On 4 June 2024, Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media and Telecoms 2024 & Beyond Conference with Deloitte, sponsored by Barclays, Salesforce, the Financial Times, and Adobe.

With over 580 attendees and over 40 speakers from the TMT sector, including leading executives and industry experts, the conference focused on how new technologies, regulation and infrastructure will impact the future of the industry.

This is the edited transcript of Session One, covering: the evolution of streaming models, and public service broadcasting in the digital age. Videos of the presentations will be available on the conference website.

Live sport is the most resilient component of broadcast TV, with viewing almost flat as other genres suffer steep declines.

Football has extended its lead as the most-watched sport, amid record Premier League audiences, while cricket has overtaken rugby and tennis for second place.

The reach of sport on pay-TV has remained strong despite consumer spend pressures, further eroding free-to-air’s share of sports viewing.

This report is free to access

The UK charity sector’s role in sustaining the fabric of communities is increasingly important as poverty spreads during the worst cost-of living crisis since the 1970s, at the same time as donations are weaker and costs are rising.

Media play a crucial role in raising the awareness, engagement and donations to charities by individuals, the bedrock of income. Selected case studies of TV, radio and the press show how charities leverage their unique qualities to engage audiences across the UK.

We highlight Gordon Brown’s landmark anti-poverty community-based Multibank initiative, which gifts essentials to those most in need, and has vital support from Sky, the Financial Times and News UK.

The BBC plans to launch four new digital music stations as extensions of Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3 and enhance 5 Sports Extra, all subject to regulatory approval.

Commercial radio is flourishing due to continuous innovation, while in stark contrast the BBC has experienced large audience losses, especially among the young.

The BBC should be able to launch new services— subject to competition assessments—while Ofcom should consider the impact of the total station regardless of whether delivery is broadcast or online.

Football leagues must think innovatively about maintaining broad exposure, but relying on advertising revenues from free-to-air TV makes no economic sense.

Creating league-operated direct-to-consumer platforms would undermine the very competition between broadcasters that has propelled rights.

The only realistic option for sustainable growth is deeper, longer-term partnerships with broadcasters.

As we noted previously—despite the explosion in volume and access to content—long-form viewing is narrowing around fewer programmes

At the same time, younger viewers are watching a greater proportion of video alone, resulting in a growing schism between what is watched by young and older viewers

The upshot is a two-pronged escalation of pressure on content providers—trying to create a hit when long-form viewing is both declining and concentrating, while, by age at least, adult audience demand becomes increasingly binary

As viewing moves online, broadcasters’ on-demand players make up a growing proportion of viewing, becoming central to their future strategies.

However, even though SVOD viewing might have begun to plateau, BVOD growth cannot yet balance the decline of linear broadcast.

Of this shrinking pie, 2023 saw most of the major broadcast players increase their viewing shares.

Public service broadcasters are in a position to plan for the long term with commercial licences renewed for ten years, an updated prominence regime via the Media Bill and a government broadly supportive of the BBC.

With the Premier League and EFL rights secure to the end of the decade, Sky can plan for the future from a position of strength.

Relationships between Sky and the PSBs have improved markedly recently, and as all can now plan for the long-term, this should provide further opportunities to cement relationships for the benefit of the broadcasting ecosystem and viewers.

Magazines are in the final phase of industrial-scale print volumes, with the era of artisan print magazines already highly visible and blooming, celebrating the reader’s tangible experience of the design and rich content, drawn by the brand’s authority.

Publishers’ online revenue models have diversified by attracting third-party sources—advertisers, campaign partners and affiliates—alongside a relatively tepid commitment to audience-led revenue models, with exceptions.

Publishers seeking a sustainable digital future by circa 2030 will need to focus more on audiences than on advertisers, leveraging core brands across multiple channels to build community, with print playing a narrower, lucrative and much-loved role.

Dramas from the public service broadcasters based on books consistently bring in bigger audiences than those that are not, a trend driven by certain genres, especially detective mysteries and thrillers.

A greater volume of newer book IP is being developed into programming, but this preference is not necessarily reflected in audience figures.                                 

Younger demographics are less enamoured with dramas based on books than older viewers. There are however notable exceptions, while attracting younger audiences may have more to do with the age, genre, and fame of the IP.