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Rigorous Fearless Independent

“The justification for the transaction was paper thin but it had the merit of forming a long-term financial umbrella over publications that are vulnerable,” said Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis and a longtime Murdoch watcher.

“Protecting the future of titles of great sentimental and political value might have been a motivation shared by few of those involved. Rupert Murdoch did not have convincing arguments for value add. Breaking up the News Corp stable is likely to release more value for shareholders in due course. We are always sympathetic to protecting plurality but it isn’t an argument the stock market has any time for.”

Jamie MacEwan, senior media analyst at Enders, explained that TikTok execs’ use of heating (which is boosting videos into users’ “For You” pages to achieve a more ideal number of views), confirms the TikTok team’s awareness of some of the drawbacks of having a very aggressive personalization engine — its lauded special algorithm — and so this is a way for them to account for those drawbacks in some way.

This report is free to access.

Cross-party support for an 11th hour amendment to the Online Safety Bill’s Commons report stage has forced the Government to agree that a new criminal liability for tech executives will be added in the Bill’s passage through the Lords.

The proposed amendment cites faulty precedents, including in financial services, and a new, not yet established Irish online safety regime that is lengthy in procedural steps before criminal sanction.

The introduction of criminal liability will not strengthen the safety objectives of the bill. It is at odds with the approach of the wider regulation, and is practically unworkable.

As Reed Hastings stepped aside as co-CEO, Netflix beat its (last ever) subscriber add forecast—7.7 million v. 4.5 million—leading to a revenue boost, alongside a gradually-widening profit margin. Forecasts for 2023 are positive, with the company seemingly past much of the tumultuousness of 2022.

With no metrics volunteered by management, we can assume that take-up of Netflix's nascent ad-supported plan has been predictably modest. To scale, the company must overcome several structural inhibitors.

With Netflix foreseeing future strain on subscriber additions, in time revenue growth will have to increasingly be inspired by paid-sharing initiatives and advertising—this will be detrimental to local content spend in minor markets.