Advertising cut hits Albania traditional media income

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 13, 2018 14:35

Advertising cut hits Albania traditional media income

TIRANA, Sept. 13 – Albania’s traditional electronic and print media saw their income drop for a second year in a row in 2017 as main advertising revenue declined and online media continued to gain ground emerging as a serious competitor.

Data processed by BIRN news agency in the local Albanian service from the National Business Center shows the top ten TV companies and pay TV platforms had their revenue drop by 4 percent to 10.3 billion lek (about €80 million) in 2017.

Two-thirds of the reported income is generated by two pay TV platforms that reported a total of 6.3 billion lek (€49.5 mln) with the tax authorities, down 4.7 percent compared to 2016.

Income generated by main TVs has been fluctuating at about the same levels for the past four years amid lower advertising by the key mobile operators and commercial banks, the traditional top two advertisers.

While mobile operators have continuously reported a drop in income in the past decade in an ongoing downward trend triggered by tougher competition and smartphone apps replacing traditional phone calls and text messages, commercial banks have posted record high profits in the past couple of years.

The situation is not very optimistic even this year as the sole Albanian-own operator ceased operations in late 2017 stripping the media market of about €1 million in advertising revenue. The banking sector has also been involved in a series of takeover and mergers that are expected to reduce its number to 14 this year, down from a current 16.

Yet, one of Albania’s top construction companies, Albanian-owned Gener 2, has announced a partnership with U.S.-based CNN giant to launch a local news channel by the end of 2018 and “bring CNN standards to the Albanian media market.”

Meanwhile, the traditional print media has seen its advertising drop to a record low in a global trend affected by booming online media.

Albania’s top eight newspapers saw their sales and advertising income drop to about 500 million lek (€3.9 mln) in 2017, down 10 percent compared to 2016 as internet income from their websites was unable to compensate the sharp decline in hardcopy sales.

In 2016, one of the country’s largest newspaper withdrew from the print media after almost a decade of operation as one of the main print media outlet.

The lower income for main media outlets has also been accompanied with cuts in staff and wages.

Albania’s media is classified as partly free with “the intermingling of powerful business, political, and media interests inhibiting the development of independent news outlets,” according to Freedom House. Local journalism associations report an increase in the number of journalists facing life threats because of their job and media professionals quitting their jobs because of censorship, poor income or perceived danger.

 

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 13, 2018 14:35