CEE is booming: in figures
BY Georgi R. Chakarov
Georgi R. Chakarov, Editor-in-Chief of TVBIZZ Magazine
The Central and Eastern European region is often underestimated for its real potential to make business. However, the market studies show that CEE will continue to lead the European continent in several categories: total ad growth, digital ad growth and VOD growth.

According to Dentsu Aegis, this year the total ad spend in the region will see a growth of 7.4% (up from a previous forecast of 6%). For comparison, the expected growth in Western Europe is 2.6% (down from 3.6%). Also, the weCAN report showed that the market grew with over a billion euros in one year to 11 billion in 2016, with TV taking 44% of the sum and digital ad spend increasing its share from 24% to 29%. In 2017, CEE drove the digital ad spend growth with five countries from the region (Belarus, Serbia, Russia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia) filling the IAB Europe’s Top 5 of fastest growing markets. The average growth rate of the 13 IAB metered CEE markets was 15.6% (including Greece’s +0.5%) compared to Western Europe’s average of 11.5%.

Television watching remains at very high levels while increasing internet usage also leads to higher consumption of online video. According to IHS Markit, SVOD subscriptions grew by 65% in 2017 and will grow with a CAGR of 38% over the next five years. This means 11 million subscriptions and accounting for a fifth of the total pay subscriptions overall by 2021.
All these numbers mean that CEE is and will remain a booming market for broadcasters, online players and content creators. The opportunities are out there as the audience is not as conservative as it has been presumed for years. People are quickly adapting to new technology, content and platforms while also staying true to the good old TV screen. This is well exemplified by arguably the region’s most conservative country – Turkey. The average viewing time in the household is 4.5 hours per day and the average time young users spend online is 3.5 hours. In 2016, the average online TV time was 84 minutes with 56% of the population watching video on their mobile phones in 2017.

This is what makes this market so exciting and dynamic.

Now it’s time for business.
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