Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 30 April 2019

The latest developments in media and technology, published every Tuesday at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel » Travel Media & Technology Bulletin » Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 30 April 2019

Spotify Studios, Stockholm
Spotify Studios, Stockholm (Image Credit: Spotify)

Hello and welcome to our weekly travel media and technology bulletin featuring the latest developments on media and technology around the world, published every Tuesday at 06:00 BST.

The Subscription Economy

The Harris Poll has conducted, on behalf of Zuora, an international survey of 13,359 adults across twelve countries on the subscription economy.

Citing a trend of “access over ownership”, 71% of adults now purchase subscription services, compared to 53% five years ago. A similar percentage also agree that subscriptions free people from burdens of ownership such as maintenance and clutter. This has already had significant implications for television, music and news.

To illustrate this, Spotify has reported 100m premium subscribers for the first time, compared to 75m in the previous year.

A word of caution should be sounded on subscription over ownership models. As subscribers to Netflix will soon learn, all it takes is for rights holders to withdraw content rights for the value of these services to rapidly diminish.

On the subject to streaming the BBC has submitted proposals to the communications regulator OFCOM to allow it to keep programmes on the BBC iPlayer (once the UK’s leading streaming service) for a year after broadcast and to increase archive content.

The Sharing Economy

In another sector of the economy, Uber is preparing for an investor roadshow ahead of its planned IPO where it hopes to achieve a valuation in excess of $90bn.

Uber is of course loss making and in a New York Times profile, Uber considers its losses analogous to Amazon which spent big to grow quickly.

Uber aims to repeat this through Uber Eats, Uber Freight and the acquisition of ebike and scooter company, Jump. However, there are fundamental differences. Amazon may have its distractors, however it is not facing the degree of resistance from regulators that Uber is. Amazon has also built a formidable logistics infrastructure, which Uber has not. To illustrate the point, Politico reports that both Lyft and Uber have stopped recruiting drivers in New York City due to regulatory pressures.

Also of note this week:

As the world enjoys the last series of “Game Of Thrones” the FT reports on tensions between HBO and its new parent AT&T. (Financial Times)

Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard, is reported to be in talks to sell local London TV channel “London Live”. Five years after launch, this channel has fallen far short of expectations and it is rarely seen or talked about in London. (The Guardian)

NBC and Sky News, both now owned by Comcast, are to explore the launch of a new global news channel to rival BBC World News and CNN. (Variety)

We welcome any thoughts and comments below: