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Rigorous Fearless Independent

This report is free to access.

Female-led and equally-led employers numbered 550,000 in the UK in 2019, a 40% share of 1.4 million businesses. These are often sub-scale businesses requiring financial and digital skills to scale up.

Female-led businesses cluster in education, health, food and accommodation, the latter being highly exposed to the pandemic. The more protected and dynamic ICT sector has low female engagement, which higher levels of study of STEM subjects will remedy.

Consumers are embracing digital to live and work through the pandemic. Enterprises that are digital and digitally-enabled will survive and flourish, supported by initiatives from Google, Facebook and others.

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Jamie says Quibi’s deeper issue was that the market Katzenberg and Whitman had imagined was simply not there. “There were still those in-between moments that they spoke about, the more existential problem is that there’s still no proof of demand for premium short video. A lot of media habits have changed in recent years, but viewers still love long-form narrative.”

He added that Quibi failed to embrace many of the things that make mobile apps successful, such as sharing screenshots of shows or linking to episodes, were also bad signs. But most importantly, the show had no breakout hits, leading perception of the start-up to focus on its odd format and lack of support for televisions.

Tom said that the company tried to reinvent the wheel. "The weird strategies around not initially being available on TVs etc. have been well covered," he says. "But for me the core problem was always that there is no clear evidence that people, who have been trained by 50+ years of episode lengths on TV, actually want narratives in shorter form. It's certainly not what they watch on YouTube. And if there is some desire for that, Quibi was still going to have to spend hundreds of millions on content that it had no idea would work, and would probably be useless when it finally worked out what did."

He adds: "It's no surprise that despite all its innovation around delivery, Netflix presents very traditional formats. The fact that a lot of legacy companies invested in Quibi was more a sign of desperation on their part than any sort of belief in what it was trying to do."

Tom who co-wrote the report, said despite being an episodic drama aired in the afternoon, the rate at which viewers continued watching Doctor Blake proved its quality compared with primetime dramas with much bigger budgets. Mr Harrington said: "It was entirely unsurprising seeing the ITV numbers to me because when I think of ITV, I think of very watchable, very well-made shows. 

"They do [a high number] of true crime dramas, which have great production and great actors. They are making another Yorkshire Ripper drama because they just work - they know they can get 8m people watching the whole thing."

“It seems to have struck at the heart of this over overarching issue, which is this year, how do you put sports and put entertainment in front of viewers and consumers?” says Julian. The cinema industry has faced similar turmoil and has yet to find the answer either.  

Julian says that the Premier League and broadcasters have been making headway in stopping these types of scams. “I think they have been doing quite well over the last few years.” The scale of people using IPTV is not known and the pay-per-view only applies to games that wouldn’t have been televised anyway, he says. Although Aquilina adds that the current pay-per-view situation and games being played behind closed doors have seen discussions about piracy re-emerge in a bigger way than the last couple of years. 

BritBox UK is reportedly planning to release six new originals a year to keep people subscribed to the streaming service. While that’s an impressive slate of dramas, it might not be enough to keep up with the other streaming services, which are churning out tens of new shows every month of all different genres. “TV is a hits business, and you don’t know if something is going to work until it does,” explains Tom Harrington, a TV analyst at Enders Analysis. “If you only make a few shows, there’s going to be fewer chances to have that breakthrough hit.”  

Claire suggests hopes of matching the current  deal, worth £5billion over three years, are unfeasible. Instead, Enders believes clubs must steel themselves for a £500m reduction. She said: “The last auction was post-peak, the takings were down and we expect that to continue. “Sky and BT overpaid for rights in the past and BT has suffered a  decline in its value. “Now the UK sports broadcasters are trying to think about reducing their rights costs. “Auctions are emotional affairs and in the past, BT has always blinked and written a  cheque. But they are now in a stronger position and both companies can afford to offer less. “The next auction could lead to a five-ten per cent decline in the rights values in the UK.”