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
Apple’s iPhone launch event was relatively light on iPhone, which shared the stage with games, TV, Watch, iPad and retail announcements
This reflects Apple’s developing priorities: as iPhone sales soften, it needs to find new ways to extract value from the wealthy user base it has spent a decade nurturing
Apple has embraced this new strategy, offering a range of cheaper points of entry into its ecosystem, making the lost profits back on accessories or content subscriptions
Spotify is investing heavily in podcasting through acquisitions, original content and product innovation
It is under pressure to reduce dependence on record labels, whose power makes generating large profit margins difficult. Podcasts promise a non-music content genre where Spotify can capture more value
Secondary benefits abound: Spotify can take an active and lucrative role in modernising online audio advertising, it can solve the podcast discovery problem, and engagement across more forms of audio will improve retention
Google’s advertising business has begun losing market share in the US, with competition from Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft intensifying in search and display
In response, the company is redoubling efforts to reshape its apps, services, and the entire web for more efficient monetisation, spelling uncertainty for partners and users
The adaptability and complexity of Google’s services reduce business risk from targeted regulatory measures, but increase the pressure for a radical intervention
Video sharing platforms, like YouTube, Facebook Watch and Twitch, are vying to attract creators with monetisation options such as branded content and user payments.
Advertising income, already limited for many small and medium-sized creators, has been undermined by YouTube’s response to brand safety concerns.
The new tools come with their own obstacles, but are necessary to keep platforms attractive to video creators.
After the most challenging period in its history since 2012, Facebook has been able to stabilise its fundamental metrics and announce a major product overhaul
Despite talk of a business model pivot, Facebook’s focus remains on advertising, whose growth will remain concentrated in developed markets
News publishers wishing to stay relevant on the upgraded product set need to target exclusive layers of social interaction, with groups particularly important
Apple is strengthening its household model by doubling down on family-friendly content subscriptions and payments
The model is reliant on hard bargains with mainly US partners, which risks sacrificing potential scale for a short-term boost in margin dollars
The new services offer glimpses of novel concepts, but stop short of taking risks to truly differentiate—a problem in TV, where Apple’s distribution advantage is slimmer than Oprah would have it
Amazon’s recent deals with Apple in TV, music and device sales mark a turning point after a decade of frosty relations
The context for this involves shifting priorities at both firms, growing pressure on Apple’s iPhone business, and rivals in common — first and foremost Google, but also the likes of Netflix and Spotify
The uneasy alliance helps both companies consolidate their strengths in the platform competition over media and the connected home — but trouble already brews
With a carefully priced, strong line-up of iPhones, Apple will consolidate its main revenue line and core user base in the near term
The latter feeds into a services business showing impressive growth, but which is also marked by missed opportunities and mounting negative consequences on the rest of the online ecosystem
For media businesses, Apple’s impact is larger than ever, inevitably leading to new kinds of friction around commercial terms, App store policies and browser features
Recorded music revenues in Japan are stuck in decline as physical sales sag, although 2017 marks the first year when streaming gained a foothold with 8 million subscribers.
J-pop fans spend on 'experiences' with their idols including events, merchandise, CDs and DVDs, which streaming cannot replicate. Top native LINE MUSIC offers integration with a popular messaging app and bundling with mobile.
Serving international repertoire, Apple Music claims more subscribers than Spotify in Japan, which is more localised, and has most users on the free tier. Amazon Prime Music is a looming constraint on the adoption of subscriptions.