My friend Constantinos from IHS Markit made an e-interview with me. I’m now sharing the script of this interview with my readers herebelow:
What is the current state of the OTT Market in Turkey? Is it a very niche market, with no real impact on the subscribers of the Pay TV players (like Digiturk, D-Smart, Turk Telekom, Turksat)? It has a very small percentage of subscribers, let ‘say less than 1% of the Pay TV Market?
If the OTT landscape in Turkey is examined deeply it’s seen that it is mainly dominated by OTT extensions of the legacy Pay-TV operators. In other words, the majority of the OTT consumption is done by the services provided by Pay TV players, hence almost no impact on the major players. Digiturk, Turksat, TT and Turkcell are all offering their OTT services as a bonus to the main TV offering. D-Smart’s BluTV is kind of different in the sense that with the new organisation and ambition Dogan Group is trying to position BluTV as a isolated product apart from D-Smart but they are still struggling. On top of this, there are still a number of independent OTT players like Netflix, Filmbox etc but due to the lack of marketing power and brand awareness they are not that competent and hardly gain new customers. Overall, taking into account the total number of OTT users in Turkey they could arrive up to 2,6 million mainly powered by TT and Turkcell TV+ customers while the global pay-TV market in Turkey is close to 6 million.
Here are the up-to-date figures:
Tivibu GO: 1,927 million as of Q1, 2016. Reference is the link below
Turkcell TV+: 679K as of April, 2016. Reference page 16 at the presentation below.
If you add just the OTT subs of Tivibu GO and Turkcell TV+, it makes almost 2,6 million. The next question is how active are these people, what is average amount of time they spend on OTT services etc.
· Both Turk Telekom (Tivibu Web) and D-Smart (BluTV) have launched standalone OTT services (I mean OTT services offered outside of their Pay TV subscribers’ base, offered to anyone interested without having to be a subscriber). Do you see Digiturk launching something similar in the near term, before the end of 2016?
Actually Digiturk already has such a OTT only service called Digiturk Play to which anybody without any Set-top-box could login to.
There are mainly 3 packages:
– free package
– cinema package: 4,99 TL (9,99 TL if you’d like to watch also on Smart TV)
– premium package: 12,99 TLm (19,99 TL if you’d like to watch also on Smart TV)
· Is Netflix a threat or an opportunity to grow the Turkish online video market? It can be an opportunity by educating the Turkish people to conduct transactions online, to pay online for watching TV content on any device and in general to spread the use of devices used to watch TV content (tablets, smart-phones, game consoles, connected TVs). What do you think?
Frankly, Netflix was a quite sexy brand in Turkey before the kickoff of global expansion in January 2016. A lot of people in the industry was referring to Netflix as a extremely successful case study. Nevertheless, in the past 6 months since the launch of the service in Turkey, Netflix simply disappointed Turkish consumers. It’s basically because of the limited content portfolio as opposed to the content depth in US , lack of localisation (dubbing,subtitle) and quite high pricing level for Turkish consumers. It’s also worth to mention that piracy is significantly common in Turkey. But still Netflix is definitely an opportunity in Turkey since from content strategy point of view, from technology point of view, from content marketing point of view as well as user experience point of view there are a lot of things to learn from Netflix for the Pay-TV players in Turkey. Definitely, it will fuel the overall market development in many aspects over the coming months and years. Today, we are all witnessing that the number of localised Netflix content is constantly increasing. As the number of people using Netflix increases, this will also support the maturity of the end-to-end OTT value chain in general.
· Which is the OTT strategy for big broadcasting groups like Dogan, Dogus, Kalyon Group and Ciner? How is Dogus plan to further benefit from tvyo?
I do not have in depth information about this. But what I see in general is big broadcasters are mostly trying to leverage YouTube to make their VOD catch-up content widely available and monetising by ad revenue. Tvyo is kind of silent since some time with no major improvement on the service.
· What about the regulation of OTT services? Is in place relevant regulation in Turkey? If not, do you think that regulating these services will be beneficial for their growth or not? I am asking because in Turkey there have been attempts to regulate Facebook and Twitter recently.
Yes, I hear that RTUK is actively working on regulation of OTT market but i see it quite challenging to regulate the OTT space. The ultimate target is probably license OTT providers in some ways but considering low revenue low margin characteristic’s of OTT market, it think it will not help to market growth.
· Finally, how do you see the OTT Market developing in Turkey in the next 2,5 years, till the end of 2018? Do you see it growing fast, much faster than some developed European markets? Or with a much smaller pace, like the Middle East? And which factors will drive the growth and acceptance by the public of OTT services.
I think it will grow fast over the coming years. The rationale behind this is the upcoming tender about football broadcasting rights around the end of the year. Based on the statements of Turkcell one can expect Turkcell will become quite aggressive in the tender and leverage on its superior 4.5 Spectrum capacity in order to deliver football content to mass market. Also, the increasing broadband speed and coverage coupled with the expected increase on the fair usage cap will fuel the growth of OTT market.