Maksim Shevlyakov, Commercial Director of Russian online video service Stream (majority owned by Sistema), on the lucrative benefits of delivering content to mobile devices, and the various licensing issues which must be overcome to make that happen.
What do you think is necessary to create an OTT content offering that appeals to as many people as possible?
We need to ensure large-scale access to the service on as many mobile devices as possible.
We need to create a large video catalogue of quality content, and also offer a user-friendly interface with a simple search engine and recommendation system – all for a low fee.
How do you segment potential users?
Our potential users are those who care about copyrights and prefer to pay a small amount of money to legally stream films in high quality. Prospective groups include those consumers who use mobile devices widely, and also Smart TV owners.
Potential customers also include families with children, for whom we are launching a special kids’ service with the best collection of Russian and Disney cartoons.
What usage are you seeing on mobile devices?
Mobile devices have become a significant share of our earnings. The share of Stream’s sales on mobile devices is about 50% of all revenue.
What licensing challenges have you encountered for delivering content to several screens?
Recently, many studios did not allow delivery of their content to all platforms which we are interested in. We had to convince them that only a full ecosystem covering all connected platforms has the biggest chance of succeeding in the Russian market.
Furthermore, the major studios have different restrictions and requirements regarding the number of approved devices, simultaneous streams from one account, offline playback, etc.
Finding the general consensus in these various requirements is probably the main complication in the licensing process.