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Google, Russia's FAS fail to settle Android case; Viacom, Warner Bros. invest in Italian VOD

2019 Credit Risk Perspectives Is The Credit Cycle Turning A Fundamentals View

2019 Credit Risk Perspectives Is The Credit Cycle Turning A Market Driven View

AVIA OTT Summit 2019 Offers Insight Into Changing OTT Roadmap

Fiber Route Mile Leaderboard


Google, Russia's FAS fail to settle Android case; Viacom, Warner Bros. invest in Italian VOD

TOP NEWS

*Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service and Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. remained unable to reach an out-of-court settlement in acase over the Android operating system, Reuters reports.In a statement quoted by the Interfax news agency, Elena Zaeva, head of FAS'Department for Regulation of Telecommunications and Information Technology,said "now it's up to the court to draw a line under this case."

*Viacom Inc. andTime Warner Inc.'sWarner Bros. EntertainmentInc. took an 8.67% holding in Italy-based video-on-demand platformChili TV, with options to hike the stake to about 13% by 2019. The transactionwill help increase Chili TV's capital to €58.4 million from €53.6 million,Telecompaper reports,citing Il Sole 24 Ore.

PAN-EUROPEAN

AND IRELAND

*Intel Corp. struck atechnology licensing deal with U.K.-based chip maker ARM Holdings Plc,Bloomberg News reports.Intel reportedly hopes to boost its third-party chip manufacturing businessthrough the deal.  

*Sky plc launchedits new Sky Fibre Max offer, offering unlimited broadband usage and downloadspeeds of up to 76 Mbps. Sky Fibre Max costs €25 a month, plus Sky Line Rental.

*British Telecom CEOGavin Patterson criticized rivals Vodafone Group Plc, Sky and formisleading consumers with their "Fix Britain's Internet" campaign,which slams BT for lack of investment in broadband infrastructure, amongothers, the Financial Times (London) reports.Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk reportedly dismissed Patterson's claims, replyingthat the state of pure fiber deployment in the U.K. is a "wastedopportunity."

GERMANY,SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

*ProSiebenSat.1 MediaSE, through its subsidiary 7Life, acquired a majority share inWehrheim-based health service WindStar Medical Group from investment firm HQEquita for an undisclosed sum. WindStar Medical focuses on the development anddistribution of niche-market healthcare products, according to a pressrelease.

*Austrian media group Mediengruppe Österreich plans to launch its own newschannel oe24.at, following the launch of N24 Austria and ProSiebenSat.1-owned4News, reportsDWDL. Mediengruppe Österreich is in talks with CNN (US) for a possible partnership.

*Following its acquisition of German e-commerce specialist Danato, Gruner + Jahris launching an online shopping business, accordingto Meedia. The Schöner Wohnen shop, which will promote the company's digitalbusiness, is being run in close cooperation with the editorial commerce team oflifestyle magazine Schöner Wohnen.

*German technology retailer Media-Markt expanded its countrywide sponsoringengagement of professional football, reportsGerman media magazine Werben &Verkaufen. The company signed sponsorship contracts with 16 clubs.

*The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will be available in France from Sept.20, ZDNet reports.The headset, made by FacebookInc.'s Oculus VR, will retail for €699 through 's French portal andFNAC.

*Altice NV-ownedSFR announceda new partnership with beIN SPORTS for fiber subscribers. Starting Aug. 17, the€19.99-per-month Box Starter package will include SFR Sport, while€29.99-per-month Box Power will include both SFR Sport and beIN Sports channels.

*Sanctions against misleading or abusive mobile payment practices tripled in2016 compared to 2015 since the creation of watchdog Association Française duMultimédia Mobile, Les Echos reports.Created by Orange SA,SFR and BouyguesTelecom, the AFMM's mission is to promote mobile payments bypolicing malpractice in the sector.

*Netflix Inc.'s speed index showedthat Iliad SA's Freesignificantly improved download speeds in July 2016, Univers Freebox reports.All French operators showed a slight improvement with Free clocking in at 2.85Mbps, up from 2.52 Mbps.

*Mayor Fabrice Beauvois of the town of Bressolles, located in rural Francenorthwest of Lyon, issueda ban on "Pokémon Go" characters. The order prevents The Pokémon Companyand Niantic from placing virtual creatures within the town limits due toconcerns regarding public disturbance, road safety, and the game's addictiveeffect on young residents.

,BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

*Liberty Global plcunit Ziggo NV willsupply only dual-band Wi-Fi routers to customers joining from September,Telecompaper reports.Ziggo's move follows growing complaints from customers about poor Wi-Ficoverage at home, which is likely caused by the increasing number of devicesthat use the 2.4 GHz band for Wi-Fi.

*People in the Netherlands are increasingly using fiber optic internetconnections at the expense of internet usage through copper wire, TotaalTV reports,citing a report from the Authority of Consumers & Markets, ACM. The numberof fiber optic connections in the Netherlands rose 60,000 in the first quarterof 2016, according to the report.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

*Norway's Opera SoftwareASA and a Chinese consortium of investors agreed to reduce theirdeal to $575 millionfrom $600 million, Sina Tech reports.Opera will transfer its core web browsing service business to the Chineseconsortium, excluding its video compression and VPN business. The transactionis expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter.

*Finnish telecom company Elisa said that it tested 5G in Finland and reachedspeeds of 5 Gbps, Hufvudstadsbladet reports. The testwas run in cooperation with NokiaCorp., on a 5G base station, terminal and network core.

*Finnish media group Alma Media agreed to acquire Uusi Suomi, a Finnish news andblog service, Alma Media said.The acquisition is expected to be finalized Sept. 1. The purchase price was notdisclosed. Uusi Suomi's eight employees will transfer to Alma Media.

*TDC A/S increasedprices on the services of two of its cheaper brands, Telmore and Fullrate, Børsen reports.Since fall 2015, TDC has increased prices on mobile subscriptions, andcompetitors Telenor ASAand Telia Co. AB havefollowed suit.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

*Telecom Italia SpA'sinfrastructure unit INWIT is prepared to manage towers on behalf of Iliad oncethe latter enters the Italian market, Telecompaper reports,citing Il Sole 24 Ore. INWIT CEOOscar Cicchetti reportedly said he is following developments on Iliad'spurchase of assets to be divested from the proposed between 's and CK HutchisonHoldings Ltd.'s 3 Italia.

*Spanish consumer protection group FACUA filed a complaint against for charging €7.26on the porting of numbers to its MVNO brand Amena, Telecompaper reports,citing Cinco Dias. In its complaintbefore Spain's data protection agency, FACUA argued that the Orange unit cannotcharge such a fee as customers are paying the same company for the serviceprovided.

*Subscribers of VodafoneEspana's Red or One postpaid plans will be able to watch up to 32free TV channels from Aug. 18 as part of the TV Online Premium offer,Telecompaper reports.The offer, which can be activated via the Vodafone Group Plc unit's Mi Vodafoneapp, includes access to DTT channels such as TNT, Fox and beIN La Liga.

EASTERN EUROPE

*Akado Telecomappointed Mikhail Medrish as director of operations for its consumer brandKomkor, Digital TV Europe reports.Medrish was previously the head of nonprofit organization Internet SupportFoundation and chairman of Russia's Internet Coordination Center.

*Central European MediaEnterprises Ltd.-owned Slovak broadcaster TV Markiza will ceasebroadcasting its channels terrestrially from the start of 2017, Broadband TVNews reports,citing Medialne. TV Markiza, which will no longer renew its contract withnational transmission firm Towercom will instead boost its satellite, IPTV andcable operations, according to the report.

*Russia's NTV-Plusrebranded its movie channels and dropped Nika TV and a regional channel for theYamal region from its portfolio, Digital TV Europe reports.The rebrand turned channels NTV+ Premier to Kinosemya, NTV+ Kinohit to Kinohit,NTV+Kinoclub to Kinosvidaniye, NTV+ Kino HD to Kino Premier HD, NTV+ NasheNovoye Kino to Nashe Novoye Kino, Komediya TV to Komediya, NTV+  Kino+ to Kinomix, NTV+ Nashe Kino to RodnoyeKino and Indiya TV to Indiyskoye Kino.

FEATURED NEWS

: In this feature, S&P Global MarketIntelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top,video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

: Apple Inc.CEO Tim Cook reportedly told China's vice premier that the company will buildan R&D center in the country, while Taiwan's movie-focused streamingservice Catchplay launched in Singapore.

: Amazon.com will exclusively premiere a new original seriesbased on Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner in 2017, while DISH Network'sSling TV unveiled the pricing and packaging details of the NFL Network and NFLRedZone.

: In this bi-weekly feature, S&PGlobal Market Intelligence provides a roundup of significant recent regulatoryevents in Europe.

: Pandora recorded the biggestgains in short interest among new media companies measured by SNL Kagan in thesecond half of July.

: Outerwall's short interest plummeted in lateJuly, landing the company on top of the list of media and entertainmentcompanies with the steepest declines in short interest.

: If 2015 was the year of mega mergers in thecable industry, 2016 is the year of buying into broadband.

: In this monthly feature,S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related toover-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in differentAfrican and Middle Eastern markets.

: In this new feature, S&P Global Market Intelligencepresents a bi-weekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.

FEATURED RESEARCH

:Leading multichannel operators refined their TV Everywhere offerings in 2016 tofocus on providing higher-quality content.

Sylvia Edwards Davis, AnneFreier, Charlotte van Hek and Esben Svendsen contributed to this report. TheDaily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. London time. Some external linksmay require a subscription.


Credit Analysis
2019 Credit Risk Perspectives Is The Credit Cycle Turning A Fundamentals View

Mar. 15 2019 — On November 20, 2018, a joint event hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Ratings took place in London, focusing on credit risk and 2019 perspectives.

Pascal Hartwig, Credit Product Specialist, and I provided a review of the latest trends observed across non-financial corporate firms through the lens of S&P Global Market Intelligence’s statistical models.1 In particular, Pascal focused on the outputs produced by a statistical model that uses market information to estimate credit risk of public companies.

I focused on an analysis of how different Brexit scenarios may impact the credit risk of European Union (EU) private companies that are included on S&P Capital IQ platform.

Before, this, I looked at the evolution of their credit risk profile from 2013 to 2017, as shown in Figure 1. Scores were generated via Credit Analytics’ PD Model Fundamentals Private, a statistical model that uses company financials and other socio-economic factors to estimate the PD of private companies globally. Credit scores are mapped to PD values, which are based on/derived from S&P Global Ratings Observed Default Rates.

Figure 1: EU private company scores generated by PD Model Fundamentals Private, between 2013 and 2017.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence.2 As of October 2018.

For any given year, the distribution of credit scores of EU private companies is concentrated below the ‘a’ level, due to the large number of small revenue and unrated firms on the S&P Capital IQ platform. An overall improvement of the risk profile is visible, with the score distribution moving leftwards between 2013 and 2017. A similar picture is visible when comparing companies by country or industry sector,3 confirming that there were no clear signs of a turning point in the credit cycle of private companies in any EU country or industry sector. However, this view is backward looking and does not take into account the potential effects of an imminent and major political and economic event in the (short) history of the EU: Brexit.

To this purpose, S&P Global Market Intelligence has developed a statistical model: the Credit Analytics Macro-scenario model enables users to study how potential future macroeconomic scenarios may affect the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU private companies. This model was developed by looking at the historical evolution of S&P Global Ratings’ rated companies under different macroeconomic conditions, and can be applied to smaller companies after the PD is mapped to a S&P Global Market Intelligence credit score.

“Soft Brexit” (Figure 2): This scenario is based on the baseline forecast made by economists at S&P Global Ratings and is characterized by a gentle slow-down of economic growth, a progressive monetary policy tightening, and low yet volatile stock-market growth.4

Figure 2: “Soft Brexit” macro scenario.5

Source: S&P Global Ratings Economists. As of October 2018.

Applying the Macro-scenario model, we analyze the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU companies over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020, by industry sector and by country:

  • Sector Analysis (Figure 3):
    • The median credit risk score within specific industry sectors (Aerospace & Defense, Pharmaceuticals, Telecoms, Utilities, and Real Estate) shows a good degree of resilience, rising by less than half a notch by 2020 and remaining comfortably below the ‘b+’ threshold.
    • The median credit score of the Retail and Consumer Products sectors, however, is severely impacted, breaching the high risk threshold (here defined at the ‘b-’ level).
    • The remaining industry sectors show various dynamics, but essentially remain within the intermediate risk band (here defined between the ‘b+’ and the ‘b-’ level).

Figure 3: “Soft Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by industry.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

  • Country Analysis (Figure 4):
    • Although the median credit risk score may not change significantly in certain countries, the associated default rates need to be adjusted for the impact of the credit cycle.6 The “spider-web plot” shows the median PD values for private companies within EU countries, adjusted for the credit cycle. Here we include only countries with a minimum number of private companies within the Credit Analytics pre-scored database, to ensure a robust statistical analysis.
    • Countries are ordered by increasing level of median PD, moving clock-wise from Netherlands to Greece.
    • Under a soft Brexit scenario, the PD of UK private companies increases between 2018 and 2020, but still remains below the yellow threshold (corresponding to a ‘b+’ level).
    • Interestingly, Italian private companies suffer more than their Spanish peers, albeit starting from a slightly lower PD level in 2017.

Figure 4: “Soft Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by country.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

“Hard Brexit” (Figure 5): This scenario is extracted from the 2018 Stress-Testing exercise of the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the Bank of England.7 Under this scenario, both the EU and UK may go into a recession similar to the 2008 global crisis. Arguably, this may seem a harsh scenario for the whole of the EU, but a recent report by the Bank of England warned that a disorderly Brexit may trigger a UK crisis worse than 2008.8

Figure 5: “Hard Brexit” macro scenario.9

Sources:”2018 EU-wide stress test – methodological note” (European Banking Authority, November 2017) and “Stress Testing the UK Banking system: 2018 guidance for participating banks and building societies“ (Bank of England, March 2018).

Also in this case, we apply the Macro-scenario model to analyze the evolution of the credit risk profile of EU companies over the same three-year period, by industry sector and by country:

  • Sector Analysis (Figure 6):
    • Despite all industry sectors being severely impacted, the Pharmaceuticals and Utilities sectors remain below the ‘b+’ level (yellow threshold).
    • Conversely, the Airlines and Energy sectors join Retail and Consumer Products in the “danger zone” above the ‘b-’ level (red threshold).
    • The remaining industry sectors will either move into or remain within the intermediate risk band (here defined between the ‘b+’ and the ‘b-’ level).

Figure 6: “Hard Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by industry.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

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  • Country Analysis (Figure 7):
    • Under a hard Brexit scenario, the PD of UK private companies increases between 2017 and 2020, entering the intermediate risk band and suffering even more than its Irish peers.
    • Notably, by 2020 the French private sector may suffer more than the Italian private sector, reaching the attention threshold (here shown as a red circle, and corresponding to a ‘b-’ level).
    • While it is hard to do an exact like-for-like comparison, it is worth noting that our conclusions are broadly aligned with the findings from the 48 banks participating in the 2018 stress-testing exercise, as recently published by the EBA:10 the major share of 2018-2020 new credit risk losses in the stressed scenario will concentrate among counterparties in the UK, Italy, France, Spain, and Germany (leaving aside the usual suspects, such as Greece, Portugal, etc.).

Figure 7: “Hard Brexit” impact on the median credit risk level of EU private companies, by country.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

In conclusion: In Europe, the private companies’ credit risk landscape does not yet signal a distinct turning point, however Brexit may act as a pivot point and a catalyst for a credit cycle inversion, with an intensity that will be dependent on the Brexit type of landing (i.e., soft versus hard).

1 S&P Global Ratings does not contribute to or participate in the creation of credit scores generated by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
2 Lowercase nomenclature is used to differentiate S&P Global Market Intelligence credit scores from the credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings.
3 Not shown here.
4 Measured via Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth, Long-term / Short-term (L/S) European Central Bank Interest Rate Spread, and FTSE100 or STOXX50 stock market growth, respectively.
5 Macroeconomic forecast for 2018-2020 (end of year) by economists at S&P Global Ratings; the baseline case assumes the UK and the EU will reach a Brexit deal (e.g. a “soft Brexit”).
6 When the credit cycle deteriorates (improves), default rates are expected to increase (decrease).
7 Source: “2018 EU-wide stress test – methodological note” (EBA, November 2017) and “Stress Testing the UK Banking system: 2018 guidance for participating banks and building societies”. (Bank of England, March 2018).
8 Source: “EU withdrawal scenarios and monetary and financial stability – A response to the House of Commons Treasury Committee”. (Bank of England, November 2018).
9 As a hard Brexit scenario, we adopt the stressed scenario included in the 2018 stress testing exercise and defined by the EBA and the Bank of England.
10 See, for example, Figure 18 in “2018 EU-Wide Stress Test Result” (EBA November 2018), found at:https://eba.europa.eu/documents/10180/2419200/2018-EU-wide-stress-test-Results.pdf

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2019 Credit Risk Perspectives: Is The Credit Cycle Turning? A Market-Driven View

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Credit Analysis
2019 Credit Risk Perspectives Is The Credit Cycle Turning A Market Driven View

Mar. 15 2019 — On November 20, 2018, a joint event hosted by S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Ratings took place in London, focusing on credit risk and 2019 perspectives.

Giorgio Baldassarri, Global Head of the Analytic Development Group, and I provided a review of the latest trends observed across non-financial corporate firms through the lens of S&P Global Market Intelligence’s statistical models.1 In particular, Giorgio focused on the analysis of the evolution of the credit risk profile of European Union companies between 2013 and 2017, and how this may change under various Brexit scenario.

I started with an overview of key trends of the credit risk of public companies at a global level, before diving deeper into regional and industry sector-specific performance and pointing out some key drivers of country- and industry-level risk. Credit Analytics Probability of Default (PD) Market Signals model was used to derive these statistics. This is a structural model (enhanced Merton approach) that produces PD values for all public corporates and financial institutions globally. Credit scores are mapped to PD values, which are derived from S&P Global Ratings observed default rates (ODRs).

From January 2018 to October 2018, we saw an increase in the underlying PD values generated by PD Market Signals across all regional S&P Broad Market Indices (BMIs), as shown in Figure 1. For Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America, the overall increase was primarily driven by the significant shift in February 2018, which saw an increase in the PD between 100% to 300% on a relative basis. The main mover on an absolute basis was Latin America, which had a PD increase of over 0.35 percentage points.

Figure 1: BMI Benchmark Median credit scores generated by PD Market Signals, between January 1 and October 1, 2018.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

Moving to the S&P Europe BMI in Figure 2, we can further isolate three of the main drivers behind the overall increase in PDs (this time measured on a relative basis), namely Netherlands, France, and Austria. Among these, the Netherlands had the most prominent increase between August and October. Again, one can identify the significant increase in the PDs in February, ranging from 150% to 230%, across all three countries. Towards July, we saw the spread between the three outliers shrink significantly. In August and September, however, the S&P Europe BMI began to decrease again, whilst all three of our focus countries were either increasing in risk (Netherlands, from a 150% level in the beginning of August to a 330% level at the end of September) or remaining relatively constant (France and Austria).

Figure 2: European Benchmark Median PD scores generated by PD Market Signals model, between January 1 and October 1, 2018.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

In the emerging markets, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar were the most prominent outliers from the S&P Mid-East and Africa BMI. As visible in Figure 3, the S&P Mid-East and Africa BMI saw less volatility throughout 2018 and was just slightly above its start value as of October. Two of the main drivers behind this increase were the PDs of the country benchmarks for Turkey and the UAE. Turkey, especially, stood out: the PD of its public companies performed in line with the S&P Mid-East and Africa BMI until mid-April, when it increased significantly and showed high volatility until October. On the other hand, the benchmark for Qatar decreased by over 60% between May and October.

Figure 3: S&P Mid-East and Africa BMI Median PD scores generated by PD Market Signals, between January 1 and October 1, 2018.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

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We then looked at different industries in Europe. As shown in Figure 4, the main shift in S&P BMIs occurred in February, with most industries staying on a similar level for the remaining period. The main outliers were the S&P Industrials, Materials, and, in particular, Consumer Discretionary Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) BMIs. The S&P Energy BMI saw some of the highest volatility, but was able to decrease significantly throughout September. At the same time, the Materials sector saw a continuous default risk increase from the beginning of June, finishing at an absolute median PD level of slightly over 1% when compared to the start of the year.

Figure 4: S&P EMEA Industry BMI Median PD scores generated by PD Market Signals, between January 1 and October 1, 2018.

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence. As of October 2018.

In conclusion, looking at the public companies, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Europe pointed towards an increase of credit risk between January 2018 and October 2018, amid heightened tensions due to the current U.S. policy towards Latin-American countries, the U.S./China trade war, and Brexit uncertainty.

1 S&P Global Ratings does not contribute to or participate in the creation of credit scores generated by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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2019 Credit Risk Perspectives: Is The Credit Cycle Turning? A Fundamentals View

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AVIA OTT Summit 2019 Offers Insight Into Changing OTT Roadmap

Mar. 06 2019 — Over-the-top video in the Asia-Pacific has been rapidly evolving as OTT players continue to learn and understand the landscape. Industry experts who participated in the Asia Video Industry Association OTT Summit 2019, held February 20 in Singapore, emphasized the importance of relevant content and adaptability of OTT players, particularly in finding the right business model.

According to Media Partners Asia's Vice President Aravind Venugopal, most OTT players that entered the region in 2016 — citing Netflix Inc., HOOQ and iflix — primarily offered a subscription service, whereas PCCW Media Ltd's Viu provided ad-supported content. He said that a year after, each one was trying to figure out what revenue model would work best. It was at that time that sachet pricing, transactional video-on-demand and ad-supported content became more prevalent.

As for 2018, it was said that OTT players moved toward paths through which monetization could continue to grow, and advertising video-on-demand had to be maximized. Venugopal cited that in one of Media Partners Asia's studies, online video platforms that were more ad-focused came out on top. China players such as iQIYI Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s Tencent Video and Youku Tudou Inc. are able to monetize consumers by adding sachet pricing, as well as allowing customers to purchase magazines or books, or any other offering that would make them stay on the service.

As more OTT services enter the region, finding the most ideal business model to retain and grow viewership can be a challenge. Panelists who were part of the "AVOD vs SVOD vs TVOD: Finding the Right Business Model" discussion, however, agreed there really is not any right model — it is yet to be discovered as OTT players learn more about their respective areas of operation.

Services will have to adapt and should be open to evolving content offerings based on consumers, while also taking regulatory policies into consideration.

In the case of HOOQ, CTO Michael Fleshman highlighted that the company is moving toward using a freemium model, through which consumers may eventually no longer need to register on the site. The OTT player is also trying to maintain simpler packages, with free content very much accessible for everyone.

He also said that HOOQ was initially worried about cannibalizing the subscription video-on-demand business, but as it turns out, engagement is still doing well.

HOOQ recently added linear channels to its offering, and Fleshman emphasized that the OTT service is not shifting but expanding its service so customers will not feel the need to go somewhere else to watch linear channels.

When global OTT player Netflix entered Asia in 2016, it had an international playbook in hand, which made collaborating with local operators a crucial step in learning more about the region. Subscription payment was one of its main concerns and having local partners became beneficial in addressing this.

When asked how the company felt about competitors and what its competitive advantage was in the Asia-Pacific region, Tony Zameczkowski, Netflix's vice president of business development in Asia, said the company sees competition as a good thing.

He also said Netflix's competitive advantage is its platform, content, marketing and partnership. In terms of platform, Zameczkowski elaborated that Netflix provides a "hyper-personalized" service capable of providing recommendations and personalizing the customer's content library.

In terms of content, Zameczkowski acknowledged that the OTT player's local content offering was initially weak. Soon after acquiring various licensing content from producers, however, Netflix started producing original content. The company will continue to invest in relevant titles. In relation to marketing the service, Zameczkowski said that Netflix banks on its titles, part of its promotional strategy.

Partnering with telcos was also very instrumental in establishing Netflix's presence in the region. Likewise, partnering with device manufacturers was important — a different approach for the company, as the Netflix app would normally be included on most devices in U.S. and European markets.

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Fiber Route Mile Leaderboard

Highlights

Our analysis of fiber networks held by U.S.-based companies found telcos in control of the three largest fiber networks.

Verizon has been the fastest-growing network over the past two years by fiber route miles, adding nearly 200,000 to end 2018 with more than 1 million globally.

Mar. 04 2019 — Optical fiber, long the backbone for broadband internet, will soon take on additional workload in the form of data backhaul for 5G wireless traffic. That has spurred the two fiber titans among U.S.-based companies to build out even further.

Our analysis of fiber networks held by U.S.-based companies found telcos in control of the three largest fiber networks. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. alone combine for more than 2.2 million route miles, more than half of the total in our survey of publicly available data.

Verizon is jockeying with AT&T to lead the 5G charge in the U.S.

Third on our list is CenturyLink Inc., which nearly doubled its fiber route miles in 2017 with the acquisition of Level 3 as it sharpened its focus on large-scale business functions.

Broadband and multichannel providers Charter Communications Inc., Frontier Communications Corp., Windstream Communications, Inc. and Comcast Corp., take up spots four through seven on our list. Their publicly available data on fiber route miles has been relatively static in recent years, perhaps because they are not under pressure to deliver next-generation wireless networks.

Our analysis is based on recent company filings or data found on corporate websites and is, consequently, an incomplete picture.

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