German commercial broadcasting giant ProSiebenSat.1 Media admitted at an investment bank conference last week that while its advertising revenues had picked up in November and thus making the October-November period to be broadly flat (compared with 2019) and December still had potential for a latish surge in advertising.
However, as investment bank Berenberg said on its report of the presentation, that looking to 2021, the company is unable to issue guidance, given very low visibility, but notes that even recovering c80 per cent of what was lost in Q2 would imply mid-single-digit growth in year-on-year advertising revenues (assuming a flat performance in Q1/3/4).
“This suggests that consensus – which forecasts that ProSiebenSat.1 will recover c50 per cent of revenues lost in 2020 – may be too cautious. Digital and smart TV advertising continue to perform well, with only a fraction of linear inventory allocated to connected TV campaigns at present, and the addressable base of households continuing to grow. The company is essentially neutral, today, as to how the viewer consumes television content. In time, it may be the case that smart/digital has a higher yield per hour than traditional linear consumption,” states Berenberg.
ProSiebenSat.1’s Joyn streaming service continues to develop well, with 3.75 million monthly users in November, up significantly from lower levels in the summer, when there was less original content on the platform. “A ‘solid six figure number’ of Joyn users are subscribing to the paid-for tier, which is key to bringing the platform to breakeven or profitability over the next three to four years, but fundamentally management sees the share of losses (c€50 million in 2020) as worth bearing, given the additional distribution of ProSiebenSat.1 content in the digital world,” suggests the bank’s report.