Russian media may lose 100B rubles revenue due to the pandemic in 2020: Official

Alexei Volin, the deputy minister of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media of Russia. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, April 21, 2020, Pan Pacific Agency. The revenue of the Russian media in 2020 to fall by 100 billion rubles, Alexei Volin, the deputy minister of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media of Russia, forecasted. Ministry estimates the upcoming drop in television advertising budgets at 40-50 billion rubles (a 25-30% drop), advertising on radio at 8 billion rubles (a half), advertising in print media at 7 billion rubles (a 50% drop), the official said during a Zoom-conference for media organized by the Interfax.

According to the ministry’s forecast, advertising on media sites revenues will decrease by 3-4 billion rubles, retail sale of newspapers revenues – by 10 billion rubles (a 25% drop), of print media subscription revenues – by 4 billion rubles. Russian book market, services related to paid TV channels subscription will lose about 10 billion rubles both.

“A drop in media revenues will be more dramatic for regions. Advertising revenues of regional media in Russia have already decreased by 50-70%, revenues of the media, which have always been considered deserved regional leaders, has decreased by 50-55%. The life of the media after the pandemic will be interesting, but difficult. The media have to actively fight to maintain a tremendously grown audience, and there will be less money on the advertising market. Nevertheless, we believe that the strongest media will be able to develop and survive, which means that society will benefit from this, ” the official said.

The ministry had already asked the Russian govt to include the media into the list of the most affected sectors of the economy, Alexei Volin added. The ministry is discus several support measures for the media to introduce. The most effective of them, according to the deputy minister, are as follows: reduction of mandatory insurance contributions to social funds (these contributions have been reduced from 30% of salaries exceeding the minimum wage to 15% for all small and medium companies from the affected sectors); possibility of payments’ to the budget deferring; possibility of reducing the cost of signal transmission by regional television and radio companies by introducing the right to remain silent from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.; liberalization of advertising legislation. The first measure, the reduction of an employee’s mandatory insurance contributions, could save the media 16 billion rubles.

At the end of the crisis caused by the pandemic, “about 10-15% of the number of registered media companies will leave” the Russian media market, Alexei Volin said. “It doesn’t mean that 10-15% of the media employees will be out of work. Many of them combine work in several media at once.
Professionals will definitely find a job, because there is always a shortage of professionals in all media,” he said.

Russian version of this article is available here.

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