Publications

Format: Jun 2018
sort descending Sector(s) Date
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
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
BBC to pay for the over-75s

Non-subscribers can download this report in full - alongside all our other coverage of the BBC during the Charter Review process - from the 'BBC Charter Review' page of our site.

The recently elected Conservative government took less than a week to negotiate a licence fee settlement with the BBC immediately prior to Charter Renewal in which it will offload the government’s over-75s licence fee subsidy on to the BBC in return for various financial benefits

But, there are strings attached to a financially poor settlement, making it very difficult for the BBC to protest in the run-up to a charter that promises a major diminution in its ability to contribute to the UK creative economy

The only possible gainers are the commercial media, though the benefits may prove much less than some anticipate, however pleased the newspaper publishers may be by the Chancellor’s criticism of the BBC’s “imperial ambitions” in online news. Much more to be feared is the likely negative impact on the UK TV production sector

  • BBC
Media, TV, UK Media 15 July 2015
BBC TV airwaves beyond 2026?

Non-subscribers can download this report in full - alongside all our other coverage of the BBC during the Charter Review process - from the 'PSB' page of our site.

The DCMS Green Paper on Charter Renewal does not mention the DTT spectrum, but the question of its future is never far away, in particular where it refers to the recent explosion of choice and poses questions about universality

The former 470-862 MHz band reserved for broadcast TV will already have shrunk to 470-694 MHz by 2022 following intense international pressure from the mobile sector. Absent a strong defence case, we cannot rule out total clearance from the mid-twenties

As things stand, replacement of the DTT spectrum by the internet will have devastating consequences for the entire TV broadcast ecosystem. Most importantly, examination of viewing trends leads us to conclude that the UK public will not be ready for at least another 20 years

  • BBC
Government Broadcast Policy List 2015/16, Media, TV 16 September 2015
BBC TV – impact on investment in UK content

Non-subscribers can download this report in full - alongside all our other coverage of the BBC during the Charter Review process - from the 'BBC Charter Review' page of our site.

Responding to the Green Paper’s question on the BBC’s market impact, this report finds that the UK’s creative economy would suffer a 25-50% decline of investment in new UK content “if BBC TV did not exist at all”

Advertising-supported broadcasters would gain little, if any, extra revenue from expanded commercial audiences. ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and non-PSB multichannel broadcasters would be unable to fill the gap in investment left by the BBC

Pay-TV platforms could gain significant revenues although the loss of BBC TV programming, with 30% viewing share, would increase costs. Pay-TV platforms invest <10p on the £ of revenue in new UK content excluding sport so they, too, would not fill the gap left by the BBC

  • BBC
Media, TV, UK Media 10 September 2015
BBC Worldwide magazine portfolio

BBCW is selling its portfolio of magazines. This is the first major disposal of the UK magazine marketplace since Emap sold its consumer magazines division to Bauer in December 2007, valuing the portfolio at 1.8x pro forma revenue, but we expect a lower valuation given the downgrading of the magazine marketplace

Our analysis of the portfolio suggests a mixed bag of relatively resilient adult-focused titles, while Radio Times is a significant cash cow with medium term potential from a more aggressive commercial owner. Our principal concern resides in the viability of the children’s magazine portfolio, where titles are tied to Cbeebies programming, with relatively short life cycles

Bauer is a probable favourite to buy the portfolio, assuming it is picked up by a trade buyer. A post-acquisition process of disposal of non-core assets could provide other trade players with the opportunity to scoop titles that fit well in their portfolios

  • BBC
Media 16 December 2010
BBCW considers the rest of UKTV

A change of control clause triggered by Discovery’s takeover of Scripps will grant BBC Worldwide the option to acquire the 50% of UKTV that it does not already own

With a possible price in the vicinity of the £339 million paid by Scripps in 2011 it is by no means certain the BBCW could proceed alone—so a new, minority partner may well be necessary

Discovery, on the other hand, may be keen to acquire full ownership of UKTV, while retaining a licensing arrangement for the BBC’s content. A channel portfolio containing the best of Discovery, Scripps and UKTV content built on UKTV’s strong EPG positions would transform Discovery in the UK

  • BBC
  • Discovery
  • UKTV
Media, TV 13 March 2018
Better Than Free'

This report sets out a programme of actions to help slow the growth of music and video piracy. For the last five years the content industries and ISPs have been in a state of almost open war as a result of rampant copyright theft, largely made possible by broadband networks. Our report, by contrast, stresses the importance of cooperation between ISPs and the content industries.

Media 21 September 2003
Bigger than ever: Apple's Q1 2015 results

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus drove Apple’s most extraordinary quarter ever, with the company’s position in the smartphone market improving on all fronts: explosive growth in China, rising market share in the US and a rising average sales price.

By contrast, iPad sales continued to decline in spite of the iPad Air 2’s release, suffering from cannibalisation by the phablet-sized 6 Plus and saturation in developed markets. Apple has a strategy to revive sales, which may bear fruit later in the year.

A slate of new products is coming this year, led in the spring by Apple Watch. The question is, will Watch be a significant new source of profit or just a way to protect the iPhone’s dominant position in the smartphone market.

  • Apple
Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media 9 February 2015
Blockchain: Reinventing the wheel

Despite the hype, systems based on the technology underlying bitcoin are a poor match for most use-cases

The term 'blockchain' is nowadays applied to technologies with shared aims and ideals rather than technological unity; few if any of these aims require true blockchain, any many are double-edged swords

The promises of blockchain are seductive in the context of programmatic online advertising, but are over-sold

Media, Technology, Telecoms 2 May 2018
Blocking in the free world: the threat of online ad blocking

Currently at a manageable level, ad blocking has the potential to fatally undermine the business models of media owners that depend on advertising, as well as restricting advertisers’ ability to reach audiences online.

To head off this threat, publishers, agencies and advertisers need to understand the diverse things that users do not like about digital advertising, fix them, and communicate this change of behaviour to audiences.

The move from desktop to mobile, from banner to native and from web to apps provides advertisers and publishers with the opportunity to provide an acceptable advertising experience, ensuring that blocking of these new formats and properties never reaches the threatening levels currently on desktop.

  • Google
Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology 16 March 2016
Blyk: easy money?

A new MVNO, Blyk, launched in the UK this week offering limited free texts and voice minutes in exchange for receiving advertising

Telecoms, Mobile 26 September 2007
Brexit and UK internet privacy

Personal data is the fuel of the digital age and the UK is a top producer due to deep internet and ecommerce usage

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a key plank of the Digital Single Market (DSM), will directly apply in May 2018, before the date of Brexit in 2019

Upon Brexit, GDPR adoption would ensure easy certification by the Commission for data transfers outside the EU, giving companies another reason to stay in the UK 

Brexit, Internet, Media, Public Policy, Technology 13 October 2016
Brexit dismal media outlook

The victory of the Leave campaigners in the EU referendum offers no clear benefits to the audiovisual sector, whether we consider domestic and international broadcast distribution across Europe or the creative production sector

The present lack of a clear roadmap and climate of uncertainty promises to be harmful across the entire media sector at least in the short-term, raising the distinct prospect of a recession later this year or next, causing us to downgrade our forecasts from February this year

The Brexit process raises many issues and will be drawn out over several years as the UK finds its feet in the new world. If the UK audiovisual sector is to emerge relatively unscathed, it is vital that it retains its ties with the Single Market by joining the EEA. The alternative is unthinkable

Media 1 July 2016
Brexit impact on UK-EU trade in creative services

Brexit poses direct risks to exports to the Continent of regulated services, such as audiovisual (AV) media services, if the UK ceases to qualify for the Single Market

Since 1994, the EU has formalised a ‘cultural exception’ in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in all trade agreements aside from the European Economic Area (EEA)

Many countries have emulated the policy since, making it challenging for the UK’s AV cluster to gain significant additional market access from future bilateral trade deals

Brexit, Media, Public Policy, Technology, Telecoms 2 December 2016
Brexit risks for the creative industries

A post-Brexit recession will cause a hyper-cyclical decline in the advertising revenues of broadcasters and publishers

The Vote Leave idea of the UK joining a free trade area for goods with the EU would sever UK access to the Single Market for services, damaging the export-reliant audiovisual group, among many other sectors of strength

Made-in-the-UK IT, software and computer consultancy services will lose eligibility for government procurement tenders once the UK is an outsider to the EU

  • Discovery
  • NBCUniversal International
  • Sony
Non-UK Media, Media, Public Policy, TV, UK Media 22 April 2016
Brexit Update: Domestic Issues

Despite apparent instability of the political climate in Westminster, the direction of travel is predictable as both main parties share the aim of Brexit

The big fight in Parliament is over the future trade policy of the UK. Officially, the UK wants to agree a Free Trade Area (FTA) with the EU, while the Labour Party and Tory rebels hope a Customs Union (CU) prevails, binding the UK to the EU’s trade policy

The Supreme Court is about to hear the UK Government’s challenge to legislation passed by the devolved nations of Scotland and Wales, which claim their consent is required for policies on agriculture, fisheries and the environment

Brexit, Media, Telecoms, TV 25 April 2018
Broadband Europe

The potential for residential broadband connectivity in France, Germany and the UK depends on the availability of low-priced broadband products (hardware, installation and monthly subscriptions) and a narrow pricing gap with existing Internet access packages. Unless monthly subscriptions fall below €30 (from current comparable levels of €45 and up) and hassle-free self-installation is ubiquitous, consumers will not migrate from narrowband, even if they appreciate the faster surfing and download speeds of broadband. But regulators are guarding against any price declines from the incumbents, having put their faith in infrastructure-based competition through local loop unbundling (LLU) and upgrading of cable infrastructure. We believe that expectations of alternative supply of broadband through either of these routes in France and Germany are misplaced; in the UK, broadband cable will make more headway due to specific historical and regulatory factors, while there will be no effective alternative supply of residential DSL through LLU.

In its projections supporting its £3.2 billion debt financing, H3G projects 172,000 subs in 2002, 1.2 million by end 2003 and 9 million by end 2010.

Combined with projected ARPU of £40/month (or about current contract ARPU in the UK), H3G’s revenue projections come to £2 billion in 2005 (note UK mobile market in total = £10 billion today).

Telecoms 16 January 2002
Broadband Update

Broadband update document.

9 January 2001
Broadband, IPTV and Fibre in France

This report on the French broadband market examines growth trends in 2009 and forecasts to 2012, updates our previous assessments of the commercial significance of IPTV in the triple play (a bundle of broadband, telephony and TV), and details the state of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment

Shrugging off the recession (milder and shorter than in the UK), the French broadband market is set to reach 19.6 million connections by the end of 2009, up 1.9 million on 2008 – only 12% less than the level of net adds of 2008. With 2009 better than we expected, we now anticipate a sharper slowdown in net adds in 2010, with 1.4 million net adds projected. We still expect the total to reach 22.8 million connections by 2012 (70% household penetration)

  • SFR
  • Orange
  • Iliad
Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Telecoms 13 November 2009

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