Magine TV Surrenders OTT in Germany to Zattoo

Magine TV has completed its withdrawal from OTT after announcing termination of its video streaming service in Germany at the end of February 2019.

The existing 150,000 customers of the streaming service will be offered a transfer to Zattoo, its previous competitor. Zattoo is now taking over the whole B2C business leaving Magine to focus on its global B2B technology.

The move highlights both the consolidation in OTT now consuming smaller players and Magine TV’s corresponding failure to grow into a competitive force. It is dwarfed in Germany by Zattoo which with around 20 million registered users is Europe’s biggest indigenous TV streaming provider beyond the big US SVoD (subscription VoD) providers. Netflix for example has about 37 million customers in Europe.

Yet prospects looked bright early on for Magine TV after its foundation in March 2013, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It initially gained subscribers quickly in Sweden and attracted favorable feedback from both analysis and journalists, with talk about it changing the nature of TV for ever. In the event Magine TV was itself swept up by the winds of change it helped generate. As the US SVoD providers invaded, along with a few large pay TV operators such as Sky whose Now TV dedicated OTT service is also well ahead of Magine TV in Germany, the operator was left behind in the second division.

Buoyed by the wave of early success Magine TV launched its streaming service in Germany in April 2014 soon after entering Spain with a beta version. But fortunes quickly turned and the country terminated its trial Spanish offering on February 1 2015, followed in May 2017 by closure of its home Swedish service. The stated reason for the latter was the failure to strike distribution agreements with commercial broadcasters TV4 and MTG, but that in turn reflected its declining presence.

Now the company is left to focus on its B2B business, such as Magine Digital Media, the web TV streaming platform launched in February 2017 as a scalable out-of-the-box solution to infrastructure operators, platform operators and content providers.

Zattoo, based in Zurich, had a somewhat similar business model with an IP-based B2B platform for transmission of TV channels and VoD content to connected devices, as well as its B2C streaming service primarily in Germany and Switzerland. 

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