Leading the Change – All Media Lithuania
Less than a year ago, Providence Equity Partners closed the acquisition of MTG’s media assets in the Baltics, announcing plans for major investments with a focus on digital development. The deal gave the new owners control over the leading media companies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were united under the new brand All Media Baltics (AMB). The name of the new holding clearly reflects its ambition – leadership in all media segments.
The domination of flagship channels TV3 in each of the three countries will be used as a basis to create a new digital platform which is set to revolutionize the Baltic media market, offering unlimited opportunities in terms of content and technological solutions. TVBIZZ Magazine talked to Baiba Zūzena, CEO All Media Latvia, Priit Leito, CEO All Media Estonia, and Laura Blaževičiūtė, CEO All Media Lithuania, about the new strategy and ongoing transformation of their companies following the change of ownership.
CEETV publishes today the interview with Laura Blaževičiūtė, CEO All Media Lithuania
Laura, what has changed at your company, following last year’s ownership change?
The biggest change for us was the start of high-definition broadcast. Actually, now we broadcast all three our TV channels (TV3, TV6 and TV8) in HD. We are the first commercial TV in Lithuania to offer our audience the best quality of picture. Bearing in mind that TV3 and TV6 show the most important sports events – FIBA Europe Cup and World Cup, UEFA Champions League, 2018 Winter Olympics and 2020 Summer Olympics, we are very happy to give our viewers this advantage.
TV3 led the charts in once again last year. What have been the results so far in 2018 and what were the main hits for TV3 during the spring season?
In 2018 TV3 continues to increase its audience share. Compared to same period last year, TV3’s audience share increased by 4% and now accounts for 17.7% of the total viewing time. TV3 shows the most watched news in Lithuania and we also have strong entertainment content: popular shiny floors, evening shows, series, social projects and sports events. The most viewed spring events were Golden Onions (humorous political awards, 51.1% share) and the Euroleague Final Four Žalgiris games (39.7% share). The most viewed own production program was The X Factor (30.7 share), which attracts predominantly young audience and this year we will start the sixth season. Our local drama Women Lie Better also hits the top of the charts (25.9% share). We are also proud to have the most objective and most viewed news (30.4% share) in Lithuania.
The TV advertising market in Lithuania is worth close to 50 million euros. Is this enough to support two large commercial players like TV3 and LNK?
The advertising split between the media is healthy and TV continues to keep biggest share of almost 50%. Even though the market hasn’t fully recovered since the crisis in 2008, now there are positive signs of recovery. As we are not only a TV broadcaster, but also run a radio station and internet portals, we are strong believers in cross-platform campaigns that should contribute to the market growth.
Are you planning to launch new digital or pay TV channels?
We are constantly developing our digital products. With the new ownership, our internet TV will be relaunched offering our audience access to the entertainment and news content in the preferable format, in the preferable device and at the preferable time. We are planning to expand our digital portfolio to help us in our goal to take the leading position among online players.
How big is the digital threat for the TV players in Lithuania?
We don’t think of anything digital as of the threat. We think of it as of a possibility. This point of view is probably our main strength. As TV players, we create a lot of audiovisual content which is the most popular and most desirable kind of content in the world now. Content allows to increase the value of any other services, so if we have at least several platforms (not only free-to-air TV), we can satisfy the needs of the most demanding viewer. We don’t think TV only anymore. We are a media group which covers digital as well.
Are you satisfied with the first half of 2018? What will be your content strategy for the rest of the year?
We are happy with the results but we believe that in the TV world you can never stop and just enjoy the moment; everything is changing quickly, and we must keep pace with the market and viewers’ needs.
Our main project now is the new digital platform which we plan to launch this autumn. These changes will, of course, influence our content strategy since we must separate and classify our content. If we talk about our TV channels, we are now finalizing our program for the new fall season. We have several ongoing primetime projects that are successful and will continue. We will show the sixth season of Lithuanian X Factor, we’ll have a new talkshow and we are getting ready for our big challenges – the 2019 Basketball World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics.