Recent developments in AI have ignited a frenzy in the tech world and wider society. Though some predictions are closer to sci-fi, this new phase is a real advance.

We view AI as a ‘supercharger’, boosting productivity of workers. The impact is already being felt across media sectors, including advertising and publishing.

Firms thinking about using AI should assess which tasks can be augmented and what data is required. Be prepared for unpredictable outputs and a changing legal and tech landscape.

Sky will retain its English Football League (EFL) live coverage until 2029. While the price of the rights is up 50% (20% in real terms), the number of fixtures broadcast will increase fourfold to over 1,000 matches per season.

Sky's current EFL rights are very good value in terms of viewing—this will remain the case in the new rights cycle given the potential for broadcasting many more high profile matches.

With Sky retaining the EFL rights for relatively little more, there could be a similar outcome for the PL auction due later this year. Higher costs could be balanced by more matches, even if the 3pm blackout remains in place.

ITV's total advertising revenue (TAR) in Q1 was down 10% year-on-year, which was marginally better than expected; Q2 is forecast to be down 12%. However, digital advertising has seen strong growth and now makes up 21% of TAR

ITVX is growing as it continues to offer more exclusive content. However, it is too early to tell whether growth is being driven by newer audiences or if it is just viewing that would have taken place on linear anyway

The publication of the draft Media Bill gives some certainty around the direction that the government will pursue in its update of the legal and regulatory framework for broadcasting. However, there remain a number of blanks left for Ofcom to interpret

Prime Video is a vital, freestanding component of Amazon’s sticky and fast-growing Prime subscription bundle—but it is also the key cog in the company’s overall video marketplace strategy

With the Prime subscriber base and Fire TV operating system driving scale, Prime Video and the ad-supported Freevee guarantee traffic, foster competition and maintain quality—ensuring leverage to deal with suppliers

However, the entertainment platform market is fiercely competitive and video is different from socks: content can’t be commoditised, meaning that Amazon must allow third-party brand building

An announcement about the mooted merger of Vodafone’s UK operations with Three appears imminent, paving the way for an ultimate CK Hutchison exit.

The combination has the potential to transform the fortunes of two struggling operators, with deal upside predicated on cost synergies rather than on rising prices (which we do not foresee).

It is all to play for in regulatory clearance terms, with Ofcom expected to take a neutral stance and a seemingly open mind from DSIT, but the CMA is not yet demonstrating the more pro-business approach that was hoped for with the new regime.

The CMA's decision to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision reflects the lack of trust regulators have in Microsoft’s leadership and its future plans for game services.

The decision ultimately rewards Sony PlayStation, the market leader, which has little incentive now to transform its high-cost model, but will also stymie PlayStation's own acquisition ambitions.

Getting approval for the acquisition is difficult but not impossible. The European Commission may approve the deal in May. 


Recorded music streaming revenues rose 11% in 2022 and we estimate Spotify’s contribution at 1/3—Spotify added 25 million Premium Subscribers in 2022, growing its recording and publishing payouts to the music industry to $8-9 billion.

Spotify’s Loud & Clear resource shows that the long tail of artists generating royalties between $1,000 and $10,000, of which many are self-distributing, rose 16% to 175,500—75% of all those generating over $1,000.

Spotify’s open platform for uploads grew the long tail to over 100 million tracks in 2022. Major labels are seeking to change the pro rata royalty payout model on Premium to address the siphoning of royalties by fake music, clips and bots—a looming threat to creators is AI-generated music.


Service revenue growth was flat at 1.9% this quarter—a reasonable performance considering waning boosts from roaming and UK price rises, and a challenging macroeconomic backdrop.

Looking ahead, operators in most markets are now implementing price rises, providing a welcome (albeit transitory) tailwind to revenue growth—although EBITDA momentum remains subdued.

We expect a consolidation deal to be announced between Vodafone UK and H3G in the coming weeks and a decision from the EC on the Orange/MásMóvil deal in August—crucial issues for the sector’s prospects.

The total value of European football media rights has stagnated since the end of the last decade, translating into a real terms decline.

New entrants like DAZN and Amazon have occupied the space left open by incumbents such as Sky and Canal+.

Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Premier League will tender rights this year, entertaining unrealistic expectations of bids from Apple.

The games industry, with the potential to become the world’s largest media and entertainment sector by revenue, is undergoing profound transformation.

The consolidation of major developers is a response to a revenue model pivoting toward subscription, with direct consequences for those already in the subscription space: film, TV and music.

A technology-led creative medium, with an audience approaching three billion gamers, is seeing its franchises become more valuable and useful than ever.