Publications

Format: Oct 2017
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Sector(s) Datesort ascending
BBC Three: one year online

In February 2016, the BBC moved its youth-focused channel BBC Three out of the broadcast sphere and into an online-only delivery system, as part of plans intended to find an extra £100m in savings laid out in 2014

The new service would aim to continue fulfilling the channel’s remit of delivering innovative and diverse content to a key audience of 16-34s, but with greater emphasis on short-form and various more digitally focused formats

Now, more than a year on, the effort shows the difficulty traditional media brands have in adapting to space occupied by niches that primarily digital brands have carved out, although the ‘channel’ still manages largely to deliver on its remit with much of its original content 

  • BBC
Media, TV 20 June 2017
UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q1 2017: Profit warnings come in threes

UK residential communications market revenue growth dipped 0.6ppts in Q1, from 3.3% in the previous quarter. This was mainly driven by ARPU weakness arising due to the timings of Sky and Virgin Media’s price rises, but weakness also stemmed from the sustained decline in broadband volume growth and continued new customer price competition

In competitive terms, BT and Sky suffered as a result of communicating price rises in the quarter, Virgin Media had a strong quarter if not quite as good as it was expecting, and TalkTalk manged to recover to positive retail broadband net adds at the expense of high marketing costs

BT, Liberty Global and TalkTalk issued profit warnings in the quarter, all of which were at least loosely related to increasing pressures in the consumer market. We expect these pressures – a slowing broadband market, an expanding Virgin Media, and a stabilising TalkTalk – to continue

  • BT
  • Liberty Global
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Internet, Media, Mobile, Telecoms, TV, UK Media 19 June 2017
BT Q4 2016/17 results: Mobile strength, pressure elsewhere

BT had a reasonable quarter in its consumer broadband business given market pressures, and a very strong one at EE with continued growth acceleration. It had a good quarter for fibre adoption as well, helping its wholesale divisions stabilise their revenue, but business/IT was weak as expected

Regulatory pressure remains intense despite the (welcome) Openreach agreement, with price cap regulation proposed or due on a range of products, and a regulatory approach which is far from investment-orientated

Pressures in the business/IT market are likely to continue, and pressures in the consumer broadband market are likely to intensify, justifying BT’s current cautious approach to guidance and dividends

  • BT
  • Liberty Global
  • Ofcom
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Vice Media
Fixed Line, Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, Telecoms, UK Media 9 June 2017
US music publishing royalties for 2018-22

The “fair return” to US music publishers and songwriters for rights used by interactive streaming services will be decided in 2017 by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB)

Rights owners want to switch to a fixed per-stream or per-user rate on all tiers, arguing music has an inherent value. Apple is asking for a much lower per-stream rate

Amazon, Google, Spotify and Pandora warn of disruption to free and ad-supported tiers if the revenue-share tariff is not rolled over, and the CRB could side with them

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Bertelsmann
  • Sony
  • Spotify
  • Vivendi
  • YouTube
Media, Music and Radio 8 June 2017
UK General Election online - news and advertising

In contrast to print coverage, most shared news and opinion content on social media was decidedly pro-Labour this election season, with fake news relatively non-existent compared to the US election in November

Facebook’s role in news distribution has steadily grown and now rivals Google’s, but only a half of the UK’s  electorate are active users – for the platform to become decisive in political news would require much stronger turnout among young voters

Facebook was the chief digital ad platform for both main parties, with Conservatives targeting Labour seats, Labour defending them and both adopting a negative tone

  • BBC
  • Facebook
  • Google
Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, TV, UK Media 7 June 2017
Sky is favourite in twin (and odd) Italian football auctions

Domestic championship and Champions League rights for 2018-21 are auctioned almost simultaneously. The main uncertainties are the extent to which Sky will increase its exclusive coverage of Serie A, and whether it will try to win the Champions League auction to take advantage of rival Mediaset Premium’s announced retreat

Mediaset has complained to regulators over the Serie A terms, possibly seeking a repeat of the 2014 scenario when it provoked the termination of the auction and ultimately gained a private deal – an outcome still facing legal challenges. Any possible resolution of Mediaset’s dispute with Vivendi should not impact the auctions

We doubt that telecom or digital operators will be tempted by the €200m minimum price for the two internet-only packages with patchy regional coverage – a bad idea mandated by the regulator. However irrational behaviour at auctions should never be ruled out

  • Sky
  • Sky Italia
  • Telecom Italia
  • Vivendi
Media, TV 6 June 2017
Nintendo Switching to a new console era

The successful launch of the Nintendo Switch creates a new console model, and demonstrates the staying power and long term value of great franchises

Microsoft reveals the specification for Scorpio, but it won’t be enough to catch up to Sony. New franchises, and probably new leadership, will be the key to stopping Xbox sliding into irrelevance outside North America

Sony’s PlayStation 4 now exceeds 60m units worldwide, allowing Sony more freedom to publish a wide range of challenging creative console games, while VR games continue to gain momentum

  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • Sony
  • Walt Disney
Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, TV 5 June 2017
ITV et al. facing the NAR squeeze

ITV’s latest trading Q1 trading update has sent a clear warning signal to the commercial TV industry as it gave guidance of 8-9% year-on-year decline in TV NAR (Net Advertising Revenue) in H1 2017

A substantial portion of the projected decline may be attributed to economic issues and relatively tough Q1 comparatives as per ITV guidance; however, there are clear signs of growing intrusion by online video advertising on traditional broadcast TV NAR

A review of trends points to major biases that swing the market towards the online space. It is time for all to reconsider both the impact of CRR (Contract Rights Renewal) in restraining TV NAR and the factors – by no means all sound – pushing up online video spend

  • ITV
Media, TV 31 May 2017
Amazon Channels: bite-sized pay-TV for the whole family

After a US debut, Amazon’s marketplace of SVOD services arrives in the UK and Germany, but without the major draws of HBO and Showtime

Unbundling SVOD for premium content strengthens Amazon’s position in the fast-developing connected TV landscape, where Prime Video is taking on Netflix, NOW TV and YouTube

For niche content providers, Amazon Channels provides a new, low-friction route to go direct-to-consumer with a mix of live and on-demand premium content alongside existing distribution strategies

  • Amazon
  • BT
  • Netflix
  • Sky
Media, Technology, TV 24 May 2017
TalkTalk Group Q4 2016/17 results: Rebasing profits for growth

TalkTalk managed to return to retail on-net broadband subscriber growth in the March quarter after years of decline, but at the expense of missing their EBITDA target for the year

They have stated a determination to grow the base going forward, but have admitted that this requires a rebasing of their EBITDA to spend the necessary amount on marketing, and guided to an EBITDA drop in the 2017/18 year

This looks much more realistic than their previous plans, but will in itself generate even more competitive intensity in the UK broadband market, which is already squeezed given the market volume slowdown and Virgin Media network extension

  • TalkTalk
Fixed Line, Media, Telecoms, UK Media 22 May 2017
UKTV 2016 results: viewing continues to climb, what awaits online?

2016 was another good year for UKTV, with appreciable growth in revenue and linear viewing share; a trajectory the product of a sensitive pay/free balance of its channels, investment in productive EPG slots and development of its original programming suite

Recent deals with both Sky and Channel 4 will go some way to providing financial stability, allowing UKTV to invest with more certainty in new content and encouraging further development of its online proposition

UKTV Play has underperformed, chiefly due to a lack of content. But with plans to significantly ramp up both its offering and marketing spend, it may well unlock further audiences; specifically targeting elusive 16-34 year-olds

  • UKTV
Media, TV, UK Media 19 May 2017
Virgin Media Q1 2017 results: Roll-out and competitive pressures

Virgin Media has run into network roll-out difficulties, having to revise down its previously stated homes passed figures and not committing to a full year 2017 target, with the current build run rate well below that required to hit its medium-term targets

Operating results were a little mixed, with ARPU showing signs of continued discounting and market-wide competitive pressures, and churn was higher than the previous year, but net adds were strong, RGUs stronger, and UK consumer cable revenue growth is still over 4%

Slower Project Lightning roll-out and weaker ARPU growth points to slower revenue growth during 2017 than might otherwise have been expected, but Virgin Media still has relatively strong prospects in a toughening market 

  • Liberty Global
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Media, Mobile, Telecoms 19 May 2017
Mounting risks to marketing effectiveness

A partial — if seductively persuasive and impressive — data framework for online advertising combined with short-term incentives have encouraged a dramatic shift in the ratio of brand to activation advertising from 60:40 to 50:50, depressing the pricing of display media

Mounting evidence suggests a focus on quick returns and cheap media at all costs is hurting marketing effectiveness, measured in long-term Return-on-Investment, brand equity and consumer satisfaction

Guarding against this risk requires brand-focused advertisers to create more space for long-term judgement for CMOs, and to refocus agency remuneration towards planning and creative work<o:p></o:p></span></h2>

Internet, Media, Technology, UK Media 18 May 2017
BBC Studios: make or break

The launch of BBC Studios - the relocation of most of the broadcaster's in-house production capability into a commercial subsidiary - gives it the ability to compete for work elsewhere at the expense of a guaranteed quota at the BBC

The upside is large, with the opportunity to retain an increased amount of intellectual property, a requirement of growing importance. However, so is the risk, with sustainability dependent upon a major cultural shift; from comfortably retained provider to competitive production engine

Outside of a weak track record when competing for work, other entwined issues must be overcome for success in the medium term; demonstration of transparency in the commissioning process and watertight transfer pricing practices, and the dispelling of state aid concerns

  • BBC
Media, TV 10 May 2017
TV platform forecasts to 2026: DTT and pay-lite set to grow

Our latest forecasts point to the continued strength of DTT within the UK broadcast market. We predict DTT-only homes will account for 42% of TV viewing ten years from now, up from 38% today

Much of this is due to the UK’s ageing population profile, since DTT skews older. The number of over-45s in DTT-only homes is set to increase by 13% by 2026

The other key factor is the continued growth of flexible pay-lite services—for example, Netflix and NOW TV—which are of greater appeal to younger audiences

  • Amazon
  • BT
  • EE
  • Freesat
  • Freeview
  • Netflix
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
Media, TV, UK Media 5 May 2017
Sky still on track: Q3 2017 results

Sky delivered 5% year-on-year revenue growth over the first nine months at constant exchange rates, although operating profits fell due to several factors, most notably the massive step-up in UK Premier League TV payments under the new contract

On closer inspection, relatively weak UK & Ireland Q3 revenue growth compared with previous quarters largely reflects one-off special factors 

Otherwise, positive quarters for Sky Germany & Austria and Sky Italy and improving cost efficiencies suggest that the Sky Group remains broadly on track to deliver its Investor Day 2016 guidance objectives

  • Sky
  • Sky Deutschland
  • Sky Italia
Media, TV 3 May 2017
People, not devices: Audience buying in a cross-device world

Cross-device identity profiles are used to stitch together fragmenting online ad audiences, but also to enable new links between advertising and marketing, across European markets

This moves value from media itself to understanding each consumer and how they access content and services on proliferating connected devices

By 2020 we predict that 58% of all UK online ad buys by value will make use of high-quality audience IDs, led by the largest advertising platforms but limited by privacy regulation and cost

  • Channel 4
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • ITV
  • LinkedIn
  • Sky
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo
Media, Mobile, Technology, Telecoms, TV 3 May 2017
European mobile in Q4 2016: Poised for growth

European mobile service revenue growth was unchanged in Q4 on the previous quarter at -0.1%, tantalisingly close to growth but just held back by renewed mobile termination rate cuts in Germany

‘More-for-more’ tariff changes are becoming increasingly commonplace, as operators increase data bundle sizes to allow for volume demand growth, but nudge up pricing as partial compensation.  This has not yet translated into positive revenue growth across Europe as a whole, but increasingly looks like it will do, with a number of moves made in early 2017

The quarter saw completion of two M&A deals in Spain and Italy with MasMovil completing its acquisition of Yoigo, and H3G Wind completing their joint venture to form Wind Tre. While the former is unlikely to alter the market dynamics much, the latter, resulting in the entry of Iliad in Italy, has the potential to disrupt the pricing dynamic in that market, although ultimately it will be limited by Iliad’s initial MVNO economics and dearth of spectrum

  • EE
  • France Telecom
  • Hutchison 3G
  • Iliad
  • O2
  • Orange
  • SFR
  • T-Mobile
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefonica
  • Vimplecom
  • Virgin Media
  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms, Vodafone 19 April 2017
Media & Telecoms: 2017 & Beyond Conference slides

Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media & Telecoms 2017 & Beyond conference in conjunction with Deloitte, Moelis & Company, Linklaters and LionTree, in London on 2 March 2017.

This report contains the slides used by Tom Mockridge, Matthew Kirk, Andrew Griffith, and Geoff Moelis.

  • 21st Century Fox
  • BBC
  • BT
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Hutchison 3G
  • ITV
  • Johnston Press
  • Liberty Global
  • Ofcom
  • Sky
  • Trinity Mirror
  • Turner
  • Virgin Media
  • Vivendi
  • Vodafone
Media, Telecoms, TV 19 April 2017
Media & Telecoms: 2017 & Beyond Conference transcripts

Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media & Telecoms 2017 & Beyond conference in conjunction with Deloitte, Moelis & Company, Linklaters and LionTree, in London on 2 March 2017.

The day saw over 450 senior attendees come together to listen to 30 leaders and senior executives of some of the most creative and innovative businesses in the media and telecoms sector, and was chaired by David Abraham.

This report provides edited transcripts of the presentations and panels, and you will find accompanying slides for some of the presentations here.

Videos of the presentations are available on the conference website.

  • 21st Century Fox
  • BBC
  • BT
  • Canal Plus
  • Discovery
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Hutchison 3G
  • ITV
  • Johnston Press
  • Liberty Global
  • Ofcom
  • Sky
  • Trinity Mirror
  • Turner
  • Virgin Media
  • Vivendi
  • Vodafone
Media, Music and Radio, Public Policy, Technology, Telecoms, TV 19 April 2017

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