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German automakers branch out in China as trade war intensifies

Can ComScore Break Nielsen's Near-Monopoly On Ratings?

Most TV Everywhere Viewing Is Live TV In The Home

Consumer Insights Online Video User Overview

Public Companies Going Private


German automakers branch out in China as trade war intensifies

German automakers announced a flurry of partnerships and cooperation agreements with Chinese companies that will see the relaunch of Volkswagen AG's SEAT brand in the Asian market as well as production of an electrified version of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG's Mini.

With its huge population and ready uptake of electric cars by consumers, China's importance is growing for producers like Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, which are pouring money into electrification. As a U.S.-China trade war appears to be intensifying, that deepening relationship with the Asian market may now bring even greater comfort.

The U.S. and China on July 6 began imposing tariffs covering $34 billion of goods traded between them as trade tensions bubbled over. The U.S. on July 10 extended the application of tariffs to $200 billion of goods with a 10% levy.

In addition, the U.S. had threatened to slap tariffs on European cars after it raised the duty on steel imports, arguing U.S.-made cars shipped to Europe were unfairly penalized by such taxes.

Appearing to diffuse the tension, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she is amenable to a cut in tariffs on U.S. car imports.

At a press conference on July 10 during a visit to Germany by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Merkel said she hoped "Germany and China can make a contribution towards ensuring that the world does not end up blundering into a spiral of trade conflicts," Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, German and Chinese companies are not sitting idle. They pressed ahead with deals that focused on the automotive sector's transition to electrified and autonomous vehicles, signing them in the presence of their countries' leaders at events in Berlin.

BMW, which builds cars in China in a 50-50 partnership with Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings Ltd., announced an increase in capacity to 520,000 cars per year up from about 450,000, some of which will be used to produce the electric iX3 from 2020, the first Chinese-made BMW model that will be exported from China.

The company also announced it would buy €4 billion worth of batteries from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer with domestic and German production to serve BMW factories in both countries.

China is now BMW's largest market, with 560,000 vehicles sold there in 2017, more than the total sold in its No. 2 and No. 3 markets, Germany and the U.S.

Munich-based BMW said it would make the electric version of the Mini in China in tandem with local automaker Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd. in a joint venture to be named Spotlight Automotive Ltd. It would open a plant in Jiangsu province. The Mini is already sold in China with a conventional internal combustion engine.

Volkswagen-owned Spanish brand SEAT will launch in China in 2020 or 2021 by taking a stake in the Volkswagen joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp. Ltd. and take the lead in the research and development of electric cars. SEAT previously made a timid and brief entry into China, offering its Ibiza and Leon models in 2012 and 2013, a spokesman confirmed.

Audi, Volkswagen's premium brand, signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Group Holdings Ltd. to carry out research into connected vehicles, or cars that can communicate their presence and position on a road, technology that may help with traffic management as well as averting collisions.

In the area of autonomous driving technology, BMW tightened existing cooperation with online search engine Baidu Inc. for the development of its Apollo autonomous driving platform while Daimler and Tsinghua University in Beijing agreed to extend their research in the same field for another three years.

Bosch and Chinese electric car maker NIO signed a cooperation agreement for the development of sensor technology, automated driving, electric motor controls and intelligent transport systems. NIO produces a high-performance electric SUV, the es8, as well as the eP9, a supercar that it says is the fastest electric-powered vehicle in the world, according to its website.

While European and U.S. consumers are only beginning to warm to the idea of electric cars as more chargers are deployed and driving range increases, sales have been storming ahead in China, largely of small, low-cost battery-powered cars. That has largely been driven by the government's aggressive push as it continues to grapple with smog in large cities.

China will require that at least 10% of the sales of any automaker selling cars in the country be of electric cars by 2019, the Associated Press reported, delaying a previous requirement of 8% by 2018 after complaints by manufacturers, which said it was unrealistic.


Technology, Media & Telecom
Can ComScore Break Nielsen's Near-Monopoly On Ratings?

Highlights

The following post comes from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

To learn more about our TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) products and/or research, please request a demo.

Sep. 17 2018 — Advertising agencies are becoming increasingly frustrated with the inability of Nielsen Holdings PLC's Nielsen Media Research to convince the major media companies to embrace its new cross-platform measurement system, called Total Audience Measurement. This creates a huge opportunity for comScore Inc., formerly Rentrak.

ComScore is trying to reinvent itself following its delisting in 2017 — it was relisted June 1 — following an accounting scandal. The company's stock has fallen from $65 per share intraday on Aug. 17, 2015, to close at just $18.06 per share on Sept. 6. It currently has a total enterprise value of less than $1.2 billion, paltry in comparison to Nielsen Holdings' $12.9 billion.

In April, comScore named Bryan Wiener, previously executive chairman of Dentsu's digital media agency 360i LLC, as its CEO. On Sept. 5, the company announced that it hired Sarah Hofstetter to serve as president and head up commercial strategy, including sales and marketing.

Wiener and Hofstetter have worked together for two decades, most recently at 360i, where Hofstetter was CEO and chairwoman. The two executives' deep ties to the advertising community may be just what is needed to bring a competing cross-platform measurement system to the broadcast and cable network industries.

Cable network ad revenue grew for decades before stumbling, albeit modestly, during the last recession. More recently, despite a booming economy the cable network ad industry has faltered, in part due to cord cutting and cord shaving but also because current ratings do not include all of online viewing and out-of-home viewing.

Currently, the ratings only include online viewing within a three-day period, which includes the exact same commercial load as linear. Many media companies do not believe that online viewers will tolerate the huge ad load that exists on linear TV and do not include the same commercial pods that appear on linear TV when serving up the shows online.

Although negotiations between Nielsen Media Research and the major media companies have been going on for some time, many in the industry are tired of the delays in adopting a new system and are looking at alternate ways to measure viewing.

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Technology, Media & Telecom
Most TV Everywhere Viewing Is Live TV In The Home

Highlights

The following post comes from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence. To learn more about our TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) products and/or research, please request a demo.

Summary: subscribers to telco operators were more likely to indicate they streamed TV Everywhere content compared to cable and DBS subscribers.

Sep. 17 2018 — Streaming live TV Everywhere to a mobile device inside the home is the TV Everywhere activity most often performed at 52% of multichannel TV respondents, according to data from Kagan’s MediaCensus online consumer survey.

While 58% of respondents surveyed in multichannel homes viewed TV Everywhere in the last three months, just 46% did so out of their home. Click here for the full Kagan report.

Viewing live TV inside the home was not only the TV Everywhere activity performed by the most respondents; it was also the most frequently performed.

Subscribers to telco operators were more likely to indicate they streamed TV Everywhere content compared to cable and DBS subscribers. Subscribers to some operators are more likely to stream TV Everywhere content, with AT&T U-verse (64%) being the highest and WOW! (42%) the lowest among operator subscribers surveyed.

Younger subscribers, especially Millennials, were more likely to stream TV Everywhere content compared to older subscribers.

For more information about the terms of access to the raw data underlying this survey, please contact support@snl.com.

Data presented in this article is from the MediaCensus survey conducted in February 2018. The online survey included 20,035 U.S. internet adults matched by age and gender to the U.S. Census, with additional respondents subscribing to the top multichannel video operators in the U.S. The survey results have a margin of error of +/-0.7 ppts at the 95% confidence level. Generational segments are as follows: Gen Z: 18-20, Millennials: 21-37, Gen X: 38-52, Boomers/Seniors: 53+.

Consumer Insights is a regular feature from Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering, providing exclusive research and commentary.

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Technology, Media & Telecom
Consumer Insights Online Video User Overview

Highlights

49% of survey respondents use more than one SVOD service.

Sep. 14 2018 — Data from Kagan’s U.S. online consumer surveys shows that 23% of respondents exclusively use one service, while almost half (49%) use more than one SVOD service. The service which is most commonly used exclusively is Netflix, while users of smaller services almost always use at least one other service.

Netflix is so universally used that it is both the most exclusively used service and the service most often used in conjunction with another service. In terms of demographics, Netflix users are very similar to the general population compared to smaller services that tend to have a younger user base.

With the exception of Netflix, most respondents indicated they have never subscribed to the top four services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and HBO NOW. Among those who indicated they dropped one of the top services, price was a principal reason for dropping, although content-specific reasons differed by service. Content is one of the most defining characteristics of online streaming services, which can be seen in the content viewed and most enjoyed on each service. In large part users of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video most enjoy the content each service is known for.

A broader overview of this data was presented in a recent webcast.

Data presented in this blog is from U.S. Consumer Insights surveys conducted in September 2017 and March 2018. The online survey included 2,526 (2017) and 2,523 (2018) U.S. internet adults matched by age and gender to the U.S. Census. The survey results have a margin of error of +/-1.9 ppts at the 95% confidence level.

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Capital Markets
Public Companies Going Private

Sep. 14 2018 — The recent tweet from Elon Musk has understandably made big news, but it is worth pointing out that the appetite for taking public companies private has been a key area of activity this year. S&P Global Market Intelligence’s data shows that 2018YTD is already at 39% of 2017 numbers, standing at €17.8bn of deal value across 32 completed deals, globally. Going-private closed deal count is at a healthy 49% compared to full 2017 numbers.

In terms of most popular sectors for going-private deals, since 2013 - Information Technology has been leading the pack with €108.9bn of aggregate deal value recorded across 104 deals, while Consumer Discretionary* is trending as a distant second with €49.7bn of total deal value.

The top target location for going private deals is the US, and interestingly – China comes in at second place, with UK following. The three regions have seen total deal size of €218.8 during the period of 2013 through 2018YTD. The popularity of these locations is further supported by the fact that after going private, average target’s EBITDA values have increased compared to when those companies were public. The US-based going private targets grew their EBITDA by average of 56% since leaving the public market, while Chinese and the UK-located companies grew EBITDA by 10% and 38%, respectively. Overall, the going private moves proved to be successful for ex-public companies globally within the 2013 – 2018YTD deals’ time frame, where their average Net Income values grew by 58% while EBITDA values grew by a smaller but yet attractive 29%.

In terms of the deal pipeline, 18 going-private deals were announced globally since 1st January 2018 and would add €25.8bn of aggregate deal value to already closed €17.8bn.

The following was originally published on Angel News on August 16, 2018: Public companies going private, S&P Global comment

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