Zagreb, Croatia – Croatian Amm Global Institute organized for the first time at Zagreb’s Hotel Esplanade the first ‘Croatia media congress’ involving all key executives from Croatian media, the Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Korzinek, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Media Kresimir Partl, and Director of the Electronic Media Agency Josip Popovac.
The Amm Global Instute is the first private creative industry institute in Croatia established by Ivan Juric Kacunic. This most prominent radio businessman in Croatia speaks about the condition of the media market in Croatia, the impacts of the Corona pandemic on media, and about the future of the Croatian media industry and its future role in the recovery of the Croatian economy from the effects of the Corona crisis.
What is the present condition of the media market in Croatia
Both the Croatian media market and the European media market as a whole are currently facing a serious situation, primarily due to the Corona crisis that has resulted in a significant decline of the overall market, in particular the service and entertainment markets, which has in turn caused a significant decline in media advertising investments. The Corona crisis has inevitably been reflected on the media market but has not caused it any vital damage. For example, the commercial radio segment has additionally grown during the Corona crisis. Recent surveys show that programs broadcast by commercial radio stations in Europe reach a total of 85% of the population and have a particular influence among listeners up to 25 years old. This is a respectable figure and by all means a reason to be optimistic. Moreover, this reflects the fact that, despite the crisis and these challenging times, radio campaigns have been in full swing, demonstrating great loyalty and strong solidarity, testing new models, and showing willingness to undertake new business challenges in the post-Corona era.
How has the Croatian government responded to the consequences of the Corona pandemic that affect the media
The government responded as it was able considering its capacities. Specific aid to both the media and the overall economy was granted in the form of job subsidies, but also as Covid-19 loans and guarantees. These measures taken by the Croatian Government, as well as the programs launched by the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments and the Ministry of Culture and Media, were appropriate given the situation. Adequate measures were taken by the Electronic Media Agency, allowing radio and TV stations maximum adjustments in performing their broadcasting obligations for the primary purpose of protecting the health of media employees, ensuring full sustainability of electronic media in Croatia and subsidizing the diversity of programming contents and good journalism. In addition, the Croatian Government allowed Odasiljaci i veze d.o.o. to relax to the extent possible its terms of providing transmission services to radio and TV operators. he should at this point underline a private initiative, which is the timely reaction of ZAMP where it allowed appropriate discounts off the fees payable for copyrights and related rights and thus ensured uncompromised functioning of the media in the Corona-affected market.
At a Croatian media congress recently held in Zagreb you recommended that rules be modified with regard to media’s participation in the sources of funding made available via programs implemented by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development. What is your idea?
In geopolitical and economic terms, Croatia has been part of the prosperous Europe for a long time. Since 2013 when Croatia formally joined the European Union, we have formally been part of the single European market. Good European practices must also be Croatian practices. And there is no alternative to this. However, Croatia is certainly the only country in the European Union and perhaps the entire western world where media activities are under the general eligibility criteria applied by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development treated as activities ineligible for financing, thus being placed in the same class as, for example, casinos and betting shops. This negative practice should be terminated immediately.
Will this change?
Both Croatia and the entire world are facing a period of reconstruction and recovery. The media industry is an integral and, Ivan emphasize, an inevitable part of creative industries which will be the nucleus of fast recovery and development of the Croatian economy and society in general. Ivan said, “The present Management Board of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development has not responded in connection with these restrictions, but is able to remove them. This Management Board comprises responsible professionals who will, I am certain, recognize the right time, being the time of the Corona crisis, as well as the time to take post-Corona opportunities and allow media operators to avail themselves of the programs offered by the national bank for reconstruction and development to launch and implement the much needed investments, and that it will be them who will put an end to such negative practice in Europe.”
Is this realistic to be so optimistic?
The development of creative industries, including the media industry, is a necessary and certain step toward transforming our society from the Corona state to a new normal state and accelerating the recovery of the Croatian economy. It is important to know that creative industries are primarily focused on knowledge and information as critical resources and that this is a prerequisite for modern economy. Such economy improves production efficiency and the quality of products and services which have been substantially tailored to the preferences of modern consumers and are available both nationally and globally. Therefore, what we are discussing here is not some vision or idea. We are talking about European practices that show some of our fellow European citizens have already achieved notable results in the field of creative industries by hiring more people, primarily highly educated young people, creating a healthy business environment and networking, attracting investments, boosting the GDP, and raising earnings. My optimism is based on these facts and he expects the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic who has, in his statesman’s role, obviously decided to focus on the political matter of effectively involving Croatia in European perspectives and play a proactive role to allow creative industries to play their strategic role in the recovery and outlook of our society and homeland, as well as the broadest political consensus he expect to be achieved in this context.
Where did he get the idea to establish the first private creative industry institute in Croatia?
The creativity, talent and knowledge of Croatian people, from Nikola Tesla, Faust Vrancic and Slavoljub Penkala to our contemporaries such as Mate Rimac, Maksim Mrvica or Silvio Kutic and Izabel Jelenic, have throughout different stages in history and in various social and economic sectors had a significant positive effect on changes toward development and the quality of life of people from all walks of life and in all parts of the world. The achievements of Croatian creators, as well as their knowledge and innovations, have changed both Croatia and the world. It was based on this idea that he established the AMM GLOBAL INSTITUTE which now employs 33 scientists and professionals working on scientific, technical and educational projects in areas where radio influences creative industries, creating social contents and patterns, and promoting authorship and positive experience.
What is the main purpose of the institute?
The AMM GLOBAL INSTITUTE has only one purpose – progressive development. This will be achieved by having the institute continuously produce creative and strategic programs involving young talent, being the future of Croatian, European and global creative industries.
In the context of business, what is the main thing you will remember this year for?
Ivan will remember the year 2020 for the first projects implemented by the AMM GLOBAL INSTITUTE and the admission of the Croatian radio leaders, Narodni, Antena Zagreb, Radio Dalmacija and Media servis, to the Association of European Radios (AER), which is another positive example of how Croatian entrepreneurs are integrated in the European setting. However, he will also remember it because the term “media” was for the first time in democratic Croatia after the parliamentary elections included in the name of the Ministry of Culture as the competent ministry, which served to clearly demonstrate the importance of the media industry. Ivan said, “I will also remember 2020 for the actual success achieved by us – Croatian media executives. People like Marc Puskaric, Katijan Knok, Ana Hanzekovic, Luka Duric, Drazen Mavric, Silvija Londero Simlesa, Drazen Klaric, Hrvoje Barisic, Hrvoje Turic and Hrvoje Vukusic managed Croatian media corporations in times of unprecedented general crisis, ensuring stability and sustainable development for their companies. These are huge, immeasurable achievements. In this process, we all made efforts to achieve stability of the Croatian media industry in the most difficult of times, but also prepared ground for promising media industries for the upcoming period. Finally, I will personally remember this year for the completion of the shareholding restructuring process in the largest media company in Dalmatia. After 25 years of its existence, I have been the sole owner of Radio Dalmacija as of July this year. I thus completed an important strategic business venture and prepared Radio Dalmacija for a new digital era of its business.”
Company Name: Amm Global Institut d.o.o.
Contact Person: Ivan Juric Kacunic
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Website Url: https://www.agi.hr/