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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Times Radio launches as an ad-free commercial speech radio service on DAB and online. By extending brand reach, it forms part of the marketing funnel to convert listeners into subscribers.

Radio is remarkably resilient for a traditional mass media, and this arrival will complement the strong commercial sector and the mighty Radio 4.

Timing will be a revenue challenge, but this bold, cost-effective, intelligently deployed experiment comes as the news industry is most at risk, a welcome innovation for readers and listeners—and for the sector.

Tom said  “It doesn’t matter how pressing an issue is – as the ramifications and constraints become clear, people will tire of following it.”

“Subscribers will probably just watch something else from the library, none the wiser." As viewers become accustomed to watching streaming services, he added that “This should hand the likes of Netflix the momentum to take a bigger share of the available viewing pie.”

Claire said video was “particularly unsuited to the way that journalists actually look. Some of them did the most ridiculous turns." The experience was unprofitable as well as humiliating: ad revenue was thin on the ground and Facebook changed its algorithm, no longer rewarding video publishers. The heralded “pivot to video” has since become journalistic shorthand for doom.

She added that the purpose of Times Radio was thus “to have a replacement for Radio 4 at the ready when the revolution comes." 

Disney’s suite of UK children’s channels will go off air in September. Disney was unable to reach a deal with Sky and Virgin for the carriage of the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.  

It is unsurprising that Sky and Virgin have felt able to walk away from negotiations to carry the channels—they have performed terribly over the past few years, having been well outperformed by comparable kids' channels. 

Disney will continue to have a linear footprint with National Geographic and FOX, however the cessation of its kids’ linear operations has come before its time. Disney+ is doing well, however it is a pit of foregone revenues, while the recent performance of Disney channels raises questions as to the value of some of Disney’s non-film IP.

Market revenue growth plummeted to -2% in Q1 2020, with a lack of premium sports pay TV revenue the biggest factor.

The lockdown is also reducing churn and firming up pricing, but it is unclear how long this will last post-lockdown.

Pay TV revenue trends will continue to dominate next quarter; thereafter the battleground will move to ultrafast.

Joseph said "Facebook can weather a boycott by large companies better than any other media organisation out there, as so much of its revenue comes from smaller advertisers who are unlikely to band together to make political demands.However, right now, lots of those small advertisers are under pressure due to Covid-19 drying up their cashflow. So we could be seeing a perfect storm."

He added, "What I expect to see is Facebook trying to walk a tightrope: interpreting its existing guidelines slightly more strictly, erring more on the side of taking down hate speech, but without much in the way of explicit policy changes that could provoke punitive regulations or get Mark Zuckerberg dragged before another Senate Committee."

Julian said "The evidence suggests the BBC receives a greater boost than other public service broadcasters and it generally comes down to the BBC’s prominence on the TV guide."

Quite whether it will break that viewing record depends on other factors too, however. “There are many things that affect viewing of individual matches. The teams involved, the stage of a competition, the weather, other events happening at the same time etc. I’d just note that although Bournemouth v Palace isn’t the most exciting matchup (at least for most people), it won’t be competing with any other Premier League fixtures at the same time.”