Exclusive interview Kostas Vouzas, CEO – Philips TV & Audio – Europe
Business continues to go well for TP Vision – the company behind Philips TV, and – since last year – audio products. We asked Kostas Vouzas, CEO of Philips TV & Audio Europe the reasons for this success.
We have performed well not only last year, but for the last 3 years! This is due to many factors: our OLED TV range has been a success since the very first Philips OLED TV back in 2015, our own P5 Picture processing engine has been recognised by the industry with many awards, and, of course, our exclusive Philips TV Ambilight is loved by consumers across Europe. From a business perspective, Philips TV’s European performance has been extremely positive, with significant growth in both revenue and profitability, which is quite an achievement in today’s challenging Consumer Electronics market.
What do you see as being the main trends that are driving the industry today?
That is a good question, as it seems trends are developing in a blink of an eye! Technology can evolve very quickly, but it is also very important for us to see how quickly people adopt and really embrace a certain technology. 4K is still on the rise, but in terms of content, the 4K market needs to grow even further. In the past few years, we have clearly seen that people want a television that is as fully equipped as possible, but budget and screen size remain a very important factor.
THERE IS A NATURAL LINK BETWEEN IMAGE AND SOUND AND WE HOPE TO BRING THE PHILIPS AUDIO PRODUCTS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
How are you repositioning TP Vision with regard to product portfolio?
We are mainly known for developing, manufacturing and marketing Philips TV products, while our mother company TPV is one of the largest panel manufacturers in the world. But that’s not all! Since last year, we are also in charge of the Philips Audio brand and its portfolio on a global scale. There is a natural link between image and sound and we hope to bring the Philips Audio products to the next level, the same way we’ve done with Philips TV propositions. We’ve been analysing the existing product portfolio – from Dect phones to clock radios and from smart speakers to headphones – and this year at IFA we will launch new Philips Audio flagship products, which is very exciting.
You have been winning many awards. Could you tell us about these?
It’s always great to see our products being recognised by both the media and the industry. This means we are doing something right and we are extremely proud of this. In 2018, Philips TV won almost 100 Awards across Europe, and our OLED+ 903 Sound by Bowers & Wilkins, launched at IFA last year, has collected more than 40!
For us, these awards mean 2 things: we are developing and marketing great products but also means that we need to push our boundaries even further. Awards are a great motivational tool as they force you to do even better.
You launched the “Performance Series” this year. What has the reaction been like?
Our new mid-range Philips TV ‘performance Series’ has been well received so far by retailers and consumers. This introduction is in line with our ambition to bring Philips TV products to a larger audience. The first steps were taken with our OLED TV models, and the Performance Series is a new step in that direction. After all, the premium high-end segment of the market is limited, even though everyone is enthusiastic about the latest technology. That is why we also want to make the most important innovations available lower in our range. This model will feature our P5 picture processor and it is equipped with Dolby Vision, a technology that is more important in the mid- range models than in the high- end. The Performance Series has a beautiful design with a metal frame that people are happy to put in the living room, Android TV platform and last, but not least, our signature feature Ambilight that changes the way you watch content, whether is a movie or the news! In short, with this model Philips wants to offer the best all- round TV without hurting your wallet!
What can we expect to see at IFA this year (without giving too much away)?
IFA is always the most exciting time of the year for us… And this year, even more so. Not only are we launching our new Philips TV Flagship models, but we are also presenting our new Philips Audio propositions and products. This year at IFA, we will also see how the partnerships we announced last year have evolved: expect more sound by Bowers & Wilkins in our TVs, more European Design with Georg Jensen, more fun and engaging activations with Abbey Road Studios and new unexpected collaborations to be announced!
What would you say are the main points of differentiation of the Philips brand today?
From a Philips TV & Audio perspective, I think there are a few unique propositions that make our products so special: When it comes to Philips TV, I need to mention Ambilight again as it has proven to be something that people who try it, adopt it! We are also proud of our European Heritage and our European Design promise bringing beautiful products to market.
We also bring sound to the next level. Our partnership with Bowers & Wilkins is just 1 proof point of this.
And a 4th one is connectivity. We understand how important this is and we are always integrating the latest smart technologies in our TVs and Audio products.
Photo: Kostas Vouzas, CEO – Philips TV & Audio – Europe