Fi, PuhuTV, BluTV and Originals content

One of the most popular local TV series of this season on Turkish TV industry was ‘Fi‘. It was simply a drama but also unique due to a number of reasons. First of all, it was a series available ONLY online as a OTT content but not broadcasted in the classical sense.  Even though this is quite common in US like examples of many Netflix Originals, it’s quite rare that a TV series with a remarkable budget level like ‘Fi’ is not broadcasted all over Turkey but only available through a OTT service.

At this point, I’d better give a quick background information about the service that owns ‘Fi’. The OTT service is called PuhuTV. It’s backed by a major broadcaster group in Turkey, Dogus Media. PuhuTV has been launched commercially early this year as a free-of-charge, ad-based catchup TV service hosting major TV series from a variety of channels. In order to create an awareness in the market and make some noise, they’ve made a sensational launch for their first and for the time being only ‘Originals‘ content Fi. As there is no Live TV channel offering on PuhuTV, the commercial launch event has been publicly available on YouTube TV. At launch night, the first 3 episodes of Fi has been released. As a matter of fact, producing original content like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video is doing in US is already done before by BluTV which is another OTT service. BluTV is owned by one of theTurkey’s major TV broadcaster Dogan Holding. As of today, there are 3 original, exclusive content on BluTV. On top of these, Netflix Turkey is also working on a brand-new local Originals nowadays specific for Turkish market.

Coming back to the popular TV series Fi, it was not made available all at once, but along a series of weeks unlike the Netflix /Amazon Originals. Typically all the episodes of a OTT type of TV series’ new season are made online on the commercial date which is announced earlier. Then, audiences are looking forward the launch date and watching many episodes in a row once they are available. (i.e. Game of Thrones of HBO, House of Cards of Netflix) Unlike the typical scenario, even though the first 3 episodes of Fi have been made available online in April at the launch event, Fi fans had to wait another few weeks in order to watch the remaining episodes. PuhuTV had relased remaining episodes one by one every week. Eventually, the last episode was online on 16th of June as the season final. I’ve thought about the reason whyPuhuTV management decided to release the episodes over the course of 2-3 months instead of making the complete set of episodes of Fi made online at once,

Even though BluTV and PuhuTV are similar OTT services there is a significant difference between them. While BluTV is a subscription based service, PuhuTV is a free-of-charge, ad-based service. That’s why PuhuTV had to wait the rating results of the first 3 episodes. The result was really impressive. According to the results that has been shared, the first 3 episodes have been watched a total of 3,5 million views within the first 50 hours. For the advertisement agencies, this is the most critical KPI that they care. That’s why PuhuTV management should have first waited to get these results in order to convince the advertisers more easily.  Following the fascinating results of the first 3 episodes which were basically missing ads, we’ve seen many ads as in the form of product placement (embedded into to the content in a relatively natural way). Actually, for a service that is free-of-charge the audiences are more tolerant to ads.

It remains to be seen if this ad-based model will be sustainable in Turkish market. By nature, Turkish TV sector is quite competetive and dominated by more than 500 FTA channels broadcasting  via satellite with a country-wide penetration of more than 70 percent.

 

Netflix cuts into Turkey with original

Reference: Digital TV Europe:

Streaming giant Netflix is getting into the original programming game in Turkey.

The Los Gatos-based SVOD service has been ramping up its activity in local markets across Europe, and has now ordered a ten-part, “hero-driven action story” based on Ottoman and Turkish legend and history.

Netflix’s drama comes from Istanbul-based O3 Medya, with company co-owner Onur Guvenata the executive producer.

It centres on a young man who discovers he has special powers before linking up with a group of misfit friends to fight dark forces that are threatening Istanbul.

Netflix VP of international original series Erik Barmack described the series as “young, fresh and exciting”, adding: “We believe that Netflix will be the perfect platform for this great Turkish production and we can’t wit to share more details later this year.”

With science fiction-themed drama rarely produced in Turkey, Guvenata said the series would create “a new genre” that would stand as “a milestone for our market”.

“It will not only resonate with the Turkish audience, but will also travel globally,” he added.

Turkey has become one of the world’s most vibrant TV markets, with its local telenovela and drama productions driving the territory to become a top three international distributor.

Companies such as Fox Networks Group, Endemol Shine and Eccho Rights, which this week sold Show TV dramaInsider to MBC in the Middle East and a number of other territories, are all active in the region.

Netflix’s new drama will sit alongside acquired Turkish series such as Magnificent Century, Ezel and Lovebird, and movies including Güneşi Gördüm (I Saw the Sun) and Kelebeğin Rüyası (The Butterfly’s Dream).

These were acquired last year as Netflix unveiled a “truly Turkish service”, and a wide-ranging deal with Vodafone’s local telecoms business.

Netflix has also localised its service in Poland, Thailand and Romania.

Tivibu continues its growth trend.

Turk Telekom Group announced 2016 year end financial results. You can see them at this link. Regarding the interest of this blog, let’s have a look to the Tivibu figures.

According to the regulatory body’s official figures, as of Q3 of 2016, Tivibu has a total of 589K subscribers. (428K IPTV customers and 161K DTH customers. )

TT announced a total of 677 subscribers at the end of Q4 2016. We don’t have yet the split of this number but most probably the majority of the net additions comes from satellite domain.

Tivibu customer base was kind of stucked before the launch of satelllite service at the Q3 of 2015. Since then Tivibu gained a momentum and has reached more than 2 million subs including the OTT customers. DTH service allowed TT to provide the DTH service to any household with a satellite dish. Satellite is the most common delivery method of Digital TV services in Turkey.

Dogus Group launched puhutv

In Turkey, there are a number of OTT services. Most of them are owned by Pay-TV operator while there are also a few independent OTT services. To name a few:

  • Digiturk Play: Digiturk’s OTT service ( 60+ Live TV channels & hundreds of VOD titles ) Obviously Football League content is the main driver.
  • Tivibu Go: Turk Telekom’s OTT service( 100+ Live TV channels & hundreds of VOD titles ) TT group’s main focus is growing the customer base through fixed broadband.
  • Turkcell TV+:  Turkcell’s OTT service ( 100+ Live TV channels & hundreds of VOD titles ) Turkcell group’s main focus is growing the customer base through mobile broadband thanks to the advanced LTE infrastucture.
  • BluTV: D-Smart’s OTT service ( 27 Live TV channels & hundreds of VOD titles ) Dogan Group that owns the D-Smart also owns Kanal D FTA Channel. BluTV is trying to differentiate by the catchup TV content of Kanal D groupwithout ads (the content is in fact available on Kanal D website www,kanald.com.tr with ads) as they own the rights exclusively.
  • KabloWebTV: KabloTV’s (formerly Teledunya) OTT service. While all the mentioned services are available to anybody ( i.e. all access) without an existing subscription to the associated service provider, KabloWebTV is only available to Kablo TV customers.

In addition to these operator backed up OTT services, there are also a number of independent OTT services. The most well-known of these is apparently Netflix. Other major OTT services are Filmbox Live (http://www.filmboxlive.com/tr), and Mubi (https://mubi.com)

There is a common point on all of these services. Their business model is based on subscription. They don’t show any ads.

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In addition to these services, there was one free service called tvyo (http://www.tvyo.com/) based on ad-revenue. Dogus Media who owns a number of popular FTA Channels such as Star TV, NTV, NTV Spor and Kral TV was behind the service. Lately, Dogus Group has launch a new version of tvyo called as puhutv.(https://puhutv.com/) It’s currenly in beta stage. It’s basically a free of charge service hosting catch-up TV versions of  popular TV series of Dogus Group Channels both new ones and old ones as well as old Turkish movies.

Overall puhutv is a new generation version of tvyo that is trying to leverage on Live TV content and generate a significant amount of traffic due to popular series it owns. Once the traffic arrives to a certain level then Dogus Group will generate revenue through ads. Considering the characteristics of Turkish TV audience (fan of 2 hours long TV series, a very high percantage of piracy, low income level etc. ) this ad-based business model seems to have to most possible chance to monetize in OTT domain. Apart from the OTT services of Pay-TV operators , there is no independent OTT provider including Netflix that has been very successfull in Turkish TV Market. We’ll see if the model of puhutv will work.

Netflix Turkey Launch Aftermath

Netflix has launched its service in Turkey together with localized UI and dubbing/subtitle support in 21th of September.  Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was himself also present at the launch event. Webrazzi, a local techno portal has made an interview with him, you can watch it here.

Together with this launch the importance of localisation has been validated to be key one more time. As a matter of fact, Netflix is accessible from Turkey since January 2016 just like the rest of the world. Nevertheless, the ranking of the download of Netflix app has been decreased to more than 500th row around the beg of the year. Then, on Sept, the UI of Netflix has become available also in Turkish, 80% of the catalog has been Turkish subtitled if not dubbed, Finally the cost of service has slightly decreased and the currency of payment has been changed to Turkish Lira from Euro. Following these 3 major changes, the iPad app download ranking has boosted from 500+ to top 50 as seen on the graph below.

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On the other hand, one of the most debated topics was how widely is Netflix content available in Turkey. Let’s have a look details of this. On this link, one can see how much of percentage of the Netflix content in USA is available on various geographies of the world -while keeping content in USA as 100%.- Based on this source, one can access to 25% of the Netflix content in Turkey on TV shows space, while 10,65% of the movies content. The same ratios are around 50% in Ireland 40% in Finland and 30% in Germany. Netflix made a very sisimilarocal launch in Poland around the same time in September. In Poland, more or less the same level of content is available like Turkey.

In short, it’s a fact that Netflix Turkey could not offer the same level of content depth as Netflix USA. But still it’s not far if compared to the most of the countries in Europe. Considering, it’s simply a matter of content rights clearance I don’t see this as a blocker issue as this is core competence of Netflix. If the customer base in Turkey is growing fast, I have no doubt Netflix will continue investing here and making more more content available to Turkish audiences.

[Exclusive] Turkcell TV+ has reached 1 million users!

Turkcell TV+ has reached 1 million users. This is the total of OTT and IPTV active users. Today, Turkcell TV+ IPTV service is available more than 323K households. Turkcell TV+ IPTV service is only available to fiber broadband users including the 4K Ultra HD service (TRT 4K and Funbox 4K Live TV Channels and lots of 4K content on YouTube TV).

On fiber residential segment, multiple play with TV has become 34% as of Q3 2016. For details please check the presentation on Turkcell Investor Relations website.

As being part of the Turkcell TV+ Technical team, it was a day full of proud. We’ve celebrated 1 million user milestone yesterday at the office with a small party.

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In the past, I’ve posted a number of articles about the growth story of Turkcell TV+ starting from the commercial launch 2 years back. If you’d like to have a look, herebelow you can find the links to previous posts.

  1. Turkcell introduces the future of tv with its expanded Turkcell TV+
  2. Turkcell TV+ continues growing full speed
  3. Turkcell TV+ continues its fast growth
  4. Turkcell TV users will watch Euro 2016 in 4K Ultra HD Resolution
  5. Turkcell TV acquired content rights of English Premier League for 3 years

 

BREAKING: New tender for Turkish Football rights is on 25th of November

Link in Turkish

Yesterday, the president of Turkish Football Federation(TFF) announced that the new tender for the content rights of Turkish Football League will be issued on 25 November 2016.  

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The RFQ specifications will be announced around the end of this month. As of today, 5 local and 1 European company has completed their application to participate to the tender. The local ones are probablyTurkcell, Digiturk, D-Smart, Turk Telekom and Vodafone. The validity for the new tender will be probably 4+1 years starting from 2017-2018 football season.

The federation is expecting the tender to be finalized around 600 million USD per year. The legacy content owner Digiturk has acquired the rights at the expense of 321 million USD per year (424 million USD including taxes, federation fee and organization fee) in 2010. Demiroren stated that they decided to decrease TFF’s fee from 12 percent to 4 percent. It’s unclear that the declared expected quotation of 600 million USD is including all the costs.

It’s been emphasized that TFF is cooperating with consultants who actively worked on Premier Leauge’s tender. Obviously, TFF will target to maximize the revenue. Hence, it will be no surprise if they design the tender similiar to Premier League case.

Turkcell TV+ users will watch Euro 2016 in 4K Ultra HD resolution

Turkcell just made the commercial launch of its 4K Ultra HD service just before the kickoff game of Euro 2106. TRT 4K will broadcast 8 games (including the first game) in 4K format. TRT 4K is available at 100th channel in Turkcell TV+ channel lineup. Turkcell already made a press release about this at this link. Herebelow you can see a loose translation:

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Turkcell as being the main sponsor of National Football Team will improve the watching experience for the Turkish audiences. Turkcell TV+ that is being provided via Turkcell’s fiber infrastructure will make selected games available in 4K Ultra HD format.

 

Thanks to the brand-new 4K Ultra HD STB that is on sale started on 3th of June, Turkcell offers 4 times better video quality. Also, Turkcell is offering access to 4K Ultra HD content via YouTube TV with the same STB.