Netgem Delivers Netflix To Its Telco Customers

French OTT and hybrid TV specialist Netgem is aiming to gain traction for its Telco TV platform and customers by incorporating Netflix into its service.So far two existing customers have taken the Netflix content upgrade, Elisa TV in Finland and Totalplay in Mexico, reaching over 200,000 TV subscribers in each case. Netgem’s Telco TV is a hybrid platform combining IPTV with OTT accessed via HTML5 for delivery both within the home and outside over fixed and mobile networks.

“One of the key benefits Netgem brings is the same experience and UI (User Interface) across multiple devices, on both Wi-Fi and cellular,” said Sylvain Thevenot, Managing Director of Netgem TV PVX. “While Netflix won’t be built into the Netgem mobile app and customers will have to download that onto their mobile or tablet, Netgem has delivered a platform that means you can access the same content and get the same experience inside and outside of the home.”

Elisa TV and Totalplay both anticipate that the incorporation of Netflix will boost revenue, attract new customers and increase loyalty among existing subscribers so that they are less likely to churn. Elisa TV is the pay TV service of Finish Telco Elisa Oyj, which serves around 2.3 million customers in all and turns over about €1.5 billion annually.

 Sylvain Thevenot launched EE TV before joining Netgem.

Sylvain Thevenot launched EE TV before joining Netgem.

TotalPlay is a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) provider and part of Grupo Salinas owned by Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas. FTTH enables Totalplay to compete strongly on QoS (Quality of Service) with rival operators with the hope that ability to deliver Netflix premium offerings incorporating HD and ultra HD content with guaranteed QoS will help entice more TV customers as part of its ambitious fibre expansion plans. The operator in February 2015 announced it would invest $400 million for the extension of its fibre footprint to a total 22 cities, enabling TotalPlay to pass 6 million homes by the end of 2016. Currently it has just over 200,000 residential subscribers and 50,000 corporate clients.

Meanwhile Netflix also has ambitious plans for Telco TV, with Thevenot indicating it will soon extend the Netflix option to other TV customers. Thevenot himself joined Netgem in April 2015 from EE Broadband, which he had transformed into the fastest growing ISP in the UK following the launch of EE TV in October 2014. He is now heading Netgem PVX, which is the company’s London based unit specializing in Telco customers. This is the spearhead of Netgem’s drive to refocus from being a platform or set top box vendor to providing ‘TV as a service', with more personalization and a richer range of content. This new model, which has already delivered in the case of Elisa TV and Totalplay, is aimed at helping Telcos compete within their sector as well as with cable operators for triple or quad play customers especially, by reducing time-to-market and accelerating innovation across both TV and mobile platforms.

While extending Netflix to other customers Netgem will also bring other OTT content to its platform, according to Thevenot. “We are always looking to add to the Netgem On demand/OTT hub,” said Thevenot. “Look at how the EE TV content hub, which started with Wuaki, YouTube and BBC iPlayer among others, has continuously grown since launch and recently added NOW TV from Sky. We will be adding even more soon.”

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