VMO2 struggled to fully capitalise on its price increases this quarter, with much of the benefits absorbed by retention discounts and tariff pressure.

EBITDA growth of 4% is nonetheless a solid result in a challenging market and guidance looks achievable, albeit not as easily as it previously did.

The opaque nature of the relationship with the new network company makes it difficult to establish whether VMO2 is capitalising on the current glut of speculative infrastructure investment, or is at risk of being a victim of it.

BT Group’s revenue growth surged in Q1 to 1%, the first time it has been positive in five years, with a stronger than expected boost from the April price rises partially offset by the Virgin Mobile MVNO loss.

EBITDA growth, however, actually dipped to 2%, with little operating leverage due to cost pressures, although the company is still very confident in its full year EBITDA guidance (which implies 4% growth).

BT is far from immune to macroeconomic pressures, with pressure on costs, corporate revenue and signs of a sharp dip in broadband market growth, but it is well placed to deal with them given strong growth at Consumer and Openreach.

Amidst the US macro downturn denting online sales, Amazon reported revenue growth of 7.2%, driven by AWS and advertising, but broad-based in nature

Inelastic demand for Prime has created opportunities to increase efficiency and monetisation, with cutbacks to fulfillment costs and increased subscription fees boosting Amazon's margins

Amazon's bottom-funnel search advertising growth has proved resilient, up 18% YoY, as growth eludes higher-funnel competitors—offering a strong indication that Amazon will largely buck the trend of advertising decline

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.

The UK economy is going sideways as the cost-of-living crisis dents retail volumes—a predictor of GDP—as consumers have little choice but to cut back on purchases of essential categories sharply hit by soaring prices

The financial gulf between high- and low-earning households is being driven by inflation, with a fifth of households now unable to afford essentials

GDP growth in May—achieved through rapid digitisation and pent-up demand for travel and transportation services—masks stalling consumer-facing services. The UK economy is likely to record the most drastic slump of all G7 economies in 2023

Growth is crucial for Vodafone’s leverage but remains elusive and the company’s ambition to grow European revenues this year looks challenging

Exacerbating revenue pressure in Germany and the loss of the VMO2 MVNO will weigh heavily in H2 and cost inflation will eat into any margin gains

Deal-making is not yet materialising with considerable question marks remaining over regulatory approval for mobile consolidation, a necessarily more open mind on action on Vantage, and plans to shift fibre investment off balance sheet. Vodafone promises more concrete developments with H1 results

The Guardian has posted a stellar set of results: its highest annual revenues since the 2008 financial crash, and a £22.7 million upswing in operating cashflows, putting it into positive territory for the first time in decades

Looking ahead to 2022/23, the Guardian (alongside every other news publisher) faces the twin headwinds of the cost-of-living crisis and news fatigue

There are levers for the Guardian to pull to maintain growth, increase monetisation, and minimise churn

Netflix lost net subscribers for the second quarter in a row (-970k) but the results were marked as "less bad", being better than what was forecast. More mature streaming regions—UCAN (-1.3 million) and EMEA (-770k)—were propped up by APAC (+1.1 million)

Netflix's advertising tier is rapidly taking shape with Microsoft announced as a global tech partner, but its impact on the UK video ad market—at least in the short term—will be small

In the US, the most mature Netflix market, churn appears to be growing as the subscriber base struggles to grow. However, price rises are more than offsetting this growing churn, a window into the future of other territories

UK altnet full fibre rollouts are accelerating, with an aggregate build pace close to that of Openreach, but customer acquisition is not growing at the same pace, and overbuild in the most attractive areas is becoming a significant issue.

Altnet business models remain challenging and are getting worse as Openreach builds out, and (although there are some notable exceptions) most will need to rapidly achieve scale and turn around their performance to survive.

Consolidation is very likely, along with business failures, and while some market share loss for Openreach looks likely as serious scale players emerge, the downside is limited, and even more so for retail ISPs.

With the publication of the Media Bill (expected to include details of the sale of Channel 4) seemingly delayed to at least after the recess (September), privatisation appears to now be on ice.

2021 was another demonstration of Channel 4’s resilience—showing record-breaking revenues, high content spend and encouraging rates of digital transition—setting a credible platform upon which the broadcaster's PSB credentials can be placed.

Some queries remain: Channel 4’s main viewing drivers are ageing, with fewer new shows being commissioned to replace them. Online engagement isn’t a substitute  for declining linear viewing, while digital advertising growth may get harder with more players, such as ITV and the streamers, entering the space in earnest.