Changes to consumer habits are forcing content providers to place more focus on mobile,
according to streaming service Wuaki.tv.
The company moved into the mobile market following a partnership with EE to launch the network’s Film Club, and has more recently collaborated with Tesco Hudl. UK country director Vincent Petersen explained to Mobile that the company’s service fits into mobile perfectly and it will look to partner with more telecom companies.
He said: ‘We have always seen big links between big electronic companies and telecom companies, and I think there is a logical synergy between these two businesses. I think there will always be room for cooperation and sometimes going into acquisition mode. One business’ area can fertilise the other – there will be far closer ties in the future between content providers and telcos. If people are playing in the quad play market then video will always be an important element and those quad players will want to offer quality products with people such as Wuaki.tv, where we can provide content from all the Hollywood studios.
‘From our point of view, the mobile side is becoming a very important part of our customer mix, and there are opportunities to partner with telecom companies across the UK and Europe whose customers consume content on the go.’
Petersen insisted that its partnership with EE will not see Wuaki.tv play on ‘different fields’ to the network, but that the company is looking to ‘on-board’ with companies that are looking to launch set-top boxes. He explained that EE’s push into quad play with EE TV was attractive for the streaming service and that, with premium TV content an important service in the UK, Wuaki.tv will look to partner with other telcos that choose to enter that space.
He said: ‘Mobile customers are a key target for us from an acquisition point of view. However, the EE film club is obviously only for EE customers. So from a loyalty point of view we believe that we don’t want to play on different fields. We really value the relationship and promotion we have going but there are many other ways in which we could co-operate with other telco companies. If other telcos were to launch own set-top boxes to enter that market place we would be very happy to talk to them about on-boarding.’
It’s hard to discuss video streaming services and not mention the market leader Netflix, although Wuaki.tv doesn’t consider the brand a rival: ‘What is important in the UK is premium TV content. We have a partnership with HBO that means all of its content is available on our site. We are not competitors in that field, because Netflix is subscription-based and ours is transactional, if you are looking for new releases then you need to come to us. Obviously Netflix has the advantage of entertaining the binge-viewing idea, but if you really want to look for recent films, or ones that might not be out yet, that’s when you look towards Wuaki.tv. The only competition we have with Netflix is with the consumption time of the consumer, but not content, and it’s a similar story with Amazon Prime.’
While Wuaki.tv started off as an online streaming service, its collaboration with telecom companies is borne from a ‘logical synergy’ that Petersen believes exists between the two businesses. He predicted that future ties between content providers and telecoms companies will grow stronger as the networks edge further into the quad play market.
‘For the end consumer, Wuaki.tv’s offering is more curated then other services. We believe that the way we allow customers to find content is advanced. On the mobile side the way we display our content is unique – we dissect our content, we lead with big releases, and lead with attractive TV content, and we see that episodic content lends itself to the mobile experience.
‘Wuaki.tv was originally founded to become the key video on demand (VOD) app in smart TV platforms. However, consumer and consumption habits were changing and so more and more customers were accessing our content through our android or iOS apps.’