Polish Startups Wow Investors

Starting Up

Starting Up

Ifinity and OORT, two new Polish companies, have been recognised by the organisers of the Challenge Up! initiative, Intel, Cisco and Deutsche Telekom. Challenge Up! is a programme which supports companies developing innovative projects in the area of the ‘Internet of Things’. The programme will provide a four-month-long incubation for 12 startups from Poland, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania, Israel, Germany, Latvia, Italy and Belgium. Ifinity is working on a project which will allow people to interact virtually, by using your mobile. OORT, on the other hand, is working on a technology which allows people to control domestic devices via your electronic device regardless of its brand or operating system. Challenge Up! offers presentation skills workshops, sales strategy training, modern business model and product development training courses. Startups which successfully complete the programme will have the opportunity to receive an endowment from Intel, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and several prominent corporate investment funds.
itwiz.pl

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Gambling on the Rise

Online Risk

Online Risk

Over 90% of the Polish gambling market is controlled by illegal companies. The number of foreign operators offering illicit online gambling has doubled from 86 in 2012 to 156 in 2014. Customs Service officers, responsible for the supervision of the gambling industry, cannot clamp down on outlawed businesses, so they chase individual players, according to a report by the Supreme Audit Office (NIK). Due to restrictions imposed by the Polish government in the wake of the recent gambling scandal, it is forbidden to organise games of chance or participate in such games through the internet. New regulations only allow for activities carried out within the scope of online betting under a license issued by the Ministry of Finance. However, only four companies have been granted such a permit so far. Tax haven companies ignore such limitations and provide a full range of services to Polish players. Unauthorised operators do not only offer online betting and games of chance like roulette and black jack, but they also advertise their activities, in defiance of Polish law. “Illegal online bookmakers have captured 91% of the market and their estimated annual turnover reaches PLN 5 billion. They do not pay taxes and the Polish treasury loses up to PLN 300 million in potential tax revenue each year,” says Paweł Rabantek, a representative of the Polish Association of Bookmakers (SPiPFB). Players participating in illegal gambling can be fined (up to PLN 16,000) and imprisonment up to 3 years. Customs officers are currently running 1,100 cases targeting individual players, and the number of Poles using illegal services is constantly growing. According to data revealed in the course of an investigation carried out in 2014, 24,000 players earned a total of PLN 27 million. Wiesława Dróżdż, spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, affirmed that careful consideration will be given to the issue of gambling. She noted, however, that Poles react badly to all attempts at restricting internet freedom, as the case of ACTA recently proved.
rp.pl

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Polish Digital Consumers

Projecting Growth

Projecting Growth

According to an EY report, 62% of Polish internet users are digital consumers. This means that they buy products and services online. EY claims that India has the highest number of digital consumers in the world (75%). The Netherlands and China occupy second place in the league table (both with 70%). However, the opposite tendency is observed among internet users in Switzerland (45%), Belgium (47%), Austria (47%) and the USA (50%). Analysts draw attention to the fact that the highest percentage of digital consumers are concentrated in developing countries. Barbara Górska, head of the Marketing department of EY, explains that this is due to different a variety of cultural conditions and shopping models. Among the surveyed nations, Polish people tend to express their scepticism towards the possibility of replacing personal contact with the virtual. However, they remain loyal to mobile providers and media. The research was carried out in 34 counties and more than 29,000 people participated.
tvn24bis.pl

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Polish Youtube Festival

Video Fest

Video Fest

On 6 December, Warsaw Torwar will host the Orange Video Fest by LifeTube. The guests will include youtubers with millions of followers: SA Wardęga, Stuart Edge, Furious Pete and Abstrachuje.TV as well as AdBuster, SKKF, Polski Pingwin and Rock. VidCon, the largest American internet festival finally has a Polish rival. The first ever Orange Video Fest by LifeTube is an all-day event – a festival, conference, fair and series of workshops. Lekko Stronniczy, the domestically popular duo, will host the event, accompanied by other popular internet video producers. Orange Video Fest is a real treat for Youtube, youtubers and all internet users,“ says Barbara Sołtysińska, CEO of LifeTube, which organises the event. “The point is not only to provide entertainment and unforgettable experiences but also to show the power people have who publish their content on Youtube and the opportunities that this new medium offers.” The organisers have announced a wide range of attractions: youtuber shows, internet celeb stand-ups, concerts, a gaming zone, content creator stands and, most importantly, a chance to meet and talk to the most poplar youtubers in Poland. The event will also host the official Youtube award ceremony, the Golden Keys.
natemat.pl

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Poles Giving Up TV

Addicted

Addicted No More?

The mobile revolution has created a new market. Polish people have begun to turn away from TV sets and are more often watching TV on tablets. Advertisers are already making use of this trend. In a recent survey by Corporate Profiles Consulting commissioned by UPC, half of farmers said they wish to use mobile devices to watch their favourite TV programmes. An even greater interest in mobile television is expressed by business people with 86% stating that they would like to use it. The data shows that now bulky cathode-ray tube TV sets have been superseded by flat-screen ones, the time is ripe for more change. At present, 42% of all respondents would like to watch TV programmes on a TV set with internet access, allowing them to use video-on-demand (VoD). They would also happily watch videos on smartphones but their displays are too small. “Viewers readily register the HBO GO application on multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets, but in practice they most frequently use it on laptops and TV sets. Premium content continues to be viewed preferably on a big screen,” says Agnieszka Niburska responsible for PR at HBO. With new technologies exploding, Poles also watch TV increasingly often while doing other things as well. People are able to focus attention on several screens simultaneously and this is reflected in marketing strategies: more than half of TV commercials in Poland refer viewers to the internet.
biznes.interia.pl

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End of UPC Penalties

UPC Polska

UPC Polska

TV and internet provider UPC Polska meted out penalties of PLN 5,000 to users for unauthorised access to the internet or TV cable network by connecting more computers or TVs than specified in the contract. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) fought for the abolition of this penalty. According to UOKiK, the penalty was too high and did not reflect the damage sustained by UPC Polska. Proceedings against UPC Polska were initiated in October 2013. The new, amended clause in UPC Polska contracts will now ensure that penalties correspond with monthly customer fees.
finanse.wp.pl

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Advertisers Moving to Internet

Print Ads Thing of the Past?

Print Ads to Disappear?

Revenue from advertising in print media has decreased by two-thirds in the last nine years, while internet advertising has increased elevenfold. Consequently, newspaper publishers are trying to coax their readers into paying for online publications, simultaneously closing free access to some articles. “Since 2005 the circulation of press has declined by about 500 million copies per year. In 2005, advertising in the press amounted to 30%; advertising on the internet amounted to a paltry 2%. Today, advertising in the press equals 10% whilst advertising on the internet equals 23%,” points out Maciej Hoffman, General Director of the Polish Chamber of Press Publishers. For advertisers, the decrease in circulation means growing ‘reach costs’, i.e. the amount they have to pay for a particular advertisement to be seen by a single reader. This has amounted to a drop in press competitiveness, which consequently leads to fewer ads and lower income from advertisers. Maciej Hoffman told Newseria Biznes that readers will always choose the place where they can get something for free, and this negatively affects the press business. He points out that “readers have to get used to paying instead of using illegal content.” Readership research, conducted for the Polish Chamber of Press Publishers by Millward Brown, shows an increasing number of readers (24.8%) willing to pay for articles from newspapers and magazines that are available online. This applies particularly to professional, technical and scientific texts, advice, economic analyses and certain forms of entertainment, often useful during decision-making processes in personal and professional development, learning new social skills or cultural competencies. However, respondents are not willing to pay for political commentaries, crime news, gossip and celebrity news.
businessvoice.pl

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