By firing Bob Chapek, the board responded decisively to a stream of negative press coverage and unexpected weak results.

Iger's priority should be unwinding Chapek’s revenue and distribution structure that separated creatives from investment control.

What will be the next transformational deal for Iger-led Disney? Strategic gaps include a youth audience pivoted towards social media and games

ITV’s total advertising revenue (TAR) across the first nine months was down 2% year-on-year, £25 million less than the company had expected at the end of July. This was still up on pre-COVID levels. With a strong Q4, TAR is expected to be down 1.5% across the year, while high inflation of costs and greater reliance on Studios will ultimately challenge margins

ITVX will be fully launched on the—slightly delayed—date of 8 December 2022. We are confident that it will be a step change for ITV's online engagement, however we believe that ITV may be understating its potential cannibalisation of linear

ITV Studios appears to be beating the market, and there may never be a more opportune time for its mooted partial sale: across the industry inflation will make margins difficult to grow while overall content demand is plateauing at best 

Disney’s core competitive advantages reside in its IP stock and in consumers’ lifelong affection for its brands, but the company faces a growing challenge from much larger tech platforms, pushing up the costs of production, sports rights and access to future IP.

Disney’s resources for content expenditure are now flat. The fat profit contribution from US linear channels may soon start to decline whereas direct-to-consumer losses at Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ are still increasing, and the recovery of parks could be capped by the worsening economy.

With its recognisable IP, Disney will benefit if global video viewing continues to coalesce around fewer, bigger series, although a weak future cinema market— which Disney dominates and leverages—will impair the creation of big, new IP properties. China and India’s potential may not materialise soon.

The Nordic streamer arrives in the UK on 1 November with two ad-free tiers: a basic £3.99 per month service featuring (mostly) Nordic scripted content, and a £14.99 version including sports, thanks to recently acquired Premier Sports.

Viaplay’s UK economics will revolve around sports: it has to demonstrate that there is room for a new premium service in the market. Substantial marketing efforts and distribution deals with the likes of Sky and Amazon will be critical to build penetration.

The UK is the latest territory in an ongoing aggressive international deployment that has driven Viaplay into loss. It aims at multi-territory economies of scale, which work for scripted content, but appear illusory for sports.

 

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.

After two quarters losing net subscribers (-1.2 million), Netflix grew subs in Q3, adding 2.4 million (up to 223 million), driven by APAC but with all regions back to an upward trajectory. The company's attempt to focus attention off subs and onto revenue hit a snag, though—due to F/X this was down quarter-on-quarter

Netflix's ad-supported tier will be launched in the UK on 3 November; while it will not alleviate churn it will increase the perceptual value of the more popular and expensive Standard tier. With BARB not measuring incremental reach and frequency of its commercial impacts, Netflix will still have a job to prove value to advertisers

The declaration of Netflix's UK revenue firms up our understanding of the company's paying base, and provides insight into the number of households that are getting the service for free—revealing the revenue potential of measures to counteract this freeloading culture, but also the prevalence of it

With major studios arguably over-indexed on SVOD, the stickier experiences of interactive entertainment and the metaverse will eventually form a critical pillar of studio D2C strategy, boosting subscription services and tying in closely with consumer products and theme parks.

Disney’s appointment of a Chief Metaverse Officer is good first step, demonstrating a strategic interest in the space. But other major studios remain cautious and distracted, with limited capability beyond licensing to engage in the metaverse for the next 24 months and possibly longer.

Meta will need to provide a strong guiding hand creatively and technically to ensure its new partnership with NBCUniversal is a success, and to evangelise the metaverse and its revenue model across the Hollywood studio content space.

FAST services that include digital linear channels (FAST channels) appear to be experiencing solid growth in the US. In the UK, this success has been used to highlight a potential mechanism to diversify away from broadcast linear and SVOD

However, the growth potential of these services on this side of the Atlantic contends with a very different video market than the US—the free output of the PSBs remains prolific and of high quality, while prominence legislation is likely to tougher

Furthermore, overall viewing of long-form video content is declining. Any new FAST services will be fighting for a declining amount of screen time with poor content slates and little name recognition—however, growing demand for US content is an advantage

DAZN has agreed to buy Eleven Sports, adding two untapped European markets and expanding further into South East Asia in its bid for greater scale

Team Whistle, Eleven’s short-form content production and distribution network, will provide new opportunities for marketing DAZN, especially to younger audiences

Meanwhile, DAZN Bet has soft-launched in the UK—a small first step as it seeks additional monetisation methods for expensive broadcasting rights

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