IP&TV News talks to TVPlayer’s Dan Finch about the new OTT…
IP&TV News: What space in the market has TVPlayer identified?
Dan Finch: TVPlayer is positioned as a low cost TV platform, offering a great selection of premium channels, at an affordable price point and, most importantly without a long contract.
Our research indicated that there are many households in the UK who would like to enhance their free TV viewing with access to pay channels, but are put off by the 12 or 18 month contracts required by the incumbent providers. When we compared the costs of entry level pay-TV packages we also found it lacked transparency and came out as being very expensive when you consider the minimum term, the setup fee and the requirement to have a phone line.
And how do you intend to occupy this space. What’s original about this offering?
In contrast, what you see with TVPlayer is what you get; it’s the main free-to-air channels, plus 25 pay channels for £4.99 per month. No setup fee. No contract. No phone line. No set-top-box.
With the plethora of devices that are now out in the marketplace, the strategy for TVPlayer is to replicate the traditional TV experience cross platform and to retrofit it into any existing hardware that is compatible to receive the service. We’ve partnerships in place that will become apparent in the coming months covering both the mobile and retail sectors, as well as an ongoing online marketing/CRM campaign.
TVPlayer is unique in that it will offer the largest number of TV channels as a standalone service, all accessible from within one app for both live and catch-up programming.
Looking at the OTT market in general, why are we seeing so many new services suddenly emerging?
There are three main reasons as to why this is happening:
Technology advancement has meant that high quality content can now be delivered securely for a relatively low cost to multiple devices from one initial acquisition source. Secondly, these advancements are driving consumer expectations – laptops/mobiles and tablets used to be considered the secondary screen, now they are considered by a growing number to be the primary screen to view video, be it live or on demand content.
Finally, content owners have now cleared their rights, which allows them to embrace new ways to allow people to watch their channels by doing deals with selected OTT operators. With these three areas now aligned and providing these new platforms have deep pockets, you can expect to see a selected number of similar services launching in the coming months.
Is there a danger of oversaturation?
In the same way that Freeview, Freesat and YouView compete for the same customer, I think there will only be a handful that may come to fruition in the UK and will be competing for the same audience. The same can be said across Europe.
How do you expect TVPlayer Plus to remain competitive?
TVPlayer has a very well defined product roadmap, with plans to add additional content and functionality to the service to keep us ahead of the game. We have invested millions of pounds developing and honing the platform and will continue to do so – our advantage is that we are still a fairly small business so can be very nimble when it comes to be being able to react to a change in the competitive environment.
What’s the longer-term strategy?
Without going into too much detail, we plan on rolling out TVPlayer into other territories. Now that the technology and platform has been built, we are in the process of finding key broadcast partners who want to embrace the opportunity to have a stake in their own OTT platform – watch this space!