Publications

Format: Oct 2017
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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

  • Sky
  • News Corp
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

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
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
  • Sky
  • ITV
  • BBC
Media 8 April 2010
Wireless

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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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
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 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 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 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, 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

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