Workplace Chat with Tamas Fulop

#WorkplaceChat is a series of bite-sized interviews with SPI International executives about their jobs, media industry trends, and their professional, SPI-related success stories.

We start off the series with Tamás Fülöpour CEE Director of Operations.    

1. How long have you worked for SPI and can you briefly tell us about your job? 

I joined the SPI family in mid-2014. I’m responsible for the CEE operation, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

2. Linear TV consumption is still going strong in Central and Eastern Europe while SVOD is also growing. How do you expect the market to shift/evolve in the next five years? 

I guess the linear TV consumption will stay significant in the following years as well. Currently, the daily usage is 4h 32 minutes (Nielsen). The daily consumption is significant also within the younger age groups (18-29 target group with 2h 21minutes per day, Nielsen).

The trend of cord-cutting has also been increasing in the last three years with TV subscriptions decreasing by 4%. We are also receiving growing SVOD usage/consumption data from our business partners which supports this trend. 

3. FilmBox has been the leader in the pay-TV market in one of your key markets, Czechia, for almost two years and counting. To what do you attribute this success? 

This is a real success story and here, I would like to thank especially our acquisition and programing department for their hard work and a job well done. Increasing the viewing figures relies on delivering great content and a well-prepared grid/EPG that reflects the needs of the local markets. 

4. Both digital and linear content consumption has increased during the pandemic but there were many challenges faced by media industry professionals, as well, during this time. What were some of the challenges brought forth by the pandemic? 

We had to understand that the world was changing completely and we had to change as well. Working from home, personally, was not a big issue, but the lack of personal meetings and negotiations was a challenge during the first couple of months. Now, these challenges seem so far off in the past considering how quickly companies -including SPI- adapted to the new world. We have all gotten so used to working via Teams, Zoom, Skype, etc that it feels like a more simple routine when compared to how we used to work. 

5. SPI unveiled their revamped digital service FilmBox+ earlier last year. In your opinion, what are some growth opportunities for the service in the CEE region? 

Due to the growth in digital content consumption in CEE, we expect a significant increase in FilmBox+ usage, as well. We are working towards launching our service with all of our key partners to ensure the widest household reach and accessibility of our service in the region. FilmBox+ has already integrated with multiple European operators and we continue to embark on new partnerships that we support with 360-degree marketing activities from onboarding onward.  

6. Turkish series and SPI's Dizi brand are immensely popular in another one of your key markets, Romania. What do you think is the reason behind this trend? 

The success of this brand is the content that is extremely popular in Romania. The Turkish content consumption is contingent upon local taste, which changes depending on the country. 

7. If you didn't work in the media industry, what would you have wanted to do as a profession? 

I have been in the media industry for over 25 years so this seems like a bit of a difficult question to answer. I guess I would work in the real-estate or automotive sectors.