Publications

Format: Dec 2017
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Apple’s results, the iPhone and Android

Apple is now a $108bn company, with annual revenue up 66% from a year ago and 40% gross margins. September quarter iPhone sales dipped to 17m ahead of a new product launch, but Apple still sold 72m in the last 12m, compared to 40m in the 12m to September 2010

Apple has now sold 40m iPads for $20.3bn revenue, and 11m in the last quarter. All other competing devices have sold perhaps 4m. We expect Apple’s dominance to continue through 2012 and potentially beyond

Google’s Android sold even more smartphones than Apple, activating 150m in the last 12m and 55m in the September quarter. Yet in October Apple sold 4m of the new iPhone 4S in just three days, bringing in around $2.6bn: Google’s annual run-rate mobile revenue is now $2.5bn

  • Google
  • Apple
Mobile, Telecoms, Technology, Media 19 October 2011
Article 50 triggers Brexit in 2019

The UK intends to exit the EU on 29 March 2019 and will submit the hoped-for agreement on a new strategic partnership with the EU to a vote in Parliament

The EU and the UK agree to seek an early settlement on the rights of 4 million nationals and the Irish border. Incentives diverge on the size of the UK’s Brexit bill

Unless a withdrawal agreement is reached, the EU will balk at starting talks on the UK’s desired free trade agreement (FTA), making a hard Brexit more likely than not

Brexit, Media 30 March 2017
Audiovisual advertising blues 2007

Television advertising revenues fell by nearly 7% and radio advertising by more than 4% in 2006 according to latest market estimates. We expect declines of around 4% for both media in 2007

TV, Media, Music and Radio 4 January 2007
Augmented reality: Apple’s next 10-year bet

Through innovations in processing, connectivity and cameras, Apple’s new device lineup dispels fears that the importance of integrated, profitable mobile hardware is in terminal decline

With the broadest range of iPhone price points ever, Apple is confidently balancing between profits and growing the valuable installed base

Apple’s long way to an AR future is now well paved, but a weakness in mapping could prove to be an Achilles heel

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Walt Disney
Media, Technology, Telecoms 20 September 2017
Auto classified advertising

Auto is the third category in our annual series of reports on UK classified advertising, following UK classifieds and recruitment category outlook [2014-094] and Property classified advertising [2014-098]. In this year’s report we analyse the key drivers in the communications marketplace for used cars, notably transaction volumes and pricing. Overall the auto market is relatively buoyant, with the post-recession new car sales boom starting to feed into used car revenues in 2014, although the sustainability of this credit fuelled growth is far from certain. Auto Trader remains the big beast in the marketplace after Guardian Media Group sold its 50.1% stake to Apax Partners earlier this year. Apax will likely be considering an IPO or sale, particularly as market conditions look favourable in 2015 and Auto Trader’s strong leadership position looks largely unchallenged.

Internet, Media 21 November 2014
Auto classified advertising 2013

Auto is the third category in our annual series of reports in UK classified advertising, following UK classifieds and recruitment category outlook [2013-090] and Property classified advertising [2013-091]. Our Auto market report analyses the key drivers in the communications marketplace for used cars, notably transaction volumes and pricing. Overall the auto market is reasonably stable, with new car sales picking up substantially in recent months, while used car sales are roughly flat. AutoTrader remains the big beast in the marketplace, having closed its print product and now focused on developing its digital services alongside its core search. Our report analyses media usage by Car Dealers, and provides five year expenditure forecasts.

Internet, Media 24 October 2013
Auto Trader IPO: driving home advantage

Auto Trader’s long-touted IPO has valued the car sales platform at £2.4bn, 17x EBITDA, matching Zoopla multiples but substantially lower than Rightmove’s 23x Auto Trader is both the most successful print to digital transition – and has also built the widest moat of any specialist classified service – that we have seen, and not just in the UK The near term market for used cars in the UK looks quite buoyant. However, some signs of slowdown in Auto Trader usage and slower longer term growth in the used car market provides some uncertainty further out

Internet, Media 23 March 2015
AutoTrader and auto classified outlook

The third of our four reports on specialist advertising focuses on the automotive sector and AutoTrader's role at the heart of the dealer ecosystem

The used car market has been remarkably resilient in recent years, but as with many classified categories the core trend in digital is diversification to a suite of services from a core listings model

AutoTrader's owners Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group will of course be considering their options in terms of an exit from their investment

  • Guardian Media Group
Internet, Media 18 October 2012
Away from home: The online challenge for PSBs

On TV, UK public service broadcasters (PSBs) have operated within a privileged ecosystem; a guaranteed electronic programme guide (EPG) prominence placing their channels at the forefront, helping sustain their market share and spawning digital families

But technological changes within the TV set are eroding this prominence, and on devices, such structural advantages are non-existent

To confront dramatically falling mobile engagement, despite consistently excellent content, the PSBs need to collaborate and replicate their privileged linear position or they will struggle against the major SVOD players

  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • ITV
Media, TV 14 April 2016
Back to being Apple computer

iPod revenue (quarterly, year-on-year) declined for the first time. Even though unit sales were up 24% year-on-year, the average iPod price was down 20%. Apple group revenue growth is increasingly dependent on Mac sales and new product launches, like Apple TV (March 2007) and the iPhone (in June 2007)

  • Apple
Media, Music and Radio 29 April 2007
BARB's eye view of Netflix

Netflix has always been highly secretive and released very few details about its international streaming performance in individual countries beyond the general statement that it is seeing encouraging progress everywhere

Now at last we can assess Netflix growth trends in the UK with a high degree of confidence as a result of a question added to the BARB ES questionnaire at the beginning of 2014, which is administered to large quarterly samples of 13,500 respondents

On the basis of BARB ES results for Q1 2014, we have revised our UK growth estimates upwards, believing Netflix paid for subscriptions to be above the 3 million mark as it heads into central Europe. Also most striking is Netflix’s popularity among younger households – clearly the cool thing to have

Internet, TV, Media 7 August 2014
Battle for Kabel Deutschland

Germany’s fixed line market is in state of flux as Liberty Global and Vodafone, the third and fourth largest players respectively, are reportedly engaged in a bidding war for Kabel Deutschland (currently number two).

The Vodafone bid would offer the most direct cost synergies, but this would be at greater execution risk. The Liberty bid would finally reunify most of the German cable sector, but would consequently need stronger undertakings to get anti-trust clearance.

Either merger would create a strong number two triple play operator, increasing competitive pressure on Deutsche Telekom and Sky Deutschland.

  • Vodafone
  • Sky Deutschland
Fixed Line, Telecoms 19 June 2013
BBC Green Paper: red alert on funding

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 DCMS Green Paper on BBC Charter Review promises a nit-picking examination of all the BBC does, where the focus will be on how to redefine its mission as well as reform and/or improve BBC services in the internet age

A central theme is the scale of the BBC. The Green Paper underlines the “dramatic” expansion of BBC services in the last 20 years, and questions whether there is still a need for the current breadth and universality of the BBC’s offering in the online world of greatly expanded choice

Among the future BBC funding options laid out in the Green Paper, the suggestion of a mixed public funding and subscription model raises serious concerns with regard to its potential negative impact on the commercial television sector

  • BBC
Media, TV, UK Media 30 July 2015
BBC iPlayer

Set for launch in May/June, the BBC’s iPlayer is a PC-based application offering live and on-demand access to around 3,500 hours of BBC programmes per week via the internet, using peer-to-peer (P2P) and multi-cast technology to overcome cost and bandwidth issues

  • BBC
Media, TV, Internet 2 March 2007
BBC iPlayer: forever niche?

On 27th July the BBC will open access to the iPlayer to UK internet users, en route to a hard launch later this summer. This PC-based application allows the user to download BBC TV content after broadcast to view on the PC for a limited time, and provides a TV-like display on the PC. Delays to the launch will mean the iPlayer enters a field already crowded by other broadcasters, including Channel 4's 4oD service, ITV's broadband portal, Sky Anytime, as well as content aggregators such as Joost and Babelgum (both currently in beta)

  • Channel 4
  • BBC
  • ITV
  • Sky
Media, TV, Internet 24 July 2007
BBC plans hit local press

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.

BBC proposals for local media set out on 7 September offer solutions to an alleged market failure, without much evidence, contained in February’s Future of News report.

There is no dispute that local commercial print and online media operations have suffered heavy revenue losses since their peak a decade ago – the industry is, however, still profitable, innovation and online growth are helping to stabilise the top-line, and new enterprises are emerging.

Local media publishers prefer a turbo-charged BBC policy of linking to their sites to the proposal for a local media digital hub fed by publishers and 100 BBC journalists.

  • BBC
  • DMGT
  • Gannett/Newsquest
  • Guardian Media Group
  • Johnston Press
  • Local World
  • News Corp
  • Trinity Mirror
Media 14 October 2015
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

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