LET’S KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED, IT’S A STRANGE TIME, SAYS PRIMA GROUP’S CCO, VLADIMÍR POŘÍZEK
Despite the global crises and mixed expectations, the advertising market grew moderately in 2023 in all media types, says Vladimír Pořízek, FTV Prima group’s CCO. He also talks about how the warm autumn weather has affected the number of viewers in front of their screens or why tv stations have to increase the price of advertising.
How successful is 2023 for Prima in terms of business?
Initial expectations of what 2023 would look like were very unsure. Nobody knew whether there would be another crisis, how clients would behave, how people would behave and how consumption would grow. I remember that we prepared a business plan under about four scenarios - from a 20% market decline to a flat market (a period when the media market in terms of investment volume shows no signs of growth or decline, ed.). At the moment, we can say that the market is growing slightly in all media types. We are growing with it. So, I think it is a successful year.
What do you expect in the next year?
We believe that having succeeded this year, the growth will continue. I do not see any signs anywhere to the contrary. However, let’s keep our fingers crossed, it is a strange time.
It is often said that due to the warm weather this autumn, not too many viewers were sitting in front of their screens. Does the weather really have such a big impact on viewership?
The influence is enormous. Every year, the TV rating curves clearly show that the least number of viewers sit in front of the TV in the summer and the most during the winter. However, this autumn, temperatures remained well above the long-term average throughout September and half of October. It has been extremely warm, which is hugely evident in the viewing figures, which are down between 15% and 20% on last year. Combined with the significant increase in demand for advertising time, we had an insoluble problem. But all television stations are facing it.
In 2024, you are going to sell advertising time at a higher price than in previous years. Why?
Because inventory (advertising space in a given medium that can be sold to clients, ed.) is dwindling, viewers are fewer and fewer, and the cost of producing our content is rising. If we want to maintain the same margin, there has to be a price increase.
Another change you are introducing concerns strategic trading. You are now targeting adults aged 18-69, up from 15-69. Why did you decide to do this?
The main reasons for the change include social responsibility and legal constraints. Many clients cannot and do not want to target audiences under the age of 18. These are mainly producers of confectionery or alcoholic beverages. Another reason is the quality and credibility of the audience we reach, where we provide our clients with a more mature and solvent audience. And last but not least, we have more of these GRPs (Gross Rating Point or cumulative viewership - indicating the percentage of viewers from a given target group who have watched the show, ed.).
Campaign planning using artificial intelligence is also a new feature. How will it work?
Clients tell us which target group they want to focus their advertising on, and the computer software optimises the campaign planning to ensure everyone is as satisfied as possible. Our experience to date suggests that our clients’ campaign affinities could improve by up to five percent.
Another new feature is that you want to know from clients in advance how they plan to spread their investments over the year. Why?
So that we can better plan our inventory and handle client advertising campaigns more efficiently.
Do you plan to connect the online and TV worlds more?
We certainly have a lot of other projects in the pipeline. The online video-on-demand segment will continue to grow at the expense of linear TV. That’s why it’s also necessary to bridge these worlds in terms of planning and handling campaigns for clients. This is what cross-platform measurement, of which we are pioneers in the Czech Republic, is designed to do and we are therefore able to measure the reach.
What would you wish Prima for 30 years on the television market?
I wish it to do well, to flourish, to have better and better programmes and to entertain more viewers.