Since March 2020, many media outlets in Armenia are continuing to lose advertising due to the situation created by the COVID-19 epidemic. This is a heavy blow especially for those editions, the existence of which largely depends on the advertisement.
According to various experts, the decline in the advertising market in Armenia is estimated at about 25 percent. Contracts have been terminated especially by tourism service companies, service advertisers, and other commercial organizations. Many of them have reduced their advertising budgets and positioned themselves on the Internet with more limited means.
During the summer months, the advertising market slowly began to stabilize. The uncertainty of the companies could not last long, because in some cases the reduction of advertising has had a direct and rapid impact on consumption.
Many media outlets have quickly figured out how to overcome the situation, some have made staff reductions, in some cases reconsidered advertisement prices, and so on.
At the same time, the state and some foundations have tried to alleviate the situation through grants and other programs.
Director of Mediamax Media Company Ara Tadevosyan
Mediamax is one of the largest editorial offices in Armenia. The year was full of ups and downs from a financial point of view. In the spring there were financial cuts, in the summer there we could notice a gradual stabilization.
Despite the financial problems caused by the coronavirus, we have not lost any employees, as the most important resource for us has always been our employees.
Although, since April, we have slightly reduced the salaries of our employees. Maintaining staff will continue to be our biggest problem in the near future.
Due to the coronavirus, our financial losses are around 20-30%. We mainly work with advertising companies both directly and through agencies. Basically, the advertisement placed through agencies has become zero.
We have found some solutions and we are continuing to look for them. We have a media production grant program with the joint support of the Eurasia Foundation and the Media Initiatives Center.
We have received financial support from the state twice. We are digitizing the work of state bodies through another program.
For financial stability, the small reduction of employees’ salaries has become a small pillow that allows us to continue our activities with reserve funds today.
I think the coming year will be difficult from this point of view because a lot depends on the general economic situation and the mood in society.
Elizaveta Asatryan, Head of Marketing at Armtimes.com
When the editorial office started working remotely because of the coronavirus, it was clear to us that we would lose our ads, because in our case, meeting with the advertisers often takes place in the office. We talk, have discussions, and come to agreements, especially in the case of the newspaper, for example, what should a specific advertisement look like and on what page.
While working remotely, the issue cropped up about our series of interviews with the CEOs of various companies, which is mainly of a commercial nature. We had a case when after the agreement it turned out that the latter was infected with Covid-19.
The drop was not very steep in the first three months, about 20 percent, but when the restaurant businesses started to take out their advertising banners, we realized that we were heading into a more difficult situation.
We have lost many of our old partners during these months, unfortunately, few companies have yet returned. The created uncertainty keeps them from advertising activity.
Due to financial problems, the editorial office made cuts to the staff removing two employees.
New types of businesses have started to become active due to the epidemic, but since they are new and do not have much money, they are still making their brand known on online platforms.
Editor-in-Chief of Lragir.am Haykaz Ghahriyan
Due to coronavirus and advertising inactivity during the summer, we suffered financial losses, but since the editorial office is small, we did not make any reductions.
Our advertising revenues have decreased by about 800 thousand to 1 million AMD compared to the same period last year.
Our employees did not suffer from it, the payments were made on time. Our work did not suffer much because we do not have a video section or large projects. In the current situation, it is difficult to talk about further developments, because the amount has decreased. We do not apply for grants because we are always rejected.
Advertising flows on the site have also been reduced since the entry into force of the law restricting the advertising of gambling games. Most of the money came from this type of advertising.
Also, the placement of commercial texts has decreased.