What does ‘fit and proper’ mean?
Ofcom is entitled to consider whether News Corp is ‘fit and proper’ to own BSkyB’s channels, not the company itself
Precedent suggests that Ofcom will only be able to conclude that News Corp is unfit if the acquiring company’s directors are found guilty of a serious criminal offence. Suspicions, allegations and mistrust are absolutely not enough
We believe that Ofcom will only be able to assess whether News Corp is ‘fit and proper’ to own Sky channels after the transaction is concluded
|Fixed Line, Telecoms, TV, Media||6 July 2011|
What should the BBC be for?
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 Charter Review of the BBC officially opened with the Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the Future of the BBC asking the question “What should the BBC be for and what should be the purpose of public service broadcasting?” The only obvious answer is that the BBC and public service broadcasting should be for the people of Britain, and the BBC rates highly on different measures of public and audience engagement. The BBC plays an irreplaceable role in the supply of PSB programming that UK audiences appreciate, most importantly news, where the BBC accounts for 70% of TV news time and for 22% of online news time in 2013.
|Media, TV||20 January 2014|
What Sky means for Comcast
Comcast’s £30.6 billion acquisition of Sky brings to an end the long-running ownership battle since Disney agreed to tender Fox’s 39% stake to Comcast, also ending the Murdoch Family Trust’s interest in Sky
Comcast’s US domestic cable and global NBCU media businesses complement Sky’s European operation. Sky’s telecoms business is likely to expand, while the TV side should benefit from NBCU’s global distribution might, with greater revenues generated by its original content
Fox’s long-running battle with UK regulators over the public interest dimensions of the proposed Sky acquisition has also ended. Plurality of media is preserved by Comcast’s undertakings to support Sky News for 10 years
|Media, Telecoms, TV, UK Media||28 September 2018|
Where Did the Music Go?
This report provides our analysis of the main factors in the evolution of the global music market in the period 2002-2006.
|Media||5 August 2002|
Where have all the young viewers gone?
Watching traditional linear TV has shown a sharp decline among younger adults over the last two to three years and the question is how far it has to go before bottoming out. This report explores the causes and presents our forecasts up to 2020
We see the main causes of this as the growth of online connectivity associated with the proliferation of screens via smartphones and tablets, the increasing functionality of these other screens, the increasing population of connected TV sets and the growing volume of long and short form content that can be accessed over the internet
Examination of current “connectivity” trends suggests that 2013 will prove the peak year of decline. Thereafter we expect trends to stabilise over the next three or four years without fundamental change to the linear TV landscape
|Technology, TV, Media||23 January 2014|
Wholesale DSL Access Products
Ofcom is about to issue a decision that will have a major impact on the way the UK broadband market develops. It concerns the pricing of wholesale DSL connections. The decision will be an important first signal to the market on how the newly-established Ofcom intends to deal with quasi-monopolies like BT.
|Telecoms||4 March 2004|
Why does Amazon sell the Echo?
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home accelerated their prodigious rate of adoption in Q4 2018, and we expect they will soon be in 20% of UK homes
Amazon and Google price devices low to drive adoption to mass-market levels and win the race to own the home, in contrast to Apple’s profit-making strategy for its speaker
Echo’s main strategic benefits to Amazon are the scope for data collection and the intelligence it supports, and gatekeeping partners’ access to customers
|Internet, Media, Technology, TV||4 February 2019|
Wi-Fi: Wireless Data in Public 'Hotspots'
The last few weeks have seen several enthusiastic announcements from telecom operators eager to start public Wi-Fi services. In this note we look at the prospects for public Wi-Fi. Our analysis suggests that Wi-Fi is likely to suffer from three major problems
Our central projection – that about 50% of households will have access to multi-channel TV in 2006 – is far lower than other forecasters. Indeed, if we are wrong, it will probably be because we are too pessimistic. However, more sanguine observers should note that Zenith, probably the most quoted industry analyst, has quietly reduced its digital TV penetration forecasts by 5 million homes (over 20% of UK households) in the past year.
|Telecoms||29 August 2002|
Will consumers pay for online news?
Newspaper publishers are about to enter a series of ‘online payment’ trials to help bolster disappointing online advertising performance that alone will be unable to support full scale newsrooms
Publishers are on the back foot, however: they have been giving away their content for free for almost a decade, and their core content does not have the unequivocal unique attributes of a football match, a movie or a pop song
While there are a variety of options for management to explore, in aggregate they will never match the print model, and so news is destined to shrink as a commercial enterprise for newspaper publishers
|Media, Internet||25 May 2009|
Will Google buy Yell?
Rumours that Google was acquiring Yell emerged at the end of last week, but we doubt the search giant would be interested in purchasing a traditional media company, particularly not one predominantly in print
|Media, Internet||17 January 2008|
Will News Corp’s best and final offer be enough?
Jeremy Hunt announced on 25 January his intention to refer News Corp’s bid for BSkyB to the Competition Commission
However, he is first providing News Corp with the opportunity to address Ofcom’s concerns, and in so doing protecting his department and Ofcom from any legal threats
If Ofcom or the OFT say the News Corp remedies don’t go far enough, Jeremy Hunt will be then almost obliged to refer the transaction to the CC
|Fixed Line, Telecoms, Non-UK Media, TV, Media||25 January 2011|
Will the young of today ever turn to trad TV?
The steep year-on-year decline in TV viewing among younger age groups has continued in 2015, with reported TV viewing by children 4-15 and adults 16-24 approaching 30% down on the peak of 2010
The downward trends notwithstanding, there are good grounds for believing that some of the new media consumption behaviours will fall away as today’s millennials move-up the lifestage ladder
In addition, half-yearly comparisons reveal a big slow-down in the rate of decline during H2 2015, suggesting that the explosive impact of smartphones, tablets, apps and social networks has almost reached its limits, while further change will occur at a much slower pace
|Media, Telecoms, TV||15 January 2016|
Windows Phone 7: fast but late
Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system is launching with a big bang: ten handsets, eighteen operators, and a massive marketing campaign
The OS itself is positioned firmly in between iPhone and Android in terms of ease-of-use and customisability; it is as fast as the best-in-class but no faster; and its interface is bold but will not be to everybody’s taste
A lack of apps, limited distribution, and expensive handsets will likely limit sales in the short term. Longer term, being late in the game with no truly compelling unique feature will make building a major position very challenging, but not impossible
|Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media, Mobile||21 October 2010|
Winners and losers of the May 2010 general election
The outlook for ad-supported UK media businesses is brighter in the short term than in the medium term, irrespective of who wins the election, since fiscal tightening is inevitable early in the next parliament
We expect the Conservatives, should they win, to favour commercial media (Sky, ITV) over the BBC in general and in particular in the upcoming negotiations on the licence fee settlement post 2013
Super-fast broadband networks enjoy cross-party support, but Labour’s 50 pence landline tax was blocked by the Conservatives, who prefer to use a small portion of the BBC licence fee
|Media||8 April 2010|
|15 January 2001|
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|
Wobbles ahead for TalkTalk's fine balancing act
TalkTalk is delivering on its subscriber and revenue growth targets but is straining to get there. Price rises such as a £4 ‘TV access fee’ look increasingly risky
Whilst migrating to discounted high-speed helps to deliver top-line growth, margins are c. 40% lower; an unwelcome dent to already negative cashflow and stressed leverage
Both TalkTalk’s focus on revenue growth in a tight market and fibre rollout plans look increasingly unaffordable; a more modest ambition of stable revenues might allow a healthier business model to unfold
|Telecoms||8 February 2019|
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|
Women at Work 2018
To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2018 in the centenary of the partial suffrage, Women at Work 2018 promotes the goals of professional women in the UK through:
Greater awareness by large employers thanks to new gender pay reporting requirements. The national mean gender pay gap of 14% confirms a gender imbalance inside most large employers. Only 30% of management positions are held by women, about the same as a decade ago (although the total number of such roles are shrinking). Leadership from the top has is crucial to address stereotypes behind the 'motherhood penalty', 'glass ceiling' and 'glass walls'
Increasing the share of women in top jobs. The voluntary initiative to make business more effective by more FTSE 100 companies appointing women to their boards is aiming for 1 of 3 roles by 2020, up from 28% in 2017. Women, however, hold only 10% of FTSE 100 Executive Director roles, casting a spotlight on the scarcity of female leaders in waiting in the 'executive pipeline'
Boosting female engagement with entrepreneurship, a booming UK trend, and leveraging the power of digital. With just 1 in 5 small businesses being female-led, women often cite networks, role models, and mentors as important enablers
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of EMEA, Facebook, comments: "We live in a society where the system is often tilted in the opposite direction to women – the digital world has created a level playing field that removes the barriers and eliminates the bias. Every week I meet with women who are starting their businesses through digital channels or inspiring others to do the same as them. This is an important report that charts the success to date and the important progress that is still needed."
The creative industries too will gain from engaging with initiatives to remove barriers to equality of opportunity and realise the talent of women at work. Internal transformation is particularly relevant in 2018 when society-wide soul-searching promises to transform cultural products by further shattering tired tropes.
|Ladies List, Media, Non UK Media, Public Policy, Technology, Telecoms, TV, UK Media||7 March 2018|
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.
|Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Internet, Media||15 September 2014|