As Phase 1 digital shift from broadcast analogue to digital nears completion, individual platform growth trends have almost flattened out

The most likely area of change in platform trends over the next ten years concerns basic only subscription pay-TV, where we anticipate an overall increase in the total pay-TV base and change in platform balance arising from the introduction of low price basic packages

Phase 2 digital convergence between TV and the internet promises to take many years to reach maturity, and many questions need to be addressed in order to be able to assess its potential impact on the current broadcast TV marketplace over the next ten years.

In this presentation we show our analysis of trends in UK broadband and telephony to September 2011, together with our latest projections for residential broadband subscribers and market shares to 2016. Highlights for the 2011 September quarter include accelerating growth in the number of subscribers to high speed broadband, and the continuing increase in market share of BT Retail and BSkyB at the expense of virtually all other players. This quarter’s edition includes a look at high speed broadband pricing, and our take on the new guidelines on broadband advertising.

Although we continue to expect broadband subscriber growth to drop, we expect growth to be supported by increasing adoption among older and/or lower income householders, who are becoming more aware of the benefits of going online. We have also increased our residential market share projection for BT Retail, which has gained real momentum over the past year, with brand strength among late adopters and effective marketing of high speed broadband both having an impact.

Spotify has just passed the 2 million subscriber mark in Europe and the US, and could reach 2.5 million by the end of 2011

Smartphone adoption and partnerships with MNOs and ISPs have proven a key driver of subscription in Europe for Spotify, which lacks a telecoms partner in the US. We think subscription is profitable

Spotify’s lower usage caps on the freemium tier will help compress total losses in 2011 in relation to the £25 million reported in 2010, despite the US launch

Q3 results were contradictory, with accelerating demand for enhanced services and resilient revenue, but high churn and weak growth in fundamental cash flow

Cost increases struck us as justifiable in the longer term and were in some cases temporary. We share management’s confidence that there is better news to come, particularly at Virgin Media Business

Nonetheless, we remain of the view that future cash flow growth is likely to be significantly lower than that seen over the past two years, particularly given the deteriorating economic outlook

Sky’s Q1 2012 produced strong 16% year-on-year headline growth in adjusted operating profits, although weakening TV product net additions underlined the challenging economic conditions

Churn remains comparatively low in spite of the economic conditions, while Sky’s current round of major investment in entertainment content, now showing the first signs of bearing fruit, could prove vital to holding churn down and stimulating gross additions

Growth in home communications dropped back compared to the level seen the previous autumn, but was still well above that seen in 2009/10 thanks to strong growth in standalone sales

Openreach has announced large cuts in the prices of some important components of physical infrastructure access (PIA). A further substantial reduction in duct prices is possible as a result of an adjustment by Ofcom to Openreach’s regulatory asset value (RAV)

The reductions are helpful to the economics of bids by altnets such as Fujitsu for government funds to deploy rural next generation access (NGA), and to Virgin Media, as it expands its existing cable network footprint

However, the economics of NGA continue to strike us as challenging and we expect the impact of PIA on BT to be modest due to the remaining potential wholesale revenue, and BT Retail’s ability to use third party PIA-based networks

Advancing its free-to-air TV project, France’s Canal+ is to buy Bolloré TV’s national channels for €465 million to gain (scarce) licences for FTA terrestrial broadcast

Canal+ plans to leverage its library of original programming to attract upscale audiences, neglected by commercial rivals

However, the Vivendi investment case of a 9% return on capital is built on incompatible assumptions about profit margins and market share – to grow the latter in a mature market, a channel needs to sacrifice the former

In this presentation we show our analysis of revenue growth trends for mobile operators in the top five European markets (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). The historical analysis is based on the published results of the operators, although they include our estimates where their data is inconsistent or not complete. A copy of the underlying data in spreadsheet format is available to our subscription clients on request

In this presentation we show our analysis of trends in UK broadband and telephony to June 2011, based on the published results of the major service providers. This quarter’s edition includes a first look at high speed broadband subscriber volumes, and our analysis of broadband growth in 2010 based on data recently released by Ofcom.

Highlights for the year 2010 include confirmation of our earlier estimate of a sharp increase in residential subscriber growth, and, despite this, the first ever decline in revenue from residential broadband, due to aggressive pricing of broadband/telephony bundles.

Highlights for the 2011 June quarter include broadband subscribers breaching the 20 million mark, a further decline in broadband market growth, continuing strong broadband subscriber growth at BSkyB and BT Retail, the first ever quarterly declines in cable broadband subscribers and LLU lines, and the first increase in BT Wholesale broadband net additions for four and a half years.

VMed’s Q2 results were respectable, but quirky, with resilient underlying revenue and strong cash flow, but exceptionally weak cable volumes

Virgin Mobile is performing better than ever, but steam continues to seep from the cable cash flow boiler

A TiVo push and further progress at Virgin Media Business are still to come, but we expect a trend of gradual decline in fundamental cash flow growth