Consumer magazine circulation and advertising continue to spiral down, with notable exceptions at the top of the market and in a handful of key genres, triggering ever greater revenue diversification and innovation The market is fundamentally over-supplied and the gap between successful portfolios and the glut of secondary titles is growing. Furthermore, the distribution and retail supply chain hang by a thread There are some encouraging signs. Publishers are evolving, with their strategies and leadership capabilities increasingly defined by the needs of the industry they serve rather than the publishing brands they exploit, bringing the consumer model closer to more thoroughbred B2B models
Media coverage of women’s sport escalated this summer thanks to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which ignited national interest. The Lionesses attracted an exceptional peak TV audience of 11.8 million for England’s semi-final match against the USA
Still, coverage of women's sport remains minimal outside of major events: only 4% of printed sports articles reference female athletes. Quality press are leading the way—the launch of Telegraph Women’s Sport being the prime example—but the popular press are yet to follow
Freely-accessible coverage will generate greater interest and audiences for women’s sport, but continuous investment from all media will be needed to fulfil its potential
In the BBC’s 2015 funding settlement commencing 2017, the Government assumed the BBC would fully fund the subsidy for over-75s to the tune of £750 million from 2020/21
Although the BBC’s settlement contained measures of “mitigation” worth c.£290 million, the BBC would still have faced a gap of c.£460 million to be funded by programme cuts and efficiencies (the BBC has pledged £250 million)
Including c.£300 million from the annual adjustment of the licence fee for inflation from 2017 would help. However, this was always required to offset normal salary and cost increases to prevent a real decline in the BBC’s resources
Ofcom’s recommendations to Government suggest updating EPG prominence legislation to cover connected TVs, and were warmly welcomed by the PSBs
Balancing various commercial, PSB and consumer interests will be key; determining what content qualifies for prominence will be a particularly thorny issue to resolve
Extending prominence to smart TVs and streaming sticks is critical, but implementation will be challenging
The UK government is now consulting on a wider TV advertising ban until 9pm for food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), to combat childhood obesity
TV and TV advertising are not the cause of children being overweight or obese (O+O). Policy change in this area should inform and educate parents and young children, as they have in Leeds and Amsterdam
With 64% of the UK population being O+O, obesity is a complex societal issue requiring a multifaceted approach. The evidence from existing rules, and plummeting TV viewing amongst children, says that further restrictions on TV advertising will be ineffective in curbing the rise of obesity in the UK
The BBC’s consultation on rescinding free TV licences for all those aged 75 and over, in whole or in part, has sparked a heartfelt petition from key stakeholder Age UK to restore Government funding for the elderly, which we support
The Government has put the BBC in the intolerable position of choosing between funding the remit, whose delivery is regulated by Ofcom, and free TV licences for the over-75s, a lose-lose for the BBC, its viewers and listeners
In our submission to the BBC we highlight the human impact of reduced services and/or higher monthly expenses on the 2 million single-income households, 75% headed by women, for whom the BBC is a lifeline
The Cairncross Review has now reported on the tough question of “how to sustain production and distribution of high quality journalism in a rapidly changing technology environment”. New codes of conduct for the platforms and publishers are the Review’s key policy recommendation.
In particular, the Review addresses the sustainability of public interest, including local, journalism. This news is important for democracy, but expensive to do well, not particularly popular and most sabotaged by an online ecosystem that rewards traffic over quality.
This is a landmark public intervention, but implementation will be critical, even if there is no silver bullet – platforms, publishers and citizens need to rise to the challenge.
Our central case forecast with orderly EU withdrawal predicts 2.7% growth for total UK advertising spend, down from 4.7% in 2018. We have a no-deal Brexit scenario that predicts a smaller advertising recession than in 2009, with total ad spend declining 3% and display down 5.3% in 2019
The total advertising figures partly mask the pressure on UK consumers, through an expansion of the measured advertising spend universe. This is due to significant self-serve online advertising growth by SMEs, and non-advertising marketing budgets moving to online advertising platforms
In a downturn, we’d expect advertisers to become more tactical, which would disproportionally affect display media including TV, which is further affected by declining commercial impacts among younger adults. Search and social advertising would see only small growth through the first year of a recession