TVN is reaching beyond Chile to the country’s diaspora via OTT.
TVN Chile has outlined the benefits and teething troubles over its global OTT service launched in April 2016 to reach the country’s 900,000 strong global diaspora and make up for declining revenues at home. Speaking at the OTT World Summit staged in London during early November 2016, the broadcaster’s Head of Digital and Multiple Platforms, Pamela Gidi explained that the OTT service has adopted a different business model from the traditional service, being focused more around live content and based on subscription with no advertising.
“We thought that live viewing would be the main attraction and that adverts would then be disruptive,” said Gidi.
This prediction has proved correct from early experience although Gidi admitted that she had been surprised by the extent of live viewing OTT. “The biggest surprise for us is that 67% of viewing is live, 27% news and only 6% catch up or VoD.” Had this breakdown in viewing been forecast exactly the broadcaster might have made less effort acquiring rights for VoD content, Gidi conceded.
Instead TVN Chile would now focus strongly on acquiring live sports rights around the world, especially soccer given its popularity among Chileans. “We are currently negotiating with national soccer leagues to provide those rights at a reasonable price,” said Gidi. She added that TVN Chile had deployed strong mechanisms for countering privacy in order to reassure such rights holders their content can be safely entrusted to its service. While she did not give details it is quite likely to include server-side forensic watermarking since that is an option provided by two of the technology suppliers for the platform in partnership, OTT online video platform provider Ooyala and Cheeng, which has added OTT monetization components.
The biggest surprise for Pamela Gidi, Head of Digital and Multiple Platforms for TVN in Chile, is the high number of people watching live content over the global OTT service.
TVN Chile is state-owned but independently financed, relying largely on advertising at home. However ad revenues have been in decline recently, down 41.3% in 2015 over 2014, leading to record losses for TVN of $38.8 million that year. This brought forward the decision to launch the global OTT service, called TVNPlay.com, which is available in Chile as well.
While the broadcaster already had an international station called just TV Chile, this had failed to gain much traction, being constrained by the need to find suitable satellite distribution partners and rely on their footprint. TV Chile was unavailable in some key markets including the UK, France and Belgium as well as large parts of Canada and Brazil, and in any case did not broadcast the 24 hour news channel.
A further limitation on international growth has been the difficulty locating the distributed diaspora and inform them of the service’s availability. This is now being rectified not just through making the content available online but also actively seeking Chilean emigrants. “We are partnering with our government to find Chileans around the world and are now trying to register and track them,” said Gidi.
Given the accelerated roll out plan the short time scale was cited as one of the major challenges by Cheeng, which claimed that its partnership with Ooyala helped by making the SVOD solution faster to set up and start monetizing. Other challenges cited by Gidi included localization to cater for different languages and cultures, given that a significant part of the diaspora have lived in their countries of destination for many years or even been born there. At the same time the service had to offer a coherent UI with consistent branding across all products and services.
TVNPlay offers the TV Chile International Channel as well as the 24 Horas news channel, along with about 1,000 hours of on demand content.
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