How to become profitable in television and content production. Advice from media leaders

20 September 2018, 18:40

At the second section of “Television as business” conference which took place on September 20 at KYIV MEDIA WEEK international media forum a panel “Summit of media leaders” took place. The participants were Roman Andreyko, general manager at 24 TV channel; Viktor Prykhodko, director at PRO TV; and Olga Panteleymonova, general manager at Star Media. The discussion was moderated by Aleksandr Bogutsky, director-president at ICTV. The main question of the debate was what allows to become profitable. 

So what are the recommendations? They are to look for a place where it is cheaper to launch a business and work; to remember about digital, use it and take into account business correction data for traditional television; to look for human resources and partners at the internal market and abroad; not to produce content just for one or two TV channels; not to be afraid to refuse projects which might damage your reputation even if the client promises good money.   

In detail, the cases are the following. Initially, Andreyko launched his TV channel not in Kyiv but in Lviv where operational revenues were lower and only after his channel became popular he relocated to the capital. After the launch of website the data about visitors were carefully tracked down which directly impacted the channel grid. The thing is that the number of unique visitors has passed the mark of 10 million a month (August 2018), and this means many people found out the news online and did not need their repetition on the evening program. A decision was made to introduce a cycle of programs where the show host looks at the three or four main news of the day from his/her point of view.  

As for Prikhodko, he closely cooperates with the channels and doesn’t ask the state for support – the broadcasters know that his production company delivers high-quality visuals and commissions projects all the time. However, sometimes Prikhodko refuses when he is not sure he’ll be able to provide the necessary quality in the indicated time frame. 

Star Media actively cooperates with everyone they can – one should move away from the belief that only enemies are around and instead to look for partners, including abroad. For now international producers are wary of Ukraine because the market is too closed and opaque, but there are some developments. As for international works, it is easier to give them away for distribution and include in catalogues of major players like Netflix or Amazon. For example, Star Media publishes films and series (e.g., Mata Hari) at Amazon, and the same platform brought over 10 thousand USD from the sales of The Dog project.