de
de
»TV is entering into a new decade.«
»TV is entering into a new decade.«
Interview with Group CEO Bert Habets
»TV is entering into a new decade.«
Interview with Group CEO Bert Habets
Discover ProSiebenSat.1
  • Stories
  • Social Stream
March 2024. Our Group CEO Bert Habets was invited to the ":newstime" studio, where he spoke to presenter Angela van Brakel about his strategy for ProSiebenSat.1, the role of the streaming platform Joyn and the importance of local content for our business. Watch the full interview in the video.
CURRENT SHARE PRICE
Share Price Information
Change
Volume (shares)

Welcome to ":newstime" from our new studio – one of the most modern news studios in Europe. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, including a 22-meter LED wall, we can deliver breaking news 24/7, incorporating augmented and virtual reality. Today, we are presenting our first ":newstime Special" from this studio and are joined by a very special guest: our Group CEO Bert Habets. Welcome!

Great to be here, Angela. Thank you very much for inviting me!

»INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM IS IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY THESE DAYS. WITH OUR SELF-PRODUCED NEWS PROGRAM ":NEWSTIME", WE MAKE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION TO OUR DEMOCRACY.«

Bert, big news stories define 2024: thousands standing up against right-wing extremism, war in Gaza, the upcoming US election. What role must media companies play in this news landscape?

Independent journalism is crucial, especially in these days. Fighting fake news is one of the biggest challenges for our society, now but also for the coming years. With our self-produced news program ":newstime", we make an important contribution to our democracy. We take our social and corporate responsibility very seriously. Helping to shape the formation of opinion, promoting democracy as well as diversity and equal rights are also key components of our sustainability strategy and the driving force behind everything we do.

On ":newstime", we report on socially relevant topics, including Germany’s economic situation. This significantly affects the advertising market. How has the clouded economic climate influenced our company over the past year?

The burdened macroeconomic environment heavily impacted our TV advertising revenues last year. Our advertising customers were investing much more hesitantly. But the advertising market recovered over the course of the year, especially in the last quarter. We even saw a slight increase in the Christmas business compared to the previous year. At the same time, our digital & smart advertising revenues are experiencing strong, rapid growth. This is mainly thanks to our digital offerings and our podcasting business, but also to the growth of Joyn. Here, our revenues from advertising-financed streaming increased by more than 30% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

We want to further strengthen Joyn. Where are we standing right now?

We did our homework and restructured the Group from the ground up. This has made us a much more agile and efficient organization, that focuses on expanding our digital business. We are now working together in a much more integrated approach. I believe that we were a considerably stronger organization at the end of 2023 than we were at the beginning of the year. Our vision is clear – now it’s all about execution: We want to be the number one entertainment player in the German-speaking region, with high profitability and rapidly growing digital business models. That’s why we are putting our entertainment business at the center of our strategy.

How is this focus changing the Company?

»ON JOYN, WE WANT TO BRING THE BEST OF TV AND THE BEST OF SOCIAL TOGETHER.«

We are investing in our product range as well as in content for our channels and are expanding our digital portfolio. Joyn is the cornerstone of our offering in terms of reach. Our streaming platform is now fully integrated into the Company, with all Joyn colleagues being part of our structures and processes. We take joint decisions on how and in which direction we will develop our Entertainment segment moving forward. We want to position Joyn as the streaming platform in the German-speaking region that brings the best of TV and the best of social together in one offering. There is nothing like it yet – and we want to scale it. To make that happen, we are working on a free, advertising-based offering. We invite agencies and advertisers to participate in Joyn’s development. It’s highly attractive for them, as we have incorporated numerous targeting-based advertising options into our product.

This focus on Joyn marks a shift away from the previous strategy. Why?

Our industry is changing rapidly. Private broadcasting in Germany has been around for 40 years now. TV is entering into a new decade. International players are creating a much more complex and competitive environment. That means partnerships could be crucial for our future success.

Over the past year, you frequently mentioned building partnerships. There has been much discussion around the public broadcasters joining Joyn. What are the plans exactly?

»I TRULY BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO REDEFINE THE DUAL SYSTEM OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC BROADCASTERS.«

We are in a constructive dialog – but that takes time. I truly believe that we need to redefine the dual system of private and public broadcasters. It is imperative that we work together to achieve this. We are exploring all means and are open minded on the options. I’m sure that our talks will accelerate in the coming period.

This year, all our offerings will include even more local content. Why is this the right way forward?

In December, we announced that we will be investing an additional EUR 80 million in local content – with this, we are now spending more than EUR 1 billion. By increasing the programming investments in local content, we are setting us apart from the global streamers. There are many success stories in this area, including "Die Landarztpraxis", which is popular both in SAT.1 and on Joyn. So, both sides benefit from this new focus. We are learning quickly from our successes. Yet we are also learning from our mistakes – and have the courage to keep moving ahead and develop new programming. This fosters creative entrepreneurship and helps production companies in the German-speaking region.

»BY INCREASING THE PROGRAMMING INVESTMENTS IN LOCAL CONTENT, WE ARE SETTING US APART FROM THE GLOBAL STREAMERS.«

To sum up, it’s fair to say that we are fully focused on Entertainment. But what about the other two segments – Commerce & Ventures and Dating & Video?

Across the entire portfolio, we are very actively working on enhancing our results. We have recorded significant growth in the Commerce & Ventures segment, driven in particular by our companies Verivox and flaconi. We are highly satisfied with this performance. In Dating & Video, we will continue to focus on operational performance in 2024. At the same time, we are constantly reviewing whether we are still the right owner for these assets. We aim to create value for all our stakeholders when the time is right.

We always like to end our news program on a positive note. What positive headlines would you like to see in the coming year?

ProSiebenSat.1 on track. Significant growth for Joyn. And: A large number of creative new hits on all our platforms.

Bert, thank you so much for the interview.

CURRENT SHARE PRICE
Share Price Information
Change
Volume (shares)
BACK TO TOP
Jobst Benthues
"We want to be part of an idea that becomes a success around the world."
Redseven Entertainment is behind many successful formats, not only at ProSiebenSat.1 but also at various other stations and platforms. Jobst Benthues tells us which formats these are and how Redseven has developed over the years.
Studio71
The youth demographic’s brightest stars: Influencer power around the globe
Influencers are some of the most compelling brand ambassadors of our time. Studio71 boasts one of the world’s largest rosters of the most popular social media stars with the broadest reach.
Heidi Brückl
»The expression 'rise to the occasion' takes on new meaning.«
In this interview, Heidi Brückl, Henning Kruse and Tobias Gramann tell us how they produced "The Taste" under pandemic conditions and what challenges they had to overcome.
© 2024 ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE