Format: Nov 2015
Sector(s) Datesort ascending
Apple drops DRM

Major record labels will allow iTunes to sell all its music stripped of digital rights management (DRM), removing a barrier to digital music buying, while iTunes will introduce in April the tiered pricing the industry wants

We expect no real bounce in demand, however, as Apple’s DRM was not a restriction for iTunes customers as most owned iPods, the dominant music player in a market which is almost fully matured – we expect few iPod customers to pay to upgrade their libraries to DRM-free

News of peace breaking out between iTunes and the recorded music industry was overshadowed by reports of the continued steep decline in CD volumes sold in the US market, down almost by one fifth in 2008 from 2007, with digital increases again failing to offset the decline

  • Apple
Media, Music and Radio 15 January 2009
ITV and Virgin Media deal on TV VOD

ITV has agreed to provide 7 day catch-up and archive content to Virgin Media’s TV customers. By closing the last major gap in its VOD offering, Virgin Media can better exploit VOD as a differentiator with Sky, thereby assisting customer retention

ITV also stands to gain from the circa £5-10 million per annum that it could receive for distribution of its catch-up content and the addition of 500 hours of top archive content to TV Choice, Virgin Media’s subscription VOD service. There appears no corresponding downside risk to ITV advertising revenues

The announcement highlights the future role of Kangaroo, the proposed BBC/ITV/Channel 4 joint venture, in supplying archive material to complete Virgin Media’s VOD line up, and the remedies the Competition Commission is considering to protect wholesale VOD customers

  • Virgin Media
  • ITV
Media, TV, Internet 9 January 2009
Orange and Canal+ make peace

Ending a simmering commercial dispute, Vivendi’s Canal+ has agreed to distribute its packages to France Télécom’s Orange TV satellite customers, allowing Orange to relaunch its DTH platform (targeting 4 million customers off the DSL TV footprint) after its dismal ‘do-it-alone’ first six months

Canal+ recruitments will benefit from the resumption of active marketing for its packages over Orange TV platforms, after a poor year for subscriber growth

Canal+ catch-up TV will now be available to all Orange Canal+ DSL TV subscribers, as it is to those on Free, where it is very popular, plus Orange satellite subscribers, thus giving Orange back the leadership position on IPTV in France

  • Orange
  • France Telecom
  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Telecoms, Fixed Line 9 January 2009
From Kangaroo to Marquis in a hop?

Kangaroo, the BBC/ITV/Channel 4 VOD project, looks unlikely to see the light of day any time soon, based on the Competition Commission’s (CC) provisional findings announced on 3rd December




  • Channel 4
  • BBC
  • ITV
Media, TV, Internet 23 December 2008
NGA in Germany

This is the third, after France and The Netherlands, of our reports on NGA in the continent. Deutsche Telekom’s NGA extends fibre to the cabinet, with VDSL for the last mile, to cover 25% of the country’s 37 million homes by end 2008. In our view, DTAG’s strategic rationale on NGA is to develop the IPTV proposition to better counter the competitive challenge on broadband and telephony, in core urban areas, of a resurgent cable. DTAG has already lost considerable double play market share to the altnets, and market positioning is key given the sizeable upside left in the German broadband market

Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Telecoms 23 December 2008
UK Online Handset Sales Monitor

In the attached report, we present an analysis of UK handset sales over the online channel, using data sourced from, an online comparison handset sales site. presents offers from all major online mobile shops, including those from the operators and the major independent retailers, covering handsets, datacards and SIM-only offerings, across prepay and contract connections. In this, our first report, we have focused on issues relating to the market structure and broad market share figures, and our future quarterly updates will focus more on emerging trends

Mobile, Telecoms 19 December 2008
NGA in The Netherlands

This report on next generation access in The Netherlands is the second, after France, of our reports on NGA in the continent. KPN’s NGA was initially focused on FTTC+VDSL deployment, to cover 15% of the country’s 6 million homes by end 2009. Since May 2008, KPN has moved aggressively on FTTH, establishing a joint venture with Reggefiber, the country’s leading local ‘open’ network operator. Regulatory approval is pending for the end of 2008. The JV’s coverage could eventually reach 70% of homes, making The Netherlands the leading market for FTTH in Europe.




Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Telecoms 18 December 2008
Virgin Media 50 Mbit/s broadband launch: product differentiation - at a price

On Monday 15th December, Virgin Media (VMed) announced the launch of its 50 Mbit/s ‘XXL’ broadband service, implemented over the existing cable network using the DOCSIS3 standard. This note looks at the details of the offer and the implications for VMed, other ISPs and the residential telecoms market as a whole

  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 16 December 2008
NGA in France

This report on France kicks off a series of reports on Next Generation Access on the continent, also covering Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, and concluding with a summary. Each country report is focused on the strategic rationale for NGA, and covers the incumbent's principal competitors, the IPTV opportunity, NGA plans or achievements, and the regulatory agenda. For France, our principal conclusion is that plans for NGA respond mainly to a strategic imperative to upgrade IPTV services to HD and multiple feed, with limited direct uplift to ARPU, making these plans generally cautious, tactical and highly focused on IPTV niche markets

Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Telecoms 10 December 2008
UK broadband market Q3 2008

UK broadband net additions in Q3 2008 fell sequentially, the first time this has happened in a third quarter. Q3 net adds almost halved year-on-year to 320,000

  • BT
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
Telecoms, Fixed Line 9 December 2008
UK TV Advertising and PSB survival

The consultation period for the second phase of Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review closes on 4th December 2008. The central issue before Ofcom is that the current PSB model is broken, lacking the flexibility to “adapt to audiences’ evolving needs”. The primary concern lies with the commercial sector, which is under increasing strain to deliver its PSB commitments due to structural changes in the television medium that have been compounded by the present economic crisis. This presentation sets out our views about the role of structural changes in restraining TV net advertising revenues (NAR) growth in recent years along with our latest TV forecasts to 2013. Whilst some of the current downward pressures on TV NAR may be expected to ease, a new structural change that threatens the commercial PSB sector is the growing chasm between BBC investment in its PSB services and the advertising revenues of ITV, Channel 4 and Five




  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • Five
  • ITV
  • Sky
Media, TV 27 November 2008
Carphone Warehouse interim results: calm before the storm?

Carphone Warehouse’s distribution side was very strong in revenue terms in the September quarter, with an underlying (ex-currency) growth of 11%

The company is right to be cautious about the Christmas trading environment, although we believe that it will continue to do well in relative terms at least, and even has a fighting chance of hitting the distribution revenue guidance made back in April

Fixed line revenue growth was hit by churn and spin down at AOL UK, and churn in the non-broadband base. Fixed line EBITDA grew encouragingly as cost savings from LLU kicked in, but overall financial performance was marred by the cost of free laptop and retention offers at AOL UK

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Fixed Line 26 November 2008
Mobile revenue growth: September 2008 quarter and outlook

European mobile revenue growth has declined again, from 1.4% to 0.5%, despite favourable movements in regulatory factors, which imply an underlying drop in growth of about 2 percentage points

Telecoms, Mobile 26 November 2008
UK TV and display advertising outlook

The enclosed presentation updates our latest UK TV and display media advertising figures to reflect the dramatic downgrading of the state of the UK economy in recent weeks and days, ending talk of a shallow and short recession. Our central case assumption is of a 2% real GDP decline in 2009, led by a consumption decline of 3%, but we recognise that the UK economy has entered a long and uncertain period of adjustment, with few historical parallels, which will require constant updating of our forecasts as it evolves. On our central case, total UK advertising will be down almost 5% in 2008 to £16.8 billion, with a further decline of 12% in 2009. The declines for display advertising are sharper, and will accelerate the structural changes taking place in the UK media landscape mainly due to the shift to the internet


Media, TV 20 November 2008
French Pay-TV: Back to growth?

This presentation on the French pay-TV market covers the principal recent developments on that market and the positioning of suppliers, including Vivendi's Canal+, France Télécom's Orange, Numericable and alnets Iliad and SFR. French TV homes are rapidly switching over to 'free' multichannel TV services, but the upside for premium subscriptions is modest. To maintain positioning as the dominant premium content provider, Canal+ is both improving the user experience of its core DTH subscribers (e.g. the new Le Cube), and widening its partnerships with network operators to offer on-demand to Canal+ subscribers. Orange is one significant exception, due to the rivalry initiated by the launch of Orange TV pay services in July 2008. This rivalry was a factor in lower subscription levels for Canal+ in Q3 2008, down to 10.41 million, in addition to the ongoing lure of free, plus the economic downturn and credit crunch. The target of 11.5 million subscriptions by 2011 looks out of reach (Orange Threat to Canal+ Targets [2008-24])


Media, TV 18 November 2008
BT FY 2008-09 Q2 results: resilience reduced by cost control issues at Global Services

As announced in the October trading update, BT’s Q2 results were hit by poor cost control at Global Services. Performance elsewhere was reasonable but was shored up at group level by a spike in contribution from non-core business

  • BT
Telecoms, Fixed Line 17 November 2008
Local Media and BBC Video

This report examines the role of local commercial media in supplying the information needs of the UK’s many communities, in the context of the BBC’s ‘Local Video’ plans to add video to its local online services. Unlike the BBC services, which are publicly funded, regional and local commercial media must cover their costs from revenue earned from circulation and advertising. On top of the structural shift to the internet of media consumption and advertising, their business models are severely stressed by the ongoing recession, which will only widen the gap between the BBC’s revenues and that of commercial media. The BBC Trust’s decision on the local video plans will be a game-changer for local commercial media in the UK

  • BBC
Media, TV, Internet 13 November 2008
Vodafone 2008/09 H1 results: underperforming competitors

Vodafone’s European organic service revenue growth dropped again in the September quarter, to -1.3%, and we estimate that it continues to underperform its competitors’ growth by two percentage points, thus losing market share. Margins also fell, as the company’s cost reduction measures continue to fail to stop costs rising

  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 13 November 2008
Cable & Wireless half year results to September 2008: free at last

The UK business (EAUS) is continuing to improve ahead of guidance as expected and its turnround can now be judged a success. Management has announced an aggressive plan to extract synergy from the recently acquired Thus

  • Cable & Wireless
Telecoms, Mobile, Fixed Line 12 November 2008
Virgin Media Q3 2008 results: significant improvement, but economic environment continuing to present challenges

Virgin Media’s Q3 results represent a significant step in the recovery of the business, with ARPU and consumer cable revenue stable for the first time in 18 months. Group OCF growth was hit by one-off opex reductions in the prior quarter but continues to grow on an underlying basis

  • Virgin Media
TV, Media, Telecoms, Fixed Line 7 November 2008