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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Tom said “While it’s definitely true that the Sussexes need Netflix more than Netflix need the Sussexes, the value of the couple’s brand is hugely useful to a service that has to launch new shows to a global audience of anywhere between half a billion to a billion. It’s very expensive to launch to that size audience. If you have a globally recognised face, it’s a whole lot easier."

He added “The Sussexes are a brand connected to an even bigger brand. Just like buying the Derby winner the week before the race, Netflix can buy them some documentaries, have them sit around chatting on camera for an afternoon and make efficient use of their time.”


Over Q2, the value of online sales (excl. fuel) grew by 55%, whilst offline sales (excl. fuel) declined by 22%. Three months of lockdown has accelerated ecommerce by four years and households will spend more than ever before online, post-lockdown.

The rapid shift to ecommerce poses lofty challenges to UK retailers who have historically been timid in their approach to ecommerce. Integration between sales channels will become more important than ever before, but very few have managed to perfect this approach.

As more retail activity takes place online, ad products from the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook stand to benefit greatly, pulling spend from other ad and marketing budgets that were aimed at driving in-store behaviours.


Julian said “Although the trend is obviously shifting more and more online and particularly through social media channels, TV is still the most important source for people to consume their news.So from that perspective I suppose it makes sense that if you are looking to launch some sort of news provision you’re going to look at potentially using some sort of TV channel.”

He added “It’s regulated very carefully so that’s why people who still continue to watch news on TV – because they believe they are able to get an independent view. That isn’t to say different sources don’t have certain leanings…”

Claire said “It’s probably been the most difficult time that ITV has ever faced. In financial terms, the company’s in much better shape than it was in 2008/09”. But, she says, “it is an equivalent nightmare." 

She added “It’s very niche. It would have been very naive if the company believed that launching Britbox would somehow revive its fortunes the way that Disney Plus is reviving Disney's fortunes.”

“Ultimately, it seems very likely to me that ITV will eventually form part of someone else’s global scale play. It looks inevitable and the Covid crisis will have advanced those arguments.”

Joseph said Spotify offers an ad-free experience to paying subscribers who tune in to the app for music, but he points out, they’ve decided “they are comfortable serving ads in podcasts”.    

“Spotify sees podcasts as a way that they can serve ads to their paying subscribers. I think that's a big reason they're actually getting into this."

He added that “Most listening time currently goes to live broadcast radio which obviously has a large variety of content, and is a sort of ‘lean back and push’ medium where you just hit a button and it entertains you for as many hours as you want to listen."

As the journalism industry collapses, writers are turning to newsletters to make money and launch whole publications.

“This whole trend is part of a larger shift away from our reliance on excessive amounts of display advertising, overwhelming the reader and making the whole experience unpleasant,” says Douglas McCabe, CEO of media research company Enders Analysis.