Format: Mar 2019
Sector(s) Datesort ascending
ITV Licence Fees

Ofcom produced a tough and rigorous document on ITV licence fee renewals. Although the paper is dense and difficult to understand, we think it is bad news for ITV. The likely licence fee settlement is going to be higher than commentators might have expected six months ago. The prime reasons are Ofcom’s proposed move to assessing the ‘digital dividend’ on the basis of digital viewing, not households and, second, taxing the benefits of the lower costs of the merged ITV business. The first of these is the more important financially since only about 57% of ITV viewing in digital houses is of the digital ITV service.

We have long been sceptical of claims that music download stores like iTunes, combined with hardball legal tactics against pirates, would rapidly turn around the fortunes of the music industry. The wildly successful iPod has driven the growth of digital music downloads, and is expanding the population of music downloaders that pay for music - but not forced a change of heart by file sharers! Music download sales are expanding but not fast enough to balance the decline in physical formats. Globally, we project sales of music downloads of $3.5 billion by 2010, about 10% of the total music market.

  • ITV
Media 20 July 2004
Online Advertising Europe 2004

Online advertising outperformed other media in 2003 in the three biggest European markets of the UK, Germany and France, a trend which we expect to continue in 2004-06. Paid search has been the principal driver of growth in the UK market (up 70% in 2003), but interest of advertisers has cooled as steep price rises have reduced its cost effectiveness as a customer acquisition tool. Paid search is taking off in France and Germany, and will fuel growth in 2004-06.

Media 14 July 2004
UK Broadband Market H1 2004

UK broadband take-up continued to be strong in H1 2004, with an estimated 1.1 million new home and business broadband subscribers expanding the base to 4.2 million. Take-up is being aided by aggressive price competition - many ISPs are now offering broadband packages below the critical price point of £20/month - and relentless marketing campaigns as the 'land grab' for subscribers continues.

Telecoms 24 June 2004
Analogue Switch-Off

The structure of the UK broadcasting industry will be hugely influenced by the timing of the analogue switch-off. It will particularly affect ITV, whose licence fee is set by reference to the percentage of the population able to receive digital signals.

Media 21 June 2004
Global Games Market

The unveiling of new handheld gamers at E3, the games industry's annual gathering in Los Angeles, has resuscitated interest in the fast maturing market for handheld gamers. Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP), Nintendo's dual-screen GameBoy and Nokia's redesigned N-Gage QD are major product plays for companies that must each prove themselves again to be innovative or continue to decline.

Media 17 June 2004
3G in Japan

Although 3G mobile networks are being rolled out aggressively in Japan, instead of the promised land of increased voice and data revenue driving higher profits, revenue is stagnant and costs are rising. In this report we examine why and consider the lessons to be learned for European operators.




Telecoms, Mobile 13 June 2004
UK Digital TV Platform Growth

UK digital TV (DTV) growth is rocketing ahead, but how fast? Ofcom and BARB – the two ‘official’ sources – agree that growth has been faster since Q4 2003 and that Freeview is the main reason, but are issuing increasingly divergent estimates. Ofcom is, in our view, overestimating Freeview and BSkyB homes. We prefer BARB's methods and rely on its estimate of 48.1% of UK TV homes (11.7 million DTV homes).

Media 7 June 2004
French Broadband Market

The take-off of local loop unbundling in H2 2003 enabled France to record the highest rate of broadband market growth in 2003 in Europe. This torrid pace of growth continued in Q1 2004 due to retail price declines and 50% rises in ISP ad budgets year-on-year. Free, Neuf, Cegetel, Telecom Italia, Tiscali are offering LLU-based DSL offers, bundled in most cases with telephony.

Telecoms 1 June 2004
Cable & Wireless: UK vs. the 'exotics'

This report examines the medium-term prospects for Cable & Wireless. In 2003, analysts sensed a new dawn for C&W following the arrival of new management and the company's exit from the US.

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms 13 May 2004
UK Mobile User Survey

In this report we update our regular survey of UK mobile users, with the latest survey conducted in April 2004. We look at user penetration, handset replacement rates, camera phone ownership and use, and also the market share prospects and camera phone usage for the mobile network operators.




Telecoms, Mobile 8 May 2004
Happy Birthday iTunes

Happy Birthday iTunes! It is just over a year since Apple launched iTunes and the media continues to talk up the second coming of the music industry, whose saviour appears in the form of affable Steve Jobs. iTunes sold a total of 70 million tracks online in its first year, well below its target of 100 million, but a respectable showing, especially since it spawned a small flock of competitors determined to out-sell iTunes.

  • Apple
Media 5 May 2004
Local Loop Unbundling in the UK

Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) has been a failure in the UK, with BT maintaining a stranglehold on the wholesale supply of DSL connections. But in other European countries, LLU has helped provide competition to the incumbent PTT and acted as a catalyst for the development of new services, such as voice-over-broadband and TV-over-DSL, and generally brought prices down.

Fixed Line 4 May 2004
Canal Plus and French Pay-TV

This in-depth report on pay-TV in France charts the course of Canal Plus and its main, but much smaller, competitor, TPS, over the period 2004-06. We anticipate pay-TV penetration will rise from 35% in 2003 to 38.7% by 2006, driven mainly by aggressive competition between TPS and Canal Plus in an improving economic environment.

  • Canal Plus
Media 3 May 2004
UK Online Console Gaming

This report updates our readers on the disappointing advance of online console gaming in the UK. Although the UK is the third largest video games market in the world, and was the first country in Europe to offer online gaming for Xbox and PS2, we estimate only 90,000 UK online console gamers at the end of Q1 2004 (just over 1% of 128-bit consoles sold to date).

Media 29 April 2004
UK Commercial Radio

Modest progress has been made towards consolidation in commercial radio since we last reported on the issue in mid-2003. Although the new Communications Act has liberalised the ownership rules, the potential blocking role of the Competition Commission continues to be a restraining factor in the wake of the Galaxy/Vibe ruling. That ruling found that anti-competitive outcomes could emerge even if the ownership rules were respected and it has had a chilling effect on M&A activity.

Media 15 April 2004

Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) is a fashionable topic and this report provides our assessment about whether the mass market potential in Europe matches the rhetoric of enthusiasts or the experience of the United States. In other words, does VoIP represent a fundamental threat to the continent's (and the UK's) incumbent telecoms operators, which still dominate the fixed telephony business? In our view, VoIP in Europe has quite a limited potential for consumers in general although business applications will expand significantly.

Fixed Line 6 April 2004
Music Publishing 2004

We expect the music publishing market to grow from $3.7 billion in 2003 to $5 billion in 2010. Performance, mobile phone ring tone and synchronisation revenues will be the most important drivers of growth in the near term, with legitimate downloads becoming significant in the medium-term (a big if given piracy, but one that we still are confident about). These will offset the expected decline in mechanical copyright revenues derived from physical sales of recorded music, as volumes continue to fall. There are however worrying signs that the standard mechanical copyright rates currently being applied (according to an expired agreement) may be reduced, which has the potential to negate the expected market growth.

Media 4 April 2004
E-Recruitment and Regional Newspapers

A new menace hangs over the future of regional newspapers, an industry already suffering from declining display advertising and paid circulation. Starting with the NHS Electronic Recruitment Programme (ERP) launched this month, we expect the public sector will shift recruitment activity to its own sites, in the wider context of e-Government objectives to bring all services online by 2005.

Media 26 March 2004

Our first report on Mediaset, the Italian commercial TV empire controlled by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, covers the company's strong results for 2003 and prospects for 2004 and 2005. The company reports on 24th March 2003.

Media 22 March 2004

Fastweb is an interesting altnet break-out story from Milan, Italy. Fastweb has a two-tiered network composed of a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network and the more recent DSL network based on fully unbundled Telecom Italia lines. Taking advantage of Italy's relatively low prices for unbundled local loops, Fastweb is among the leading unbundlers in Europe, with Free based in France (Iliad [2004-02]). Fastweb anticipates passing 6 million households (25% of the total) by 2006 and 10 million by 2010.

Telecoms 18 March 2004