The video platform prima+, launched this year, is developing better than the Prima group expected. This was revealed in the words of Josef Benes, director of VOD at Prima Group, at Wednesday's Digimedia 2023 conference.
Prima launched the prima+ service at the beginning of February this year. From the beginning, it said it could reach a traffic of 600,000 to 700,000 users and gain 100,000 subscribers within a year of its launch. Josef Beneš confirmed at the conference that prima+ reached the 600,000 user mark a month and a half ago. However, he did not specify how many subscribers prima+ has. However, he admitted that it is currently above 50 thousand subscribers. "We are above plan," he stated.
Prima+ entered the market with a different model than rival Voyo. It offers three viewing options: with advertising based on registration, with a reduced price and 50% of advertising for 99 CZK per month, and viewing for a full subscription of 149 CZK without ads. "We see in the numbers that the service is being used by viewers of chatch-up TV channels as well as those who are willing to pay for subscription viewing. We have outperformed international services with a combination of subscription and advertising. We reckon that when they come to our market with an offer to reduce viewers' subscription fees in exchange for a certain amount of advertising, our relevance will grow even more," he added.
Even in the context of global developments, with big international players such as Netflix, Disney+ and Discovery+ now also introducing the option to subscribe to the service for less money but with less advertising (ad-tier), rival service Voyo sees no reason to introduce such an offer. "We are watching this trend very closely. But SVOD has stopped growing in America, which is not an issue in the Czech market. What is also important is that the CPT on the American market is ten times higher than in our country," Lucie Oravčíková, director of digital services at TV Nova, described the differences between the local and American markets. She added that in this context, the introduction of a combined subscription offer with advertising does not make sense because Voyo is growing even without it. At the end of February, the Nova TV group announced that it had crossed the 500,000 subscriber mark for Voyo in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The rapid growth of prima+ and Voyo services on the Czech market was indirectly confirmed by Marcel Procházka from Czech Radiocommunications (CRA). As CRA also provide HbbTV services, which prima+ and Voyo use, CRA have an overview of what viewers are watching. There are currently 1.3 million households connected to HbbTV. "We are seeing a very fast growing trend in the usage of both prima+ and Voyo, and we can see this very well in the HbbTV measurement," he documented.
ČT IS ALSO LOOKING FOR REVENUE IN BROADCASTING OR IN THE SALE OF CONTENT
Czech Television may consider introducing an offer to watch ad-free content on iVysílání.cz for registered users who pay the TV fee, according to Jan Maxy, director of the Development and New Media Division. However, it is not clear whether this option will actually be introduced, given that CT is legally allowed to sell only video advertising on the Internet and does not want to lose revenue from its sale.
The financial situation of the public service broadcaster also forces it to enter into commercial agreements with commercial players for the use of titles for SVOD services. The media discussed cooperation between ČT and Voyo, according to which Voyo could acquire the rights not only to already completed titles but also to titles in the pipeline, is still in the negotiation phase. Lucie Oravčíková did not comment on Voyo's details. She only said that Voyo is interested in quality content, which includes ČT productions. Jan Maxa added that ČT was also approached by the Netflix platform a year ago, but it did not submit an offer, so ČT negotiated only with Nova. However, he also mentioned that ČT is also negotiating with another major domestic provider (i.e. TV Prima) to provide a catalogue licence and is reportedly not opposed to cooperation with any entity.