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MEME President: Hungarian TV ad market expected to grow in 2019 and 2020
 19 Nov 2019
CEETV’s Stanislav Kimchev conducted a number of interviews with key players from the Hungarian television market during the 7th edition of the Big Picture – an event organized by the Hungarian Television Broadcasters Association (MEME), which took place earlier this month. Today, we publish his conversation with MEME President Krisztian Kovacs who talked about the event and the current developments on the Hungarian TV ad market.

Krisztian, tell us in a nutshell about MEME and the Big Picture event. How many editions have there been so far?

MEME is an association. All the major broadcasters being present in Hungary are our members, including RTL, TV2 Group and the international networks who have local branches, like Discovery, Sony, Viacom, etc. We got 12 members but in terms of market share we represent over 90 or 95 percent of the market. I've been acting as president of the association for seven years.

The objective of the association is to support TV channels and promote TV. Originally it was about linear TV but now, obviously, we go beyond. The event Big Picture we started 7 years ago. This is the seventh edition where the channels present their plans for the next year to advertisers and partners. They come on stage and present their strategy, their view of the TV market, everything that they feel is important as a message to advertisers and agencies. The target group is absolutely every advertiser, decision maker, marketing execs, people who make the decision about the television budget, about the media mix of the campaigns and of course, agencies we can't miss media agencies.

In other words, this is a B2B sales event, where we invite clients and advertisers. There's no participation fee, you don’t buy tickets for the conference, it's a B2B event. But it's with personalized invitations so not anyone can come. It's prestigious to get an invitation to this event because that's the biggest event of the television industry.

How would you describe the Hungarian TV market nowadays and what are the forecasts for 2020? Will the advertising market grow?

We just conducted a study, a research, I presented it in the morning that we asked advertisers and agencies and basically to both agencies and advertisers -their opinion was in line and they expect 6-7 percent growth for the advertising market. We don't yet see the figures for this year, but there will be some growth. Definitely maybe 3 to 4, 3 to 6 percent growth in the television market this year. And we expect something similar in the following year.

What are the main challenges before the Hungarian TV market through the eyes of your association?

In the morning I talked about the biggest global challenge that we face as huge players, the global players, Facebook and Google on the advertising market. But that's a global thing. If you want to specify something local, I'll say that the biggest challenge is that the general price level of TV is very low. It's low compared to the surrounding markets or low compared to other media types. There are long breaks, too many spots and hardly any capacity or inventory to meet and fulfill the campaigns.

How do you work with the state, which is also one of the biggest advertisers in Hungary in order to improve the conditions on the local media and advertising market. Are you being supported by the state?

We as an association do not work with the state because the state is one of the biggest advertisers, it’s going to be a conflict of interests. They are in touch with the sales houses, they buy air time through the sales houses. To us this is just one of the advertisers for us. It's an important player on the advertising market, but we do not have any specific relationship with them in this term. As an association, we are in touch with the local authority, which is like, you know, a government close to the authority who's for the regulation of the media world and the television industry. We are in touch with them. We do take part in discussions of the regulation of the market. In this way, we are partnering with the local authority.

Are there plans to introduce programmatic addressable TV advertising in Hungary?

I don't yet see the Hungarian TV market to be there yet. I would say that it's another maybe three to five years to go. If you look at the European TV market, it's just starting in the UK, they are the most developed television market, in Europe. It's something that’s starting in Germany. So some more years to go for Hungary to be on the market.

In your opinion, why is TV is still the most attractive media segment to advertisers in Hungary. And are you working with Nielsen to measure online audiences as well?

It’s obviously attractive because it's cheap, but besides that, because of the efficiency, it is very effective. And like I said in the morning, TV advertising is working on both sides of the marketing funnel because it is the most effective in raising awareness. But it also helps in sales, in transactions. And it works. The study that we just conducted, it also proves that both advertisers and agencies admit that television is the most effective media type, especially combined with online. The media consumption habits are changing. And in our life, we know the only thing that's left basically are a smart phone, a PC or a TV set, but it's in the screens - that's what we got. That's left. There are no newspapers, nothing else. So, the advertisers are focusing on these two small screens. It's TV and online and everything else is just additional.

Nielsen is the measurement agency. They provide data but so far, it's only for the TV viewing. They are working on adding some features to measure in catch up TV, but the online video measurement is not on the table yet.
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