2. 6. 2022
Linear broadcasting is still the most desired platform, agreed experts at the seventeenth annual Digimedia conference. The growing popularity of time-shifted viewing and streaming services, which still have great potential in the local market, was also confirmed.

At the beginning, Tereza Šimečková, Director at Nielsen Admosphere, looked back at the two Covid years and used figures to demonstrate the strong position of classic linear broadcasting to which Czechs still devote around four hours a day. She also confirmed that people have learnt watching linear broadcast shows with a time-shift and that households in general have significantly improved their approach to modern technologies for watching video content.

Michaela Suráková, Managing Director at Atmedia, said that while there are 56 percent of people ready to pay for TV at the moment, within twelve months, the share is expected to grow to 59 percent. On average, Czechs spend CZK 386 a month on paid channels.

The future of streaming services in the Czech context was also discussed. According to Atmedia, Czechs are willing to pay for 1.5 VOD services. 52 percent pay for them directly and 12 percent via an operator. At present, they pay CZK 205 per monthly subscription. According to Atmedia Index data, SVOD services are used by 40% of the internet population aged 15-69. It is up twelve percentage points year-on-year.

The topics discussed included “streaming wars” and the fight for the attention of Czech viewers. Jakub Fulín from Nielsen Admosphere started the second block by a positive message based on the company’s recent study Video on the Internet saying that 54 percent of people agree that it is right to pay for video content to support producers. Conversely, the statistics showing that 13 percent of internet users pay for video content as a result of the pandemic is a negative piece of information for SVOD services as these people are likely to stop doing so in the near future.

Czech content attracts viewers

CME’s local streaming service Voyo does not lack confidence. According to Daniel Grunt, Head of Digital in CME, it is good news that more and more services are coming to the Czech Republic. “More brands educate the market and their entry will help accelerate growth. Global players will be those to feel new competitors more tangibly. I’m not worried about Voyo. We will not join the price war,” said Grunt, referring to HBO Max and Disney+ offering relatively low monthly fees at the launch of their services.

He also expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the time spent with his TV networks in the Czech Republic, i.e. Nova and the Voyo platform, has been growing. “Watching video content is grabbing more and more share from people’s free time. We may ask whether it is a good thing or not but it is a fact anyway,” he said, answering a question whether SVOD and linear TV cannibalise each other.

Martin Cepek, Chief Broadcast Director at České Radiokomunikace, is convinced that local players have more chances in the Czech Republic than the global ones. “Local viewers are very specific because of their love for dubbing. I believe that Czech content is king and that all foreign streaming companies cannot beat Czech broadcasters,“ believes Cepek who was previously working for HBO.

Two minor platforms, Dramox and Edisonline, were also represented at the conference. None of them is going to monetise their services via advertising as Netflix is considering. Grunt categorically rejected that model. “Our market still has room to grow. I understand that Netflix has nowhere to grow in the saturated US market and that is why it is taking this step. But that would make harm to our service in the Czech Republic,“ he said.

The most used pay video services in the Czech Republic are Netflix (32%), HBO Max (17%) and Voyo (12%) according to Nielsen Admosphere.

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