Dataxis had conducted numerous interviews with companies that have a strong foothold in the telecommunications industry involving Belarus, Armenia, Georgie, Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Some of the biggest issues addressed are those concerning the OTT emergence, decline of the FTA market, and the convergence of telecommunications and TV services. With it, the highlights of the said meeting are with the goal of improving the TV markets in the European Baltic region.
This is very important especially that Belarus and Estonia has a Pay TV market penetration of 80% of their total households. This happened in 2017. And over the next five years, two countries joined them after being expected to go beyond the 80% penetration rate.
These countries are Latvia and Russia who are then followed soon after by Lithuania and Georgia. Meanwhile, huge free to air markets will be remaining in Moldova, Armenia, and Ukraine. It’s also reported that these countries might consider the use of an IPTV service more due to its better video quality.
Take for example Estonia which has some of its operators forecast the difference that the FTA market will go through over the next couple of years. If this happens, then it will leave ERR, which is considered as a public broadcaster alone. As of now, households that watch FTA represents below 10% of the entire TV household in the region, which is pretty low.
The trend now for companies involves unifying multiple platforms under one global brand. This is the case that is similar to All Media Baltics, which is the buyer of the activities of Modern Times Group in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
Also, the group merges its video content platform to TVPlay which is an integrated single play product. This is currently available in three countries.
Latvia Lattelecom is also merging its company with the VOD and TV activities that’s under the Helio brand. Meanwhile, Eesti Media goes a bit further as it searches for similarities within its print, TV, and online campaigns.