MarketLine Blog

Posts written by Tom Hawthorn

Spotify: How the Swedish start-up revolutionized an ailing music industry

MarketLine

The power of the internet has grown rapidly since its introduction to the mainstream in the early 2000s and it has become the most powerful tool on the planet, both socially and economically. However the music industry has struggled in recent years, in freefall since the turn of the century and the birth of the mainstream internet. The shift from physical to digital music has been stifled by the rapid growth in internet piracy, with software such as LimeWire, Napster and later torrent clients making it incredibly simple to download… Read more

GAME Digital: How the cyclical console release pattern is stifling GAME’s growth

MarketLine

The video game industry across the West is incredibly cyclical, with regular console releases every seven to eight years providing very large revenues to major players and carrying them through the period in-between releases. However a shift in the console market, with console developers choosing to release completely new consoles at a slower rate and instead releasing interim consoles (such as Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro), has hurt GAME Digital, a company only recent out of administration. It’s profit warning announced on June 30, the result of Nintendo’s decision to prioritize… Read more

Donald Trump: The Anti-Globalism Billionaire

MarketLine

Since revealing plans to run for President, billionaire businessman Donald Trump has expressed surprising anti-globalist sentiments. For a man who’s made his fortune running luxury resorts across the globe, it is initially surprising that he would claim to oppose trade blocs, a major driver of globalization and free trade. But perhaps Donald Trump is taking his new job seriously. The ex-businessman is now the most powerful person on the planet and that comes with certain responsibilities. The US people voted for a populist, radical alternative to the established political system… Read more

The Sky is the Limit: How Uber’s dominance of a market allows it to chase next-gen dreams

MarketLine

Uber released financial data to Bloomberg on April 14, 2017, something it is in no way obliged to do. The image it presented was one of rapid growth and expansion, skyrocketing revenues and incredible levels of spending. One would hope to see this level of performance; private investment in the company has grown consistently since its launch in 2009 as UberCab, generating nearly $10bn from investment firms since then, and it has managed to spend more than $8bn investing in its own growth. Private investment growth will need to continue… Read more

UK General Election: Theresa May’s Call for Election on June 8 an Opportunistic Masterstroke

MarketLine

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, a historic result the likes of which has never been seen. On June 5, 1975 the UK voted overwhelmingly in favor of remaining in the EU (then called the European Community) and the thought of any member state actually leaving is a very recent phenomenon. Many point to the Great Recession of 2008-09 as the catalyst for the most recent wave of anti-EU sentiment but opposition to the EU has existed in the UK since it joined… Read more

From GM to PSA: Why the sale of Vauxhall Opel is good for shareholders but bad for workers

MarketLine

US-based General Motors is the world’s third largest automobile manufacturer by sales, and second largest by revenues. French-owned Groupe PSA, which sold nearly 3.2 million vehicles and had revenues of €54bn ($57bn), is a fairly small player in comparison. GM’s ownership and continued management of Vauxhall Opel is at odds with the rest of its portfolio – the company primarily operates in the US and Asia, selling brands including Chevrolet, Buick, Holden and Wuling – while PSA operate Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles primarily out of Europe. The sale of… Read more

Piracy: The social acceptability of theft and its effect on the movie industry

MarketLine

Internet piracy has been around almost as long as the internet itself. Communities exist, consisting of millions of web users, which are dedicated to sourcing, converting and sharing valuable copyrighted material. Some – The Pirate Bay – were the inspiration for political parties. Others – Megaupload – were responsible for accelerating the fortunes of a small group into the billions of dollars. But all major sites have been in the spotlight for a decade, coming and going, constantly switching web hosts from Sweden to Somalia to Costa Rica, managing to… Read more

Tesco-Booker: The Squeeze on Small Businesses

MarketLine

Tesco, one of the largest retailers in the world, is the most dominant supermarket in the UK market. Its recent announcement to merge with Booker was a surprise to all. Booker occupies a very different area of the market, primarily offering bulk-purchase supply to small retailers, both independent and franchised stores under brands it owns, such as Londis and Budgens. At first glance then, this seems an odd target for Tesco; to merge operations with a company whose target market is so different to its own. Indeed, no one considers… Read more

OPEC: Supply restriction amid global oil glut

MarketLine

OPEC, consisting of 13 oil-rich governments, is the only true cartel allowed, albeit grudgingly, to operate in today’s global economy and it wields considerable power. In 1973 Arab members imposed an oil embargo on the US during the Arab-Israeli war which tripled prices in a matter of months. Three times in recent history OPEC has stepped in to shore up the oil market, and each time prices rallied within days of action being taken. It is fair to say, therefore, that OPEC is a force to be reckoned with. Or… Read more