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Transparency is above all

26 february 2015

The year of 2014 became a turning-point for the Russian market of commercial television, which in 2005-2014 made an impressive leap forward even by the world criteria. According to some assessments, in 2005 penetration of the Pay TV service was about 5%. Less than in ten years, the active marketing policy of TV providers (first of all, satellite operators) made it possible to bring penetration of the service in Russia up to 67-68%. However, in 2014 it became quite obvious: the market growth is being slowing down due to quite understandable reasons — majority of households have already made their choice in favor of one or another operator.

In these conditions, assessment of the operator’s efficiency by the number of connected households or by the growth rate dwindles, and assessment by the number of the subscribers who regularly renew their subscription, by active, loyal subscribers’ base, and finally by ARPU comes to the first place.

In 2015 Tricolor TV has turned to the new accounting policy complying with international standards. Since 1 January only the individuals or legal entities who have paid subscription for the operator’s main service are recognized as the operator’s subscribers. Such approach allows to provide the absolute data transparency. It is important for us to be not only the biggest Russian TV provider, but also to stick to the principles of maximum openness. With the paying subscribers’ base of 10.9 mio households, it is simply impossible to neglect publicity. We disclosed the detailed information on our audience for the first time on 8 August 2012, and since 2013 it is the paying subscribers’ base that we began to issue data about — the parameter which becomes the key one in the new market conditions.

Unfortunately, for many market players, the measure of coverage and not the measure of paying capacity is still customary. This concerns both traditional providers and various OTT services, majority of which reports hundreds of thousands and even millions of users, but does not disclose the number of those who pay at that.

Such opacity of the Russian TV market harms its development. And it is not about looking good in the eyes of consulting agencies, but that this information must be available to all Russian citizens. Subscribers must see how the money is spent which they pay for the services: for development of innovation technologies, development of the branch or for «gold parachutes». And all necessary information must be available for journalists and financial analysts for forming accurate statistical reports and «road maps» of the branch.

Majority of players do not have clear understanding yet that the phase of active growth comes to an end, and that old measures must give way to transparent international standards. If we want the telecommunication branch to get to the principally new level, we must do it.

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