perceived risks of a relatively narrow measurement provision is that media context is being diluted, with long term implications for the value of marketing inventory across all media.

Technology, Internet, Media 24 February 2015
Contracts Rights Renewal

The Competition Commission inquiry into the proposed merger of Carlton and Granada imposed a remedy called Contracts Rights Renewal. Ofcom devised the details. We conducted a series of interviews to determine the likely effect of these new rules.

Media 10 December 2003
Copyright owners and ad-supported digital content models: more trouble brewing

Highlighting the challenges of the ad-supported digital music model, SpiralFrog, the first licensed service to launch in the US, collapsed recently in a sea of red ink and failed promises

Newly licensed ‘cloud’ jukeboxes like Spotify or We7 are struggling to make sense of the ad-supported model whose licensing costs far outweigh their potential revenue at present

Digital Britain’s proposed Digital Rights Agency could improve the licensing environment for cloud jukeboxes, but we expect copyright owners will take particular care to avoid substitution of music consumption from pay-for to ‘free’ (but ad-supported), unless the financial rewards are commensurate

Media, Music and Radio 26 March 2009
Core TV and connectivity trends

The period between 2010 and 2013 was one of technological change in video consumption as connected devices achieved mass market adoption and online video players grew in popularity

Amongst the young, TV set viewing fell across this period, particularly in the UK, but this shift in behaviour has yet to impact older demographics in the same way. An ageing population, and associated longer viewing time among older audiences, helped maintain the total number of TV minutes viewed in the three key markets of the UK, US and Germany

Video industry revenues also look resilient; internet advertising has not impacted TV advertising to the same extent it has print, while we are yet to see any meaningful evidence of cord-cutting as a result of increased penetration of SVOD services

TV, Media 8 October 2014
Could AT&T turn around Vodafone?

Amid ongoing speculation that AT&T will make a bid for Vodafone post its Verizon Wireless divestment, in this note we consider the validity of AT&T’s hypothesis that there is "a huge opportunity for somebody" to repeat the US experience of heavy capital investment coupled with firm pricing in Europe

Mobile, Telecoms 1 November 2013
Court of Appeal verdict on Sky stake in ITV

The Court of Appeal’s (CA) dismissal of Sky’s second attempt to overturn the Competition Commission’s (CC) decision that it must reduce its 17.9% shareholding in ITV to below 7.5% makes it increasingly probable that Sky will comply with the CC ruling at some point during 2010/2011

Although the CA’s dismissal of Sky’s appeal has always seemed the likely, even if never certain, outcome, the extra time consumed has so far benefited Sky greatly as the ITV share price has recovered from a low of below 20p in March 2009 to around 60p in January 2010

Sky’s share purchase was seen by ITV and others as unwanted interference in ITV’s affairs, but there was no suggestion of interference during the whole period of review by the competition and judicial authorities, while the outcome suggests that any future interest shown by other leading UK TV media players will probably also raise tough competition issues

  • Sky
  • ITV
Media, TV 25 January 2010