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.

CVC Capital Partners has acquired stakes in the top Spanish and French football leagues, and has been in talks with Germany’s and Italy’s alongside other private equity (PE) firms.

Clubs are after an immediate post-Covid capital injection, and the steady cashflows from media rights are attractive to PE firms. CVC has gained management influence, and tighter cost control should help channel the money into clubs’ stadiums and academies.

Even if the stakes were sold from a position of weakness, PE could help to align the traditionally fractious clubs with the leagues, bringing about a more robust approach across rights deals and investment in commercial potential.

As more viewing is delivered on-demand and online, the jeopardy and immediacy of sport make it one of the few genres which will remain overwhelmingly live.

Shared national experiences that allow as wide an audience as possible to follow simultaneously are increasingly rare in a fragmented media landscape, and public service broadcasters are still the only media capable of providing them.

The listed events regime should not just be protected but at least extended to include live digital rights: although the vast majority can presently access these events via DTT, changing viewing habits, eventual DTT switch-off and a shift in how rights are packaged means that action should be taken now to guarantee continual full, free availability.

The BBC announced that it should be active in planning for broadcast switch-off, but that the UK should be fully connected with universal affordable access to content.

World Radiocommunications Congress (WRC-23) takes place next year and the long-term future of DTT across EMEA will be debated. If WRC agrees coprimary access to existing DTT spectrum for mobile, this likely spells the end for DTT in the early 2030s.

By 2034, at the current migration rate, nearly 20 billion hours of TV will be viewed in DTT homes—just 20% less than today—with over 80% of that being to adults over 55.

Openreach has simultaneously announced that it is applying a full 11% inflationary price increase across all its key products, and effectively removing this price increase (and a bit more) for full fibre products through an update to its ‘Equinox’ special offer pricing.

Equinox 2's purpose is described as to encourage migration of existing connections to full fibre, but this is hard to see, and it looks more like a defence against migration to altnets and/or VMO2’s emerging wholesale proposition, albeit one that seems like it will not fall foul of regulatory rules.

Openreach will still benefit from the 11% price increase across most of its revenue base in 2022/23, and the shift to FTTP will remain accretive. Openreach’s customers will suffer from the price rise, but with a stronger outlook as they move to FTTP, while the altnet/VMO2 wholesale economics are as-you-were.

Service revenue growth was up just 0.1ppts to 2.0% this quarter, as price rises in the UK and the peak of the roaming boost offset weakness elsewhere.

Price increases to combat inflationary cost pressures are gathering momentum—a potential revenue cushion as roaming tailwinds diminish and challenging economic conditions weigh.

Vodafone is battling strategic issues in most of its main markets—significant change in strategy will be required from the new leadership.
 

Sports orgs are looking for ways to engage their total, global fanbase, leading them to explore virtual interactive sports experiences.

Sport is well-placed to overcome many of the obstacles in the way of the metaverse. In particular, many of the asset development and experience design issues are much closer to being solved than in other verticals.

There are different routes to a true sports metaverse, with the most promising being expanding existing sports simulation games. Crypto, NFTs, and social gaming platforms are largely distractions.

Mobile service revenue growth rose to +6%—its highest level in over a decade as price increases fed through and roaming picked up.

However, there were early signs of a worsening economic environment: handset revenues and contract volumes were subdued and churn popped up for most operators.

Growth may soften from here as the roaming boost subsides and economic conditions worsen, but price rises of up to 15% in the spring could provide more resilience if fully implemented.

The UK’s cost-of-living crisis will compress real household disposable income by 4.3% in fiscal 2022/23, despite the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) in place for this winter, with the pain compounded by rising interest rates until mid 2023, provoking a mild peak-to-trough decline in GDP of 2-3%

With CPI inflation forecast at 7% in 2023, and real private consumption forecast to decline by 1.9% (OBR) at the very least, advertising could still rise by 2-3% in 2023, a decline in real terms, with H1 particularly affected relative to H2, when declining CPI will allow monetary policy to relax

Not all households are equally affected by economic headwinds, and those that are more resilient will be the most attractive targets for businesses in 2023: those in  the top half of the income distribution, particularly older, empty-nested homeowners without mortgages

In 2023, the BBC will launch BBC News globally, merging its two 24-hour broadcast news services: the UK news channel and the international BBC World News. This merger will challenge the BBC to balance its coverage of both international and local news

As a result of cuts to licence fee funding there is now little leeway when deciding where best to invest for a digital-first news future. Efficiencies are seemingly all sought out and only cuts to services and output are left

Older viewers may lose access to in-depth 24-hour coverage of UK news stories from the BBC—the UK's most trusted and valued provider of news. Competitors will fill the breach, with any impact felt later