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Rigorous Fearless Independent

Tom said "But one thing that's changed [since the Sorokin deal and since the pandemic] is that platforms can now create their own viral stories. With so many people watching, they can take a piece of programming, put it at the top of their platform, and make it a hit. Look at Tiger King, that guy had talked to loads of people before, but Netflix made it international, so everyone was talking about it at the same time."

Google is demonstrating support for news by stepping up its efforts to license content from publishers and provide unpaywalled access within its Google News app—an attempt to diffuse regulatory pressure.

The issue of incentives to sustain scale businesses that originate and distribute high quality news in the digital era is still left unanswered.

Facebook has taken an opposite strategy, banning the sharing of news in Australia on their platforms—a risky, yet calculated move.

Douglas said "Public policy processes that start by naming the companies always really worry me because this isn’t about Google and Facebook, it’s about search and social media distribution techniques.The problem is if you design something for Google, you’ve then got to design something else for the next business that comes along.”

He added “The question that’s been raised in Australia is very similar to a question that’s been raised in the UK. One of the points we made in the Cairncross Review was incredibly simple… which is that one of the things a democracy should do is make sure that there are incentives in place for quality news origination."

Despite linear TV viewing benefiting from recent lockdowns, across 2020 it still declined among younger audiences. Online video habits have solidified, most notably for adults in their 30s and 40s.

As a result, traditional broadcasters are more vulnerable now than ever before. Long term, we forecast their audiences to fall further than previously expected—down to 61% of all video viewing in 2027 from 72% today—as streaming platforms make ever-deeper inroads.

Given linear TV’s reliance on older cohorts, plus an ageing UK population, we predict that two-thirds of traditional broadcasters’ viewing in 2027 will come from over-55s, with less than 13% from under-35s.

Julian said “I suppose it's for the for the big six clubs to really have a careful think about whether that's going to benefit them long term or damage the Premier League overall and therefore harm them in the long term.”

Julian acknowledges that on the one hand the prospect of bigger teams playing more games against each other – UEFA’s stated aim for its competition revamp – is “very very attractive”, but on the other there is a finite appeal to any competition.

“Just because you increase the number of games in the competition doesn't always necessarily mean that you're increasing the quality of the competition overall."