The findings of an analysis by the Wavemaker media agency show that in CEE the decrease in the time young viewers devote to watching linear TV is expressed by low single-digit values, while in broader demographic groups the drops are almost negligible.
Romanians were the most avid viewers, watching on average 330 minutes a day in the first half of this year. This was unchanged on the figure in H1 2017. Among viewers aged 13-29, the figures was 220 minutes, down from 226 minutes a year earlier.
Hungary was in second place, followed by Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. However, Lithuania was the exception, with dynamics similar to those in Western Europe,and viewers aged 13-29 spent 13% less time watching TV than a year earlier.
Commenting on the findings, Izabela Albrychiewicz, president of Wavemaker and regional agency leader for CEE markets, said: “Young viewer groups, who most often reach for alternative sources of video content, offer the most disturbing picture of the future of linear TV. In this respect, the last half of the year was kind to broadcasters in the CEE region.
“In Poland we have observed a significant decrease in the viewing time in the second half of the previous year. For now, the figures have returned to more stable dynamics. Those may change following the announcement of Polish-led Netflix original productions. Locally produced series drive a lot of VOD subscription sales,” she added.
Quoting figures produced by Dataxis, Wavemaker notes that last year the popularity of SVOD subscriptions in Nordic markets rose to 68% in households equipped with a TV set. However, in CEE markets the number only reached 5%, while in Western Europe it was 32%.
Albrychiewicz continued: “Television is currently losing ground mainly to platforms which are closed to advertisers, i.e. that do not compete in this area with traditional TV services. However, they take away from TV viewing time and coverage, diminishing its key benefits as an advertising medium. In Sweden, TV advertisements will account for 16 percent of advertising expenditure this year, according to GroupM. Only four years ago, TV received a quarter of all investment there. In the CEE markets, both the viewing figures and TV share in advertising budgets remain quite stable. Romania remains top of the group, where every 6 out of 10 lei are still invested in TV advertising”.