Broadcast radio has maintained its reach and listening time over the past decade: younger people listen less than before, but this is made up for by an ageing population.

The challenges to radio come from changes in distribution technology in the home and in cars, and from product innovation in the online audio space.

Over the next few years, we predict continued stability in radio, but as technology brings it into closer competition with online audio, broadcasters will have to continue product innovation.

Dear Friends,

Like so many of you, the team at Enders Analysis has packed up its office and gone to our homes in a bid to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. Our team is agile and prepared to embrace new forms of working closely together — even as we are physically apart — to support our subscribers in scaling the challenges in front of us all.  

We have substantially adjusted our research programme in the coming weeks and months to reflect these extraordinary circumstances, to provide you with analysis and actionable insights in these most exceptional and unpredictable of times. We are conscious that the timetable could be extended considerably beyond some commentary has suggested, effectively until a vaccine is widely available...

Dixons Carphone (DC) has announced the closure of all of its standalone Carphone Warehouse stores, distributing solely through its Currys PC World stores and online going forward.

Several industry trends have led to these difficulties and DC is pivoting its strategy to better position itself for the new reality.

This move is likely to be a positive one for the mobile operators, especially H3G.

H2 revenue growth across Studios, advertising and online, saw ITV come in ahead of guidance in 2019, with external revenues up 3% YoY. Advertising revenue was down 1.5% for the year after being down 5% at H1.

Viewing share of a shrinking pie remained flat, holding onto 2018's share—the highest since 2005. Information on the progress of BritBox was predictably scant while the addressable ad platform, Planet V, is taking shape.

Looking forward, Covid-19 will likely affect all sectors including television—the breadth and severity is, of course, unpredictable with some initial reticence being shown through ad spend by travel brands.

DCMS has launched a new consultation on whether to decriminalise TV licence fee evasion—revisiting a question to which an independent, Government-commissioned review delivered a definitive, thorough "no" verdict in 2015.

The Perry Review concluded there was "no compelling basis for change" because decriminalisation would be inefficient, impair BBC income by leading to higher evasion and collection costs, and probably have a more damaging impact on low-income households.

Support for decriminalisation seems less the result of a serious concern for low-income households than a desire to reduce BBC funding or move to a subscription-funded BBC. Other policies would better redistribute the burden of BBC funding while keeping it a truly public broadcaster.

At the Enders/Deloitte Media & Telecoms 2020 and Beyond conference the economic and policy importance of telecoms infrastructure was a major theme, particularly in the current climate.

Operators envisage a pricing environment that will continue to be very challenging.

Help is required to secure infrastructure investment, deliver the economic upside from 5G, and level the playing field between sub-sectors.

At the Enders/Deloitte Media & Telecoms 2020 and Beyond conference, players from the sports world came together to discuss the current challenges and opportunities in engaging with fans. There was general consensus that free-to-air broadcasters, pay-TV operators and OTT services all have a role to play in serving sports audiences.

DTC services will enable sports organisations to engage with and learn about their fans, but whilst a complementary DTC service can boost incremental reach beyond broadcasters, rightsowners should remain cognisant of the collective power of bundling.

As viewing habits continue to evolve, fastest of all amongst younger generations, the industry needs to continue to adapt, particularly if it is to have a chance of combatting piracy.

Market revenue growth dipped to below zero in Q4 2019, as pricing pressures bite and smaller players gather share.

2020 is off to a challenging start, with new customer pricing dipping down again, and existing customer pricing under regulatory assault.

With expensive full fibre networks being built, persuading consumers to pay more for the higher speeds they enable will be key.

2020 promises a year of transition for the games industry: eSports and games broadcasting are competing with traditional programming; game streaming services are becoming meaningful platform competition; and new consoles are on the way.

While most in the studio and TV industries continue to struggle with the games market—neither understanding (or seeing) a strategic fit, nor showing a willingness to invest—expect explosive growth to power the industry for the next decade and transform all entertainment services, not just games.

The ‘free-to-play’ games sector requires oversight and regulation to protect children and the vulnerable; expect regulatory turbulence in the UK, Europe and China.