By acquiring the popular Internet radio stations OpenFM and PolskaStacja, the Wirtualna Polska Group becomes the segment leader

27 maja 2015

The Wirtualna Polska Group acquired two independent Internet radio platforms: OpenFM – from GG Network S.A. and – from Polska Stacja s.c. This investment makes Wirtualna Polska the leader in the Internet radio segment, which has one of the highest content consumption times per user. OpenFM and, with a total number of 755k users and almost 90M domestic views per month, are jointly the leader in this popular online service, and being at the same time Internet radio stations, involve mobile internet users to the greatest extent.

The acquisition of the two radio platforms is perfectly in line with the Group’s strategy to become the natural and main information-culture-entertainment medium in Poland. The total price for the services purchased was PLN 4.0M. Combined pro-forma revenues for 2014 amounted to PLN 2.8M and are expected to grow significantly as a result of better use of the available advertising space, monetized primarily by pre-roll video, and audio and banner advertising.

“We want to provide Internet users with not only attractive content, but also useful services adapted to their needs, which suit their daily habits. The consolidation of the online radio and establishment of a new leader in this growing area is therefore the natural direction of our development,” says Jacek Świderski, President of the Management Board of the Wirtualna Polska Group. “We are combining radio consumption, as the background medium, with Internet consumption,” he adds.

OpenFM and are among the most popular online radio stations in Poland. With a total of 755k real users, they generate almost 90M domestic views per month,* which ranks them first in the provision of this popular online service, and jointly involve mobile internet users to the greatest extent.** OpenFM and provide a total of more than 200 music channels prepared by experienced radio editors.

"The huge potential of these projects in the mobile area was a major consideration in our decision to invest. What we also find important is the involvement of Internet users, who spend most of the time intended for audio and video consumption in the web precisely in the websites and applications which offer access to streaming from radio stations. Services of this type are edging out traditional radio access technologies,” explains Grzegorz Czapski, VP Corporate Development at the Wirtualna Polska Group.

Online radio is gaining popularity in Poland, nowadays being increasingly accessed through smartphones. OpenFM is currently the number one “streaming audio” category in terms of domestic time and number of plays – both overall (total domestic time: over 10 million hours, total number of plays: 30.4 million), and among mobile Internet users (mobile domestic time: more than 2.8 million hours, number of mobile plays: 21.3 million). Radio is also the undisputed leader in terms of average time per user – over the past year it has increased by 112% to reach 22 hours and 46 minutes in March. Importantly, during the year, the number of mobile plays of OpenFM increased by 116%, and the national mobile time increased by 56%.* This platform will therefore help strengthen the WP Group in the mobile segment, which is one of the key areas of the Company’s development.

“Mobile apps offering radio channel streaming are rapidly gaining popularity. For example, in the USA, online radio stations are among the most popular applications; the best stations achieve comparable coverage to apps such as maps, social networking services and VOD services. Similar trends are already noticeable in Poland. Listening to the radio at work and at home and, thanks to the smartphone, also on the move, perfectly suits the strategy of the WP Group, which wants to be in touch with the consumer on a 24/7 basis,” emphasizes Michał Brański, VP of Strategy at the WP Group.

OpenFM and PolskaStacja are the first acquisitions of Wirtualna Polska with the funds from the May public offering. WP is consistently pursuing organic growth, which includes investing in companies providing complementary services and supplementary products. In 2014, the Company invested a total of more than PLN 66M on such entities as the Group, the Domodi and Homebook e-commerce services, as well as the portal.