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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 28, 2009
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Media in brief
October 28, 2009   
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End of Crisis in Advertising?
The Polish advertising market will shrink by 6 percent this year to zl.7.28 billion, according to the latest projection by media company ZenithOptimedia.

In the following years, the market will rebound, growing by 0.5 percent to zl.7.33 billion in 2010 and by 7.5 percent to zl.7.89 billion in 2011, ZenithOptimedia predicts.

This, however, does not mean that all segments of the media market will recover, ZenithOptimedia said. The press, which will be hardest hit by the slowdown on the advertising market this year, will also be affected in 2011.

ZenithOptimedia says the internet will be the only medium to see a rise in revenue from advertising this year. Spending on online advertising will increase by 14.7 percent to zl.847 million. As a result, the slice of the advertising pie taken up by online ads will rise to 11.6 percent. In 2011, spending on online advertising will grow even faster, by 22.8 percent, and this medium will account for 15.5 percent of the advertising market, ZenithOptimedia said.

Ad revenue for newspapers and magazines will drop the most, by 17.7 percent to zl.620 million and by 13.3 percent to zl.795 million respectively.

"One important trend that will intensify involves a decreasing market share for the print media in favor of the internet," said Jakub Potrzebowski, CEO of ZenithOptimedia Polska. "This is a natural evolution that can be seen on developed advertising markets in the United States and Western Europe."

The television, radio and outdoor advertising segments are expected to see their revenues plunge by 6 percent this year, to zl.3.78 billion, zl.496 million and zl.664 million respectively. Spending on advertising in cinemas is expected to remain unchanged at zl.95 million.

Revival Expected Next Year
The first signs of an economic revival are likely to appear in the second half of next year, according to media and business experts who met at a conference in Warsaw Sept. 15.

The conference discussed the impact of the crisis on business and marketing practice, what the future held in store and how to communicate with increasingly powerful and skeptical consumers.

Ten members of a discussion panel from the business and media communities agreed that the economy was likely to enter a revival phase in the second half of 2010. A revival, in turn, would result in medium- and long-term investment in advertising and promotion instead of the present short-term planning.

The conference on advertising in the media was organized by the Mediaedge:cia media house together with the Bauer Media publishing house and was held under the auspices of private broadcaster TVN's CNBC Biznes business channel.

According to Mediaedge:cia estimates, advertising budgets in Poland were cut by an average of 11 percent in 2008.

However, the latest Central Statistical Office (GUS) data indicates that consumption is on the rise in Poland, which is the only country in Europe with positive GDP growth.

One of the panel members, Charles Coutier, the global CEO of the Mediaedge:cia advertising agency, spoke about marketing strategies that leading international advertisers have adopted during the economic downturn and outlined the role of integrated communication in overcoming the crisis. Coutier also pointed to the growing significance of the media, including paid media, media initiated by advertisers and media created by consumers, such as community networking.

Tvp.info Solicits User Input
The tvp.info online news service of public broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) in October launched Twoje Info (Your Info), enabling the public to contribute to the content of the website and of news broadcasts.

People can send a photo, video footage or a written report to tvp.info via SMS, MMS or e-mail. TVP may use the submitted material not only for the website and on the TVP Info news channel, but also in other TVP television news programs such as "Wiadomo¶ci," "Teleexpress" and "Panorama."

TV Puls Chairman Takes Control
Dariusz D±bski, chairman and one of the owners of the TV Puls television station, has bought a 26-percent stake in the station from the Franciscan religious order to become the majority shareholder, TV Puls disclosed Oct. 1. Before the transaction the Franciscans had a 51-percent stake in the station and D±bski held the remaining 49 percent.

After the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) changed the station's broadcasting license in September, TV Puls is no longer a religious station, "but, in keeping with our beliefs, we will continue to be a family station that respects the Christian value system," said D±bski.

The National Broadcasting Council removed the requirement for the station to broadcast religious programs and news and feature programs on family and Christian topics for four hours a day. According to D±bski, the station was "unable to win over viewers for its costly and ambitious productions consistent with the station's mission statement." He added that "the Franciscans will be able to pursue this goal on the internet where a social networking portal will be launched."

TV Puls had a 1.29-percent share in the Polish television market in September, according to AGB Nielsen Media Research.

The station is looking for a new strategic investor after the withdrawal of media giant News Corp.

RMF Withdraws From Ukraine
The RMF group, one of Poland's largest radio broadcasters, has sold its Radio 4U radio network in Ukraine to a private Ukrainian investor. The broadcaster said the move resulted from reasons including the ongoing economic crisis and a lack of transparent business regulations in Ukraine.

According to Kazimierz Gródek, chairman of the RMF group, the broadcaster does not rule out a return to its policy of expansion on foreign markets in the future, but for the time being wants to focus on developing its operations in Poland.

In Ukraine, RMF owned the Lviv-based Radio Man station and Radio Ternopil in addition to frequencies to launch stations in Ivano-Frankivsk and Novovolynsk. From January all the RMF stations in Ukraine have been broadcasting common programming as Radio 4U.

Cyfrowy Polsat Boosts Customer Services
Satellite television platform Cyfrowy Polsat, the largest satellite platform in Central and Eastern Europe, is planning to spend zl.60 million next year in capital expenditure on projects including IT services and a call center.

"Excluding the purchase of decoders that we lend to some of our customers, we estimate that capital expenditure will account for around 5 percent of our revenues in 2010, comparable to the zl.60 million this year," Dominik Libicki, the president of the Cyfrowy Polsat SA company, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

"This is primarily spending on IT and a call center, because the cost of customer services is bound to increase as the number of subscribers grows."

In the first half of this year, Cyfrowy Polsat revenues reached almost zl.660 million, while capital expenditure, excluding decoders lent to subscribers, totaled zl.16.4 million.

Poland Ahead in Digital TV
With the newly launched digital television platform from public broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) and the imminent launch of the Orange digital TV platform, Poland will have one of the most competitive markets for digital TV in Europe, experts say.

At present, there are five digital TV platforms in Poland: TVP, Cyfra+, Cyfrowy Polsat, n and Telewizja na kartę. The same number is only available in Germany and Romania, while TV viewers in the Czech Republic and Hungary can choose from among four digital television providers.

Analysts say this level of competition on the Polish market is likely to result in a better deal for viewers, including high-definition (HD) channels and lower prices for more attractive channel packages.
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