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Rigorous Fearless Independent

This misses one important point. Fierce competition has hammered the market’s economics. UK mobile revenues have fallen by 20 per cent in real terms in less than a decade, says Karen Egan at Enders, while data traffic is 30 times higher. Europe as a whole tells a similar tale. In Italy, the average price of one gigabyte of data fell by 85 per cent between 2019 and 2021, according to data compiled by Statista.

“‘League of Legends’ has been out for years and years, and when you’re trying to move the IP into some other area, it’s very difficult to do. Riot has now come to the conclusion that that is probably not the right fit for that kind of expansion,” said Gareth Sutcliffe, the head analyst covering the games industry for the market research service Enders Analysis. “At a practical level, when we talk about how to try to expand that franchise, it’s very, very expensive — and I think it’s pretty clear that they have to do something to stem the losses that are occurring as a result of that, and bring it back to where they were before they decided to go into this extension.”

“If you look at “League of Legends,’ ‘League of Legends’ isn’t just a core game, right? It’s almost ultra-core, and it is far much more of a dedicated gamer audience than some of the other game IPs that are out there,” Sutcliffe said. “And I think that this is a reflection of where Riot has landed.”

News UK and DMG Media’s joint venture to combine their printing operations has been given the green light by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), concluding the supply of services to third parties would not be adversely affected                                                                                          

The CMA concluded that the printing operations of the two publishers were not particularly close competitors for third-party customers. Geography and spare capacity—as we have long argued—were far more influential factors                                                                                          

The CMA’s green light is a timely reminder of the importance of industry collaboration for the profitability of the news industry’s print era, with useful indicators for the evolving online market

The CMA's Phase 1 conclusions document is largely as expected, extending to Phase 2 which looks set to conclude towards the end of the year.

The impact on both the retail and wholesale markets will be investigated, and the CMA will want to bed down its view of the counter-factual and the likely merger efficiencies. The impact on network sharing is also an issue, but spectrum reallocation was not mentioned.

We continue to see a solid case to allay these concerns, with the resultant capacity uplift key to both the wholesale and retail markets.

Media experts Enders Analysis also revealed there had been a 25 per cent fall in the number of shows that are popular with 'both demographics' in five years. Their report said despite 'the explosion in volume and access to content', the viewing of proper TV shows was 'narrowing around fewer programmes', adding: 'At the same time, younger viewers are watching a greater proportion of video alone, resulting in a growing schism between what is watched by young and older viewers.' The report added that the content available to the average person had increased 12-fold between 2014 to 2023.

But Apple TV+ isn’t a straightforward streamer. “Apple is a phone company, and its growth came through selling iPhones, more iPhones and then charging more for iPhones until a couple of years ago it realised that the billion richest people in the world have an iPhone,” explains Tom Harrington, analyst at Enders Analysis. “They’ve topped out and have to look for growth elsewhere, so their next big move is – how do we monetise that base? They’ve decided it’s in providing services to that billion.”

“I don’t know if they have fully figured out what they want to do with TV,” says Wolk. “It’s a bit of a mystery,” Harrington agrees. “They don’t really licence content very much. Their process in terms of commissioning is slower than everyone else. They approach content like a tech company with iterations to perfection rather than the TV model where you throw a bunch of stuff out there and sometimes it works.

As we noted previously—despite the explosion in volume and access to content—long-form viewing is narrowing around fewer programmes

At the same time, younger viewers are watching a greater proportion of video alone, resulting in a growing schism between what is watched by young and older viewers

The upshot is a two-pronged escalation of pressure on content providers—trying to create a hit when long-form viewing is both declining and concentrating, while, by age at least, adult audience demand becomes increasingly binary