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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Although Q4 net additions were on target and on par with past years, Netflix has forecast very low global subscriber growth for Q1 (2.5 million)—this would be the smallest number of additions in that quarter since the company launched a streaming-only plan over a decade ago

New US price rises will once again prove that consumers value the service and its content but, by stealth, SVOD is no longer 'cheap'

January 2022 is a decade since Netflix launched in the UK. The pace of the change in the local sector that it drives and rides is astounding, and while its efforts to embrace industry responsibility are noticeable, more will be continually asked of it

Higher overall inflation, together with a bigger mark-up than in previous years for some, is implying significant in-contract price increases for the UK telecoms operators—an average of 7.7% for the mobile operators.

Although we may see a 5-6% short-term boost to mobile service revenue growth from these price increases, new-customer pricing remains crucial and could erode the boost from these in-contract rises entirely.

We have been surprised by Ofcom’s interventions to discourage these price increases. The industry needs all the help it can get to fund next generation 5G and full fibre networks, and these in-contract price increases are no guarantee that prices and revenues overall will start to rise.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is industry transforming—accelerating the momentum toward global subscription gaming across all devices and becoming an entertainment IP powerhouse.

Activision’s ‘toxic culture’ distress was acute and couldn’t be solved—Microsoft will (and should) clean up a tarnished organisation. The troubles had hammered Activision’s share price, allowing Microsoft to pick up world-class IP at a bargain relative to year-ago prices.

Sony faces a harsh reckoning on its long-term strategy for PlayStation, while EA and Ubisoft have become desirable acquisition targets.

Douglas said “I think the days of just building scale and generating advertising revenue in order to fund an entire newsroom are probably over,” he says. “I think people have more sophisticated views of what it is they are building now. The kind of themes that we are seeing is those businesses that focus down on utility or one very specific aspect of the market – one or two beats, one or two specific areas of journalism – are the businesses that seem to be doing better."

He added “I’m thinking about the Athletic, I’m thinking about Politico, I’m thinking about Tortoise to some degree. Loyal, dedicated user bases, membership models – certainly at the very least registered users – are just so much more valuable than just relying on traffic, just relying on an advertising model.”

Freezing the price of the licence fee for two years (which will then rise in line with inflation for the following four years) will leave the BBC with a hole to fill: the broadcaster has said that by fiscal 2027 the annual deficit will be c.£285 million

Despite an increased borrowing limit of £750 million, commercial returns will be insufficient to plug the gaps

With 148 regulatory quotas and targets to meet as part of its operating licence, it is likely that the BBC will topslice content and services expenditure, rather than axing content and services wholesale