Publications

Format: Oct 2017
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“ITV for everyone”: ITV FY 2016 results

2016 proved a mixed year for ITV as sizeable falls in TV spot advertising and Studios US revenues were offset by continuing strong growth in Online, Pay & Interactive and ITV Studios, while ITV ended the year with a very healthy balance sheet

As the economy and advertising enter testing times, diversification may not only have helped reduce ITV’s reliance on this highly volatile income stream, but also the growth of ITV Studios may just be starting to pay off in terms of reversing the decline in ITV Main audience share  

Looking ahead, the strategic focus of ITV has shifted, now placing greater emphasis on expanding ITV content distribution at home and abroad across multiple platforms, all age groups, and growing new revenue streams, especially pay, to extract added value from its growing content assets

  • ITV
Media, TV 9 March 2017
Zoopla’s merger with the Digital Property Group: implications for digital property media

Zoopla and The Digital Property Group, DMGT’s property portfolio which includes Findaproperty, Primelocation and Globrix, announced a merger on 14 October 2011. Under the terms of the proposed merger, DMGT would receive a 55% interest in the merged entity

A merged Zoopla and DPG will compete more effectively with market leader Rightmove, in a property market scaled down by one-third in terms of the number of transactions

We think the merger will give advertisers a better choice and constrain Rightmove’s pricing power, which has seen hefty fee increases on members, most recently in 2010, in 2011 and most recently again in November 2011

  • Guardian Media Group
  • DMGT
Internet, Media 24 November 2011
YouView: better late than never

YouView, the hybrid DTT/IPTV service backed by the public service broadcasters, is here, but with an initial retail box price of £300 it will be heavily dependent on the subsidies offered by ISP distributors BT and TalkTalk The TV market has evolved since YouView’s conception in 2008, with many other internet-enabled options now available; its managed and integrated approach gives it some advantages but doesn’t make it a ‘must have’ We expect YouView to mainly appeal to Freeview and BT Vision upgraders and project take-up between 1-3 million TV homes by 2015, though if the product improves and pricing falls dramatically it could see faster growth

  • TalkTalk
  • ITV
  • Five
  • Channel 4
  • BT
  • BBC
Technology, Internet, TV, Media 5 July 2012
YouTube’s Original Channels venture

YouTube continues to evolve away from user-generated content with the expansion of its native Original Channels initiative in the US, Europe and Japan

Professional and semi-professional content is key to increasing YouTube’s sellable video inventory, raising advertising yield and attracting brand advertisers

Whilst YouTube is the leading global distribution platform for professional short-form video, it poses little immediate threat to TV viewing or revenues

  • Google
Internet, TV, Media 8 January 2013
YouTube’s first UK Brandcast: courting TV advertisers

YouTube (YT) held its first Brandcast in the UK in October, as well as in France and Germany, after staging similar events in the US. Google’s ambition is to compete more directly for brand and TV advertising in these core markets

At this year’s Brandcasts, YT highlighted its position as a complement to TV content and advertising, emphasising unique advertising opportunities for brands to engage with viewers through sponsored YT native and dedicated brand channels, in line with its new ‘brand partner programme’

In direct comparison to TV, online video advertising and viewing remains small. We project UK online video advertising to reach £305 million for FY2013f, representing 8% of TV ad revenue. As the dominant players, Google/YT are well positioned to grow display revenue by securing a large share of brand advertising moving online

  • Google
Internet, TV, Media 18 December 2013
YouTube, programmatic and brand safety

Media reports of ads by top brands appearing next to extremist content on YouTube have surprised advertisers and led to a barrage of criticism from other media companies, agencies and the UK government

Despite several advertisers pausing spend, the revenue impact for Google is likely to be small in the short term – but the debate is a symptom of ongoing tension between “frenemies”: large agencies and Google & Facebook 

By urging Google alone to educate display advertisers and filter campaigns, agencies risk ceding more of their client relationship to the advertising giant, while calls for the platform to make all editorial judgements on political content are inappropriate

  • Google
  • YouTube
Media, Public Policy, Technology, TV 23 March 2017
YouTube Red: Google’s original bid for premium content

At launch, Google’s new subscription service YouTube Red competes most directly with premium music streaming services, also offering ad-free videos

YouTube’s augmented revenue model re-boots incentives for native talent to produce content for the platform, and will also widen its appeal for established content producers

Although consumers are likely to find paid subscription for ad-free videos a weak proposition, Red holds much potential for YouTube as it competes for attention across device ecosystems, and presents little risk to its existing advertising model

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • YouTube
Media, Mobile, Music and Radio, Telecoms, TV 6 November 2015
YouTube MCNs: The New Networks

Multichannel Networks (MCNs) operating on YouTube (YT) have seen a surge of interest from financial and strategic investors over the last year, mirroring their rapid growth on the platform and popularity among YT’s core demographic of 13-35 year olds.

As an extension of YT’s partner programme, MCNs provide production, traffic, monetisation and rights management services to content creators and brands, thus closing a gap in YT’s ecosystem by offering trusted environments with higher quality and monetisation standards.

MCNs are a key element in the professionalisation of YT and hence attractive vehicles for third parties to gain exposure to YT’s reach and potential. Looking ahead, for YT to continue its evolution and reach new levels of monetisation and content quality, structural and control issues need to be addressed that currently cap the upside.

  • Google
Internet, TV, Media 20 August 2013
YouTube Kids app lands in the UK

The YouTube Kids app aimed at young children hands parents more control of the increasingly popular YouTube experience
Ads served to kids on the app will observe similar rules to those on broadcast TV, easily circumvented on YouTube by commercial video programming 
The app will directly compete with the popular ad-free CBeebies iPlayer channel, TV channels and Netflix

Media, Technology, TV 23 November 2015
YouTube and its MCNs: growth and variety

YouTube remains the dominant online video site globally, although competition for the viewer is growing from OTT video and other popular apps. Reach and consumption appear to be slowing in the US and the UK, but YouTube reports strong growth in global watch time as smartphone adoption proceeds

The number and variety of Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) on YouTube continues to grow. Music video MCN Vevo has so far been the largest single presence on YouTube, but it is being overtaken by the combined Disney/Maker Studios MCN 

In contrast to the aggregator MCNs with tens of thousands of channels, studio MCNs have much smaller network sizes and a higher share of owned channels. Their focus on content curation and creation has allowed some to build global audiences of repeat viewers, a unique strength and of significant appeal for advertisers

  • Google
  • YouTube
VIP List, Mobile, Telecoms 10 March 2015
YouTube and its MCNs: growth and variety

YouTube remains the dominant online video site globally, although competition for the viewer is growing from OTT video and other popular apps. Reach and consumption appear to be slowing in the US and the UK, but YouTube reports strong growth in global watch time as smartphone adoption proceeds

The number and variety of MCNs on YouTube continues to grow. Music video MCN Vevo has so far been the largest single presence on YouTube, but it is being overtaken by the combined Disney/Maker Studios MCN

In contrast to the aggregator MCNs with tens of thousands of channels, studio MCNs have much smaller network sizes and a higher share of owned channels. Their focus on content curation and creation has allowed some to build global audiences of repeat viewers, a unique strength and of significant appeal for advertisers

  • Google
Music and Radio, Internet, TV, Media
Yell UK and Classified Directory Advertising Services

Yell UK is the dominant supplier of Classified Advertising Directory Services (CDAS) in the UK. Its principal competitor is BT but, as a natural monopoly, it is regulated, and has just undergone a sector review lifting the price caps currently in place. What does the future now hold for Yell, and more generally for CDAS, which has been the only growth sector in print classified advertising since 2004?

  • Yell
Media, Internet 7 February 2007
Yell still shouting as its market crashes

Revenues and profits continue to crash at the directory giant as local and small business expenditure shifts to cheaper online media

We believe Yell’s challenges may be less about share of voice, and more about how to absorb the pace of structural change – and to operate its business effectively from a much lower top-line

Tough conditions in all territories – UK, US, Spain and Latin America – have accelerated structural change, but Yell has some advantages over the start-ups, search algorithms and social networks that surround it

  • Yell
Internet, Media 23 May 2011
Yell signals strategic shift

On 18 May Yell published a roughly as expected revenue decline for the year of 13.8%, and announced the departure of both its CEO and Finance Director, just six months after its mammoth refinancing was secured

The City responded swiftly and brutally, wiping 23% off the share price on further evidence of structural decline for the legacy print business, as well as instability at a critical time for Yell

The acquisition of Trusted Places announced on 19 May signals a strategic shift into social media and is a necessary risk for Yell – as both challenge and opportunity for Yell’s future under new management in the fast changing business marketing ecosystem

 

Media 25 May 2010
Yell shortfall shines spotlight on local advertising

Yell announced this week that full year sales growth (to March 2008) in its UK operations would be 2%, sharply down from the previously forecast 3%, due to “toughening market conditions” since the start of 2008

  • Yell
Media 13 February 2008
Yahoo!: acquisition by Microsoft most probable outcome

Microsoft’s $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo! represents the software giant’s last opportunity to compete with Google in the rapidly growing market for online advertising, which is forecast to double to $80 billion within three years

  • Yahoo
  • Google
Media, Internet 15 February 2008
Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and their uncertain future

One year on from the launch of the latest generation of gaming consoles Microsoft and Sony remain locked in a high stakes struggle for dominance of the gaming industry, and longer term viability of the console category.

Sony’s PS4, which we estimate outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One 3:1 in Q3, looks certain to win this round in a return to form for Sony following the relative disappointment of the PS3. Microsoft, struggling from missteps early in the Xbox One cycle, may have left it too late to catch up.

The wider games market continues to shift to mobile and online gaming, as developers seek to exploit the vast installed base of connected devices. New console gaming experiences from Steam and Amazon may be the primary growth driver for controller-based gameplay.

  • Microsoft
Telecoms, Technology, Media 18 December 2014
Wrists and rewards: Apple's announcements

Apple has fulfilled its promise to roll out innovative new products this year, launching Apple Watch into the nascent wearables market and Apple Pay, a new mobile payments service, as well as moving the iPhone into ‘phablet’ territory.

The larger-screened 6 and 6 Plus should revive growth in iPhone sales and ASP, as well as providing another variable to compete in the mid-tier handset segment; Apple Pay further enhances Apple’s lock on its customer base.

Apple Watch’s likely impact is harder to discern; to date sales of smartwatches have been lacklustre but although Apple’s offering is the most commercially viable yet, it still feels like a solution in need of a problem.

  • Apple
Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media 15 September 2014
Women at Work 2014

Underpinned by a legislative regime since the 1970s designed to prevent sex discrimination and unequal pay between men and women, the UK has enjoyed successive and ever bigger waves of young women gaining the education and skills to enter the work force as professionals, now standing at 5 million strong. The UK also boasts 1 million female-led companies and the digital age has greatly expanded the opportunity for entrepreneurship for women to be their own bosses.

 

The workplace inflicts a stiff ‘motherhood penalty’ that produces a yawning gender pay gap for women in their 40s and 50s as men more readily gain access to managerial and executive positions, radiating from there to board positions, where Lord Davies’ initiative for FTSE companies has led some to endorse the merit of a diversity of directors on boards.

 

On the whole, however, employers often overlook the potential to optimise talent management practices to accommodate maternity and support the work-life balance of employees, prevent sexism and unequal pay, and offer women an equality of opportunity to accede to top jobs. Companies that do so could be more likely to establish a lasting competitive advantage and the UK economy will gain too from releasing the talent and energy of women at work.

 

If you are not a subscriber you can download the pdf here

Telecoms, Media 17 December 2014
Wireless - Current Ideas and Issues

We see European handset shipments down from 140-150 million in 2000 to 100 million in each of the next two years.

Telecoms 5 March 2001

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