Publications

Format: Mar 2019
sort ascending Sector(s) Date
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
Amazon’s Prime Directive

Despite dropping the Fire Phone, Amazon has upped the ante in its battle for digital media consumers, upgrading its Fire TV devices and rolling out a new range of low price and robust tablets, starting from £50/$50, squarely aimed at the mass market

As with all Amazon devices aside from the failed phone, they are conduits for the company’s media and retail services, aimed at increasing purchases and forcing other platform operators to include them

Although shrinking as a share of Amazon’s business, media remains crucial, both for direct revenue and to attract customers to Prime, its membership programme, which by some estimates now accounts for the majority of its US sales

  • Amazon
Internet, Media, Mobile, Technology, TV 5 October 2015
Amazon’s ad business: shoppers for sale

Amazon’s marketing services bring in a growing stream of direct, high-margin revenue, but their main role is still in supporting vendor partnerships

Amazon uses customer profile data to profit from its own media and that of others, illustrating the value of a direct customer relationship in online advertising

In the future, Amazon’s moves into video content and voice interfaces are likely to significantly expand ad inventory, but maintaining the trust of shoppers is not straightforward

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google
Media, Mobile, Technology, TV 27 February 2017
Amazon, ebooks and the UK

Amazon has announced that it will launch its ‘Kindle’ ebook reader internationally. It will be sold from the US site and shipped internationally for $270, with a free global wireless service for downloading books. This looks like an interim step with full ‘local’ sales in place next year; nonetheless local media (newspapers, magazines and book publishers) are in place.

All of this, however, was caused by regulatory effects, with underlying growth being stable for the first time since March 2008

We expect both underlying and reported growth to recover in the December quarter, and to progressively improve throughout 2010

Media 8 October 2009
Amazon Video Direct: self-publishing for videos

Amazon’s newly launched open video hosting service, Video Direct, will appeal to creators of ‘professional’ videos by offering them a new platform and monetisation options

Amazon’s attractiveness to video creators resides mainly in the prospect of earning a portion of subscription fees from millions of Prime members

While Video Direct might not become a huge business for creators, this move cements Amazon as a media platform and risks hurting YouTube

  • Amazon
  • YouTube
Internet, Media, Technology 2 June 2016
Amazon Prime and the video market

DVDs are a core Amazon product, of which it is one of the largest retailers – the challenge is to sustain this position throughout the on-going transition to digital formats

Amazon Prime Instant Video’s first purpose is to help the transition by building Amazon’s digital video retail ecosystem. As part of the loss leader Prime bundle it also supports increased customer retail expenditure and stickiness

Despite strong headline growth in Prime membership and some high profile content, the streaming service has yet to generate significant consumer interest. Prime’s net cost is likely to rise as Amazon must finance content to meet rising consumer expectation while suffering competitive price pressures on the bundle

  • Amazon
  • Netflix
Internet, Media, TV 11 June 2015
Amazon Prime Air pilots in the UK

Amazon will test three possible features of their drone delivery system in the UK, which could make this novel shipping solution for small packages viable

When it launches, Prime Air will be limited to a catchment area of 2.3 million homes in the UK, with further exclusions for no-go areas for drones like airports and urban areas

Prime Air’s UK pilot will help the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) craft the rules for future drone delivery by retailers

  • Amazon
  • Google
Media, Technology, Telecoms 11 August 2016
Amazon makes its move into tablets

Amazon has taken the ereader to $79 and the tablet to $200. The Amazon Fire is everything that Android tablets are not: a coherent high-quality user experience rather than a box of components. It will sell well, while new sub-$100 Kindles will reinforce Amazon’s dominance of ebooks

Amazon began as a bookshop, but just 30% of Q2 North American sales were physical media of any kind. The Fire is part of a broader strategy – to embed Amazon in online buying of everything from shoes to nappies to iPads and TVs. The Kindle Fire is a shop window on every coffee table

Media companies should not expect Amazon to be a more congenial partner than Apple. Amazon’s long-term stake in the health of the books or magazine industries is limited: the Kindle is a new way to reach readers and viewers, but not a saviour

  • Google
  • Apple
Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Media 5 October 2011
Amazon extends its gaming strategy

Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch, a platform for watching and broadcasting live streams of video gameplay, provides the ecommerce giant access to a large, fast growing and highly engaged gaming audience.

Like other media, retailing of games is in a state of transition away from physical media, where Amazon is more dominant, to digital, where Amazon is one player among many; this acquisition echoes those Amazon has made in other media.

Twitch looks set to be a successful business in its own right, arguably reason enough to buy it; more importantly it offers valuable consumer behaviour data, as well as technology and platform benefits, and enhances Amazon’s increasingly ambitious customer proposition.

Media 7 September 2014
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
  • Netflix
  • Sky
Media, Technology, TV 24 May 2017
Altice in crisis as formulaic model flounders in France

The telecoms group has suffered a dramatic stock market correction following its Q3 results, as investors woke up to the continuous decline of its main unit, France’s SFR – leading its CEO to resign. Closure of a tax loophole will further erode SFR’s revenues by up to 4% in 2018

Despite being France’s largest fibre network, SFR’s broadband market share dropped 4ppts over three years. Notwithstanding grandstands on ‘convergence’ and expensive rights acquisitions, it is losing pay-TV subscribers – it looks unlikely to challenge Vivendi’s Canal+ in next year’s Ligue 1 auction

The mobile performance is notably better with the subscriber count stabilised and ARPU rising. Besides sustaining network deployments, to turn around SFR Altice needs to abandon short term fixes, invest in its workforce and customer service, and differentiate through valuable innovation – in other words the opposite of the model followed so far 

Non-UK Media, Non-UK Telecoms, Media, Telecoms 16 November 2017
Alleged 25% Drop in ITV Viewing

The flow of news about ITV is going from bad to worse. But we think that the market may have misunderstood the real story behind last week's bombshell that ITV viewing has fallen by 25% in a year. This figure could have been predicted from existing data.

  • ITV
Media 15 January 2002
All about multi-products: Sky fiscal Q3 2010 results

 

Sky Q3 2010 adjusted revenues showed strong year-on-year growth of around ten percent in the year to date (10.7%), and in the third quarter (11.1%), marked by strong product sales into its existing subscriber base, especially in HD, but also solid progress in broadband, telephony and line rental

The rise in revenues was more than matched by a rise in costs (up 11.7% in the first nine months); however, this was largely accounted for by a one-off rise in programming costs in the wake of Setanta’s departure in June 2009 and upfront HD investment and direct network costs associated with the strong growth in product take-up

Once the HD and direct network investment costs driving product growth have washed through, Sky appears well on track to deliver operating margin growth into the upper twenties for its TV business and into the high single digits for its telecoms business; which we expect to experience little direct material impact in the next five years from the implementation of the Ofcom wholesale must-offer remedy

 

  • Sky
Fixed Line, Telecoms, TV, Media 4 May 2010
Al Jazeera needs Canal+

Qatar’s Al Jazeera will launch its French pay-TV channel by this summer, showing weekly Ligue 1 and Champions League games, but it has yet to disclose a business plan and distribution deals

The new channel is a complement to Canal+, which broadcasts the most attractive games. Al Jazeera would need to obtain distribution on the Canal+ platform

Even if such a deal were to be struck, Al Jazeera would struggle to break even

  • Canal Plus
TV, Media 18 January 2012
Advertising: this year, next year

We forecast UK display adspend to grow by 3.1% in 2018 (<1% in nominal terms), with TV roughly steady, newspaper decline slowing and digital growth slowing a little

Households are facing an income squeeze and the ability of debt and credit to carry them over is reaching its sensible limit. Brexit-related uncertainties remain the single strongest drag on business investment, dampening ad spend

TV spend is the £5bn question. While live viewing continues to decline, TV delivers against different marketing objectives from precisely targeted online inventory, and rapid broadcaster VOD growth will help hold TV spend steady

  • Channel 4
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • ITV
  • Sky
  • YouTube
Media, Technology, Telecoms 14 February 2018
Advertising ups and downs in 2017

Brexit has not noticeably depressed advertising spend in 2016, as consumer spend is buoyant, fueled by borrowing and lower savings. Yet, businesses are being cautious as uncertainty weighs on the future rules of trade with the EU

We forecast total advertising spend to rise by 0.6% at constant prices in 2017, almost entirely due to digital growth, which is expanding the total advertising market. Its share has soared from 1% in 2000 and looks likely to hit 50% in 2017

Up to now digital growth has always been at the expense of print and not television, but this could just be changing as mobile increasingly holds centre stage for the consumer

 

Brexit, Media 12 December 2016
Advertising after the turning point: when offline is the exception

Online advertising became the majority of all UK ad spend last year, in step with China but ahead of all other major markets. 

Direct response has further increased its share to 54% of UK ad spend, fuelled by the self-serve platforms of Google, Facebook and Amazon, while content media nets just 11% of the online advertising pot.

We estimate that all online-delivered channels - including "pure play" online properties, broadcaster VOD, digital out-of-home and online radio - could account for well over 60% of UK ad spend by 2020, but only with improved commitment to industry governance. 

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Sky
  • Spotify
Internet, Media, Mobile, Non UK Media, Technology, TV, UK Media 14 June 2018
Addressable TV has more to deliver, while online video posts record highs

The market for addressable TV looks constrained despite its benefits, with Sky AdSmart taking less than 2% of overall TV ad revenues. Meanwhile, online video revenues for Google, Facebook and others have surged dramatically

Agencies are seemingly enraptured by online video  a highly profitable medium to buy despite concerns about a lack of effectiveness, safety and transparency 

For broadcasters to compete, better radical collaborative action is needed, including industry-wide adoption of AdSmart, and overhauling the trading agreements which hinder its take-up

 

 

  • Channel 4
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • ITV
  • Sky
  • UKTV
  • Viacom
  • Virgin Media
Media, Telecoms 14 March 2018
Activision: the new King of the games industry

Activision’s announcement of its intention to buy King, the maker of Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion, is a major strategic play but positions the company well as it seeks to broaden its exposure to the growing mobile games market

Activision has answered the “build or buy” question by looking to King to strengthen its capabilities in key areas: specifically mobile development, online gameplay, customer acquisition and retention analytics, as well expanding its range of revenue streams

Other mobile and online game developers are now under renewed focus as possible acquisition targets by major developers. Enders expects more acquisitions in this space in the near term

 
Media, Technology 12 November 2015
About finding the right balance - Channel 4 annual report

Channel 4 enjoyed a bumper year in 2012 with regard to delivering its public service remit, epitomised by the London Paralympics

Public service successes notwithstanding, the continuing decline in main Channel 4 audience share post digital switchover is not being fully compensated commercially by large gains across the rest of the Channel 4 portfolio

Overall, we expect group revenues to remain quite stable in 2013 and 2014, but current record levels of investment in programme content origination have yet to bear fruit in terms of strong returning series

  • Channel 4
Media, TV 29 May 2013

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