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Major thanks to the author of the original article Tomas Vyskocil for not only providing the original article, but also for providing translation assistance. Covering a variety of countries in this region can occasionally be difficult, due to language issues, but we were finally able to put together post on the status of the internet in the Czech Republic and I hope that you enjoy. Here it goes: the list of the major players in the Czech internet industry.
Seznam.cz – officially, but not-likely, the biggest player on the Czech-language internet. Vyskocil tells me that there hasn’t been much exciting news from them recently, but the company is well-managed and they are expanding as a result. This site raked in almost 40 million euros in profit in 2011 and will likely be the leader of the Czech internet for the forseeable future.
Google.cz – likely the actual leader in terms of market-share among search-engines (unofficially 54-43), Google is also a major player in the Czech Republic. Given that Chrome has become the most popular internet browser among users in this country, it’s a good bet that Google will be a major competitor with Seznam for attention. Still, Vyskocil says that, despite falling behind in terms of market-share and profit, Seznam has essentially as much attention as ever.
Idnes.cz – the online version of the popular newspaper Mladá fronta DNES (second-most popular daily in the Czech Republic), Idnes.cz is officially the second-most popular Czech news website and has seen growing revenues. Owned by the media-conglomerate MARFA.
Allegro Group – Vyskocil is very bullish on this particular conglomerate, as it has recently acquired Heureka.cz (the country’s top product comparion site), Netdirect.eu (a leader in e-commerce solutions), and Mall.cz (purchased for ~225 million euros, this is largest e-retailer in the country). This company seems bent on dominating e-commerce in the Czech Republic for years to come.
Miton.cz – a smaller player than the ones previously listed, this company has a reputation for churning out successful projects (Stahuj.cz and Heureka.cz are given as examples) and Vyskocil believes that the Groupon-clone Slevomat.cz will bring a financial windfall for Tomas Matejcek of Miton and his partners.
To varying degrees, Vyskocil considers the aforementioned sites to be the big winners on the Czech-language internet for the past year. However, the success was not completely shared, however, as a number of poor-performers emerged as well.
Centrum.cz – considered the poorest-performer for the second year in a row, everything seems to be going wrong for this site. Revenue is falling, the number of visitors is decreasing, and employees are being laid-off. Warburg Pincus, the private-equity owners of the site, are reported to be in talks to sell and one of the site’s founders is reportedly interested, but the situation is pretty precarious right now.
Nova.cz – TV Nova was the leader among television stations in the Czech Republic, but it, too, has suffered recently. Ratings and revenues are down, but all might not be lost. Voyo.cz is Nova’s attempt at an online content-service. Offering its TV shows and various movies and other shows for a small fee, this could be a promising project.
Sanoma.cz – even with a new CEO, the situation here is reportedly dire. Vyskocil tells me that this firm did quite well before the internet, but has really struggled to join the modern era.
MF.cz – Mlada Fronta is also reportedly struggling, as its online-revenue numbers are believed to be below expectations and its owner has not disclosed a strategy for reviving the brand.
Finally, while there were a number of companies that did particularly well and a number that struggled, there were a handful for which the past year was somewhat of a mixed-bag.
Ihned.cz – Vyskocil told me that, in this situation, there were good ideas (iPad app) and bad ones (the acquisition of volny.cz), but the situation was generally not great. Online revenues were not impressive, but the owner, billionaire Zdenek Bakala, will likely not feel the pinch.
Blesk.cz – Blesk, the tabloid which has the highest circulation in the country, has seen some mixed results for the past year. Ringier Axel Springer CZ]s management of the firm seems adequate, but nothing spectacular is happening.
Tiscali.cz – Vyskocil seems fairly bullish on this site because, despite dire forecasts for its future from years past, it has demonstrated a strong ability to survive and has fairly solid potential. Its big properties are osobnosti.cz and games.cz. New sales-cooperation with the media company Goldbach indicates that this site could really come onto the scene again the near future.
Zlatestranky.cz – The Czech Republic’s version of the yellow pages, this is a company which does not seem to have a particularly strong future. Vyskocil is pretty bearish on this site, as he argues that it was quite late to really get into the internet game (by which time, it had been passed by Seznam.cz (in particular, its yellow pages-clone firmy.cz) and has been unable to catch up, even after rolling out a snazzy new website 4 years ago. He argues that hardly anyone cared when it was sold this year.
And that concludes the list of the biggest players of the Czech Internet. Please give us your reaction via Facebook as our commenting system here is not very engaging.
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