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Zattoo Adds VOD to White Label IPTV Service in Switzerland

Swiss IP video technology and service provider Zattoo has complemented its existing white label IPTV platform for network operators in its home country with a VOD (Video-on-Demand) package.

This enables its Swiss customers to offer their subscribers a catalogue comprising 2,800 films spanning most genres including adventure, action, art-house, children’s entertainment, classics, crime thrillers, documentaries, drama, fantasy, horror and independent movies. The films are supplied by Swiss VOD provider Homedia via a transactional VOD (T-VOD) business model. The operator adds the cost of each rented film to its customers’ monthly bill.

As a provider of end to end platforms available on a white label basis for operators to rebrand, Zattoo provides both technology and services. It is a one-stop-shop for TV-as-a-service products, making IP-based TV infrastructure components available to Telcos and internet service providers in Europe. The portfolio includes back-end services, that is ingest, encoding and transcoding, as well as fully hosted and managed end-to-end solutions for first screen IPTV as well as second screen mobile or web services.

Zattoo began purely as a consumer online video service, having been set up to stream the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. It followed by launching in Denmark in April 2007 with 10 channels and then piloted in the UK. By October 2007, Zattoo was one of Europe’s leading early OTT providers with 1 million registered users.

But the company came to experience some teething pains from being at the bleeding edge, facing spiraling costs as well as running into conflict with content providers, especially when it attempted to monetize some of the assets through advertising. The costs caused it to withdraw from Belgium, while lawyers for Universal and Warner Bros. in May 2009 launched legal proceedings against Zattoo claiming that the Swiss website, which by then was rebroadcasting various US TV stations live online, was adding unauthorized advertising to films that were shown via the online service on German TV. A court in Hamburg then awarded both Universal and Warner Bros. a preliminary injunction against Zattoo for running commercial spots with their films.

Meanwhile Zattoo also came under pressure from the leading UK broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, to remove their content from its UK channel list, which it was forced to do.

However, Zattoo rode out these storms and has managed to become a significant force in its core markets of Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark, both as B2C (Business To Consumer) OTT service and white label B2B (Business To Business) providers, as well as supplier of the underlying technologies.

The company has gravitated more towards mobile platforms and was active at MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2017 in Barcelona last month, where it demonstrated recently added functions on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, including live TV, live pause, catch-up, nPVR, restart and VOD.

Among recent customer wins was German utility group EWE, which operates mainly in the north of the country and expanded into multiscreen IPTV late in 2016. For this it selected Zattoo’s white label platform, along with IP set tops from ABOX42, based in Karlsruhe, Germany. ABOX42 also provides the middleware software stack and lifecycle management system, as well as the interfaces for integration of the Zattoo TV platform. This provides access to several services, including Maxdome, the VOD portal of German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media.

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