Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nickelodeon UK Developing Online Streaming Video On Demand Subscription Service Website

From Broadcast Now:
Trio firm up micropayment plans

Micropayment strategies are emerging for UKTV, MTV and ITV as they develop ways to monetise content ranging from South Park to archive titles that could include the likes of Inspector Morse.

ITV is ready to charge for “boxsets” of archive programming as part of its wide-ranging online micropayments trial in January next year. The plan is for ITV Player to be expanded beyond catch-up for the first time to include entire series of established shows.

No decisions have been made on what programming will be available, but sources suggest ITV Studios shows would be a “natural” starting point, followed by indie-produced content.

ITVS currently offers download-to-own content via iTunes such as Morse, A Touch Of Frost and Prime Suspect.

ITV is also toying with the idea of charging for original webisodes of shows including Coronation Street and The Only Way Is Essex after asking users to register to view similar content in the past.

Separately, MTV Networks is building on its MTV OD subscription service, which launched in February, across a portfolio of brands including Nickelodeon and South Park. The planned standalone services will offer all-you-can-eat streamed access to catch-up and archive content. A charge of £2 per day or £3 per week, in line with the MTV OD costs, is thought to be under consideration.

The broadcaster is updating the existing South Park Studio portal to offer subscribers access to all 15 seasons of the cult cartoon.

Previously, free, ad-funded access to a handful of episodes was available online, along with around 1,000 clips. The long-form episodes have now been removed from the site, which tells visitors: “This summer, we will be launching a cool new online product that will allow us to give our fans in the UK and Ireland much better online access to full episodes of South Park.”

A Nickelodeon site is also in development that is likely to offer subscription access to shows such as Camp Orange, House Of Anubis and Spongebob Squarepants. MTV confirmed it is committed to its micropayments strategy following an MTV OD pilot.

“Audience numbers have grown over the past few weeks and conversion to subscriptions is ahead of target. As such, we are evaluating which brands to launch in the coming months,” said a spokeswoman.

UKTV is also developing a payments strategy, having kicked off a TV VoD strategy with Sky last week. An on-demand deal with Virgin Media is likely to follow before UKTV focuses on a direct-to-consumer online and connected-TV offering, including platforms such as YouView.

UKTV executive director for commercial Keith Porritt said the broadcaster was acquiring and commissioning an increasing amount of content with non-linear rights attached. “I liken this period to UKTV second generation,” he said. “We are embarking on an entirely different approach where it would be deficient of us not to innovate to find and follow our fans.”

He added that UKTV will offer both ad-funded and paid-for models in line with its hybrid strategy of combining free-to-air and pay TV.

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