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Cross-party support for an 11th hour amendment to the Online Safety Bill’s Commons report stage has forced the Government to agree that a new criminal liability for tech executives will be added in the Bill’s passage through the Lords.

The proposed amendment cites faulty precedents, including in financial services, and a new, not yet established Irish online safety regime that is lengthy in procedural steps before criminal sanction.

The introduction of criminal liability will not strengthen the safety objectives of the bill. It is at odds with the approach of the wider regulation, and is practically unworkable.

The amended Online Safety Bill contains sensibly scaled back provisions for “legal but harmful” content for adults, retaining the objectives of removing harms to children and giving users more choice. However, this comes at the expense of enhanced transparency from platforms.

News publishers have won further protections: their content will have a temporary ‘must-carry’ requirement pending review when flagged under the Bill’s content rules. Ofcom must keep track of how regulation affects the distribution of news.

The Bill could be further strengthened: private communications should be protected. Regulators will need to keep up with children’s changing habits, as they are spending more time on live, interactive social gaming.

In a transformative upgrade of its content subscription offering, Google is buying the rights to live Sunday NFL games for $2 billion per year for 2023-2031.

YouTube can leverage its massive reach to challenge existing video aggregators, including pay-TV platforms and Amazon, as a gatekeeper to consumers.

Google will likely deploy a similar strategy in Europe, eventually competing with Sky, Canal+ and other incumbents—a hopeful development for football leagues.

Magazine publishers are at different stages of a transformation cycle, but a variety of external and industry factors are massively accelerating change.

Often described as the transition from page to screen, in reality transformation is a deeper redefinition of each brand’s community and purpose, and the use-case benefits it delivers.

Online advertising is evolving into a space where trusted consumer media can exploit their advantages of community engagement and premium context, rather than indiscriminate traffic.

Online advertising growth at big tech firms has flatlined, with real-term declines at Meta and YouTube. The weakness is concentrated in higher funnel ads.

Advertising is a leading indicator. A hardware slowdown is coming, services growth is stuttering, and businesses will want to save on cloud services.

Investors are hostile to attempts to spend through a downturn, but competition from TikTok and developments in AI demand targeted investment, while Meta is pot-committed to the metaverse. Tech giants are looking for savings elsewhere.
 

With viewing to traditional broadcast TV continuing to shrink rapidly, especially among under-45s, our latest forecasts revise a new low for broadcasters’ audiences: falling to just half of all video viewing in 2027, down from 63% today.

Long-form, broadcast-quality content will increasingly be viewed on SVOD-first services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Disney+) as online habits solidify, especially among older audiences. Platforms offering different content (e.g. YouTube, Twitch, TikTok) will continue to grow their share and will also expand total watch-time.

We forecast that under-35s will spend just a tenth to a fifth of their video time with broadcasters’ traditional long-form content five years from now, versus a third to a half for 35-54s and 85% for over-65s.

For the media and entertainment industry the dawn of the metaverse, and the word soup of acronyms that accompanies it, is the latest high-profile technology wave that threatens to simultaneously upend established distribution models and reinvent both the experience and the relationship with the audience.

Music is the media sector (outside gaming) that has moved fastest to experiment with metaverse applications, so far mainly on gaming platforms like Fortnite and Roblox, which provide a ready game-centric audience but offer little lasting innovation.

Music's metaverse potential beyond gaming is huge, led by artists who want a more dynamic online presence, though we anticipate a long trajectory towards mainstream applications as questions remain around formats, design, platforms, and monetisation.

The pandemic years boosted many businesses selling services on subscription in the UK: work-from-home gave people more time and money to widen the services they enjoyed in the home, such as gaming, entertainment and music, also boosting engagement with trusted news

The cost-of-living crisis dented the number of subscribers to OTT SVOD and news services in Q2 2022. Broadband and mobile are must-have; bundles of services (e.g. Sky’s pay-TV and broadband or mobile) are more resilient; yearly and multi-year contracts prevent churn relative to monthly contracts; and services that cater to passions (e.g. football) are always need-to-have

Subscription (or supporter) media and news services reaped the demand for trusted news through the pandemic, but now face a tough challenge to their toplines from the economic downturn—and also to transition to a sustainable business model for media audiences, while advertisers are also feeling the heat

YouTube’s tepid quarter signals a two-track online ad economy with advertisers protecting search spend as an essential cost of sales while cutting online display.

YouTube faces a challenge to strengthen its brand and direct response ad products while sacrificing some income to Shorts, its answer to competition from TikTok, which we estimate added three times as much ad revenue as YouTube in H1.

Beyond the short term, brands need to generate new demand, and that cannot be accomplished at the bottom of the funnel.

On 12 May 2022, Enders Analysis co-hosted the annual Media and Telecoms 2022 & Beyond Conference with Deloitte, sponsored by Barclays, Financial Times, Meta, and Deloitte Legal

With up to 500 attendees and over 40 speakers from the TMT sector, including leading executives, policy leaders, and industry experts, the conference focused on regulation, infrastructure, and how new technologies will impact the future of the industry

These are edited transcripts of Sessions 1-3 covering: regulation and legislation, PSB renewal, and clarity in the age of non-linear transmission. Videos of the presentations are also available on the conference website