ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
With the new Executive Board set-up, ProSiebenSat.1 is on course for a successful future. As of January 1, 2022, Rainer Beaujean is the Group’s CEO and Ralf Peter Gierig the new Group CFO. Wolfgang Link retains responsibility for Entertainment, while Christine Scheffler continues to be responsible for HR, compliance & sustainability.
Since joining ProSiebenSat.1 in April 2021, journalist Linda Zervakis has, among other things, co-hosted the ProSieben infotainment program “Zervakis & Opdenhövel. Live.” (ZOL) with Matthias Opdenhövel. Now she has invited ProSiebenSat.1 Group CEO Rainer Beaujean to the ZOL studio to talk about the Group’s business performance. They also touched on how ProSiebenSat.1 as a digital group differs from traditional media companies and what ambitions Beaujean is pursuing with this strategy. Watch the full interview in the video.
Rainer, looking back at 2021, what milestones stand out for you?
Rainer Beaujean: First and foremost, our operating performance. We were able to raise our outlook three times over the course of the year. This is proof positive that we as a team managed to grow together despite the ongoing pandemic and have put in yet another strong performance. On that note, allow me to thank all our employees for their dedication – as well as our Works Council, Supervisory Board and all shareholders for their support in 2021. On the operational side, further sharpening our focus on “local, live and relevant” programming in the Entertainment segment enabled us to cement our number one position in the German audience market. Even though the pandemic has prevented us from meeting in person since acquiring The Meet Group in 2020, we have continued integrating the company into ParshipMeet, our Dating & Video segment. Our Commerce & Ventures segment put in a strong performance until the beginning of the fourth quarter when the omicron variant and the energy crisis that impacted our comparison portal Verivox started to show effects. As you can see, we implemented our strategy consistently throughout the year and our set-up with three segments complementing each other pays off.
How does a digital group like ProSiebenSat.1 differentiates itself compared with traditional media companies?
Rainer Beaujean: We “grew up” as a media company and that remains a key aspect of our DNA. After all, we have a very strong entertainment business that we are systematically digitalizing. The Joyn streaming platform as well as our digital media and entertainment company Studio71 are instrumental to that. As is our focus on the young target groups and communicating with them as equals.
We aim to grow by an average of 4 - 5% per year.Group CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE
Rainer Beaujean: What sets us apart above all else is how we leverage the reach of our entertainment and information offerings to establish and grow brands – both for our advertising customers and our own consumer brands. By that logic, reach is the core that brings our three segments together, strengthens our business and makes it more resilient than others. That was apparent during the crisis.
So interlinking the three business segments is the core of your strategy?
Rainer Beaujean: Exactly. Our three business segments stimulate and strengthen each other, resulting in what we like to call synergies. In other words, the interlinking is beneficial to our business as a whole – for instance, in terms of revenues and earnings. Our broad reach is what’s important: 60 million people, that’s our starting point. That turns the advertising time on our platforms, which would otherwise go unused, into a valuable currency for investment. Of course, this works especially well with digital brands and business models that appeal directly to consumers. In this way, we have already transformed brands such as Verivox, Jochen Schweizer, mydays and Flaconi into major players in German-speaking countries. We intend to continue on this path within the Commerce & Ventures segment. And, by the way, that’s how ParshipMeet Group was formed. Because once a business has an international platform character, we are willing to step out beyond the German-speaking world. By the same token, we are also very clear: Once we are no longer the best owner for the business and our support is no longer able to drive growth, we can sell the business and realize the value.
What is your ambition behind this strategy?
Rainer Beaujean: We aim to be one of the leading digital first infotainment and entertainment providers in the German-speaking region, with this strength building up and expanding digital, possibly global, consumer platforms. This ambition should have a positive impact on our growth and increase the value of ProSiebenSat.1. Over the past decade, we have achieved average growth of 7% and consequently more than doubled our revenues in this period. Especially because we systematically broadened our base through the addition of the Dating & Video as well as Commerce & Ventures segments. In the future – and this is our ambition level – we aim to grow by an average of 4 to 5% per year. Considering that we already generate revenues of more than EUR 4 billion today, that’s quite an ambitious goal. Still, we intend to do it across all three segments. At the same time, we don’t believe you can assess a strategy’s merit solely in financial terms. Lasting success increasingly also depends on non-financial aspects. We take our corporate and social responsibility very seriously. That’s why we are committed to supporting the formation of opinions and promotion of democracy, championing diversity and equality as well as advancing climate and environmental protection, among other things.