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The early results have been mixed, which is partially a function of timing, according to Abi Watson, senior media analyst at Enders Analysis. By the time Le Monde launched its English-language product in 2022, many members of its target audience—English-speaking news consumers with an international bent—had likely already subscribed to a primary and even secondary news source.

“They were quite late to market for an international play, especially in English language,” Watson said. “Its appeal is obviously more niche than they might have hoped at launch.”

TikTok has been dealt a devastating blow as a US bill has been signed into law forcing owner ByteDance to sell within a year or face its removal from app stores. 

The stakes are higher than in 2020—China's opposition to a divestment will make an optimal sale harder to conclude, so all sides must be prepared for a ban.   

The TikTok bill introduces extraordinary new powers in the context of the US and China's broad systemic rivalry, though online consumer benefits will be limited.  

The German football league has suspended its media rights auction after protests by DAZN over the award of the top package.

DAZN surprised the market by aiming to become the Bundesliga’s primary broadcaster.

The situation in Germany reveals the contradictory impulses weighing on leagues at rights auctions.

Despite the changes, BBC Two is still regularly watched by more than half the TV-viewing public every month and its five per cent share compares favourably with rivals. “You’re still talking about millions of people watching,” says Tom Harrington of the media company Enders Analysis. “You compare it to 10 or 15 years ago and there’s a decline, but that’s still a lot of people.”

Netflix's Q1 revenue was up 15% YoY (to $9.4 billion) bolstered by firm global subscriber growth and the continued momentum of 'paid sharing'. Operating margin is forecast to be 25% across this year (up from 21% in 2023)—approaching the realms of legacy linear media—but transparency will be diluted as the company stops reporting subscribers and ARPU

UK subscriptions and overall engagement are mostly flat; growth by older viewers is masking declines by the young

Even with the strikes driving viewing towards UK content, licensed programming remains a relatively minor factor in Netflix’s library

“The New York Times is not becoming a gaming company any more than the acquisition of the Athletic would imply they are becoming a sports company,” said Gareth Sutcliffe, an analyst for the market research service Enders Analysis. “NYT is simply acknowledging that being a broad generalist spells death online, and they have prioritized and valued the means of addressing that.”

In a note to clients last July, the media analysts Enders suggested strong profitability in 2023 could justify a valuation of £740m for The Telegraph alone, implying that a package with The Spectator could be worth £800m. In the immediate aftermath of its raid on last year’s auction, RedBird IMI won praise in US media circles for bagging the pair for only £600m.

Football leagues must think innovatively about maintaining broad exposure, but relying on advertising revenues from free-to-air TV makes no economic sense.

Creating league-operated direct-to-consumer platforms would undermine the very competition between broadcasters that has propelled rights.

The only realistic option for sustainable growth is deeper, longer-term partnerships with broadcasters.