Despite increasing options to watch audiovisual content over the Internet, a clear majority of Czechs (87%) paid for it, at least some of the time. In 2014, 74% of Czechs over the age of 15 paid for a movie ticket; 40% bought a DVD or Blue Ray; and 25% paid for downloading or streaming a movie, TV series or documentary over the Internet. The numbers come from an extensive and unique survey of Czech Republic’s audiovisual market, conducted at the end of last year by the Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA) in collaboration with the Millward Brown Agency.

Producer Vratislav Slajer sums up the results of the research:

“The audiovisual market is growing. The willingness of audiences to pay is very important to us. This survey shows it is a myth that viewers are unwilling to pay.” Audiovisual content is still most frequently paid for at the box office, but people are going to the movies in slightly smaller numbers. Going to see a movie is one of the most expensive leisure activities, costing on average 310.00 Czech Crowns every time (including a ticket, snack or drink). “The cost plays a role in post-rationalization, but it is not the primary cause. Currently, a large proportion of frequent cinema goers (so called “intensive” visitors) are single and financially better situated individuals for whom the price of a ticket does not play a decisive role,” the Millward Brown research team states. Data collected by the Union of Film Distributors makes clear that the number of movie goers has stabilized around 11 million annually, despite a significantly higher number of premieres (164 movies opened in 2000; 264 by 2014). “The significant increase of premieres thanks to cinema digitalization is good news for movie goers. Even though this leads to a shorter distribution cycle per film, which means that each title is shown for a shorter period of time, limiting the number of titles on the market would be a mistake,” APA Chairman of the Board, Pavel Strnad, said today during the survey’s presentation.

“At this time, more movies are watched over the Internet than at the cinema,” Petra Prusova, Millward Brown Executive Director for Central Europe points out, adding: ”The Internet has become an integral part of today’s lifestyle. It heightens demand for a wide selection of and fast access to content.” As confirmed by APA’s research, 57% of Czechs use the Internet every day; 46% accesses audiovisual content over the Internet; and 69% watch at least one movie a month over the Internet. An absolute majority of the movies viewed are downloaded from databases or torrents without the permission of ownership rights. Last year, only 39% of the survey respondents paid for watching or downloading a movie or a series, and only 6% did so regularly.

The results of the APA survey confirmed that Czech cinematography is in a good place. An absolute majority of the Czech population views Czech cinema as a quality product (88%), unique (78%), with a long history (84%) and well regarded internationally (76%). More than half of the Czech population is convinced that the quality of Czech cinema continues to be high or is getting better. Czech viewers are primarily attracted by familiarity and clarity of content; they select any given film mostly based on its cast and favorite genre. “Czech cinema is still a high-quality brand, with long-term potential,” Petra Prusova adds to the results of the survey. The popularity of Czech cinema among audiences is confirmed by the data of the Union of Film Distributors: the long-term share in the attendance of Czech movies outstrips that of other premieres. As a result, in comparison with other European countries, the Czech Republic takes sixth place in attracting audiences to a domestic film production, after France, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. “Looking at media reports, Czech cinema could come across as suffering from lack of quality or attendance. But it is gratifying that audiences see it differently,” says producer Vratislav Slajer.

The survey was based on personal interviews with a representative sample of the Czech population over the age of 15 (controlled for gender, age, education, region and size of municipality). The main group interviewed came from a sample of 1000 respondents who watched paid audiovisual content last year (paid for a movie ticket, bought a DVD or a Blue Ray, paid for downloading/streaming of audiovisual content over the Internet). The data was placed within the context of objective data on cinema attendance or TV viewing provided by the Union of Film Distributors, Association of TV Organizations and Czech Television.

In Prague, March 19, 2015

Click zde for the presentation of the Czech Republic’s audiovisual market survey.

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