Platforms: YuppTV

3 September 2014: Analysts might not be over the moon about the short/medium term profit prospects of OTT, but there's clearly no shortage of companies in Asia willing to give multi-screen options a go. Malena Amzah spoke to 19 online/OTT platforms in the region about what they have, what they would like to have, and the biggest things they think are standing in their way. Analysts might not be over the moon about the short/medium term profit prospects of OTT, but there’s no shortage of companies in Asia willing to give multi-screen options a good go. This includes established free- and pay-TV broadcasters, who are moving lock, stock and tech barrel into non traditional delivery, leveraging the rights they own in new spaces and creating – or hoping to – original content for online services. Channels and acquisitions execs are also pushing hard for as many rights as possible, hoping to drive online viewership, engagement and revenue. What are these and their stand-alone online platform rivals most concerned about? Interviews with 19 platforms* in Asia showed that piracy is the top concern along with access to and cost of rights, and censorship, which drives users away. Priorities include presenting a simple and easy-to-use entertainment service, available everywhere with broad content choices at the right price models and designs that serve multiple user groups’ needs. Here’s what else they said...YuppTVYuppTV provides converged OTT live and VOD Multiple Devices services, offering South Asian programmes Dynamic Reporting over six screens (smart TVs, blu-ray players, STBs, Movies added on PC/Mac, smart phones, tablets). The platform weekly basis reaches out to six million viewers globally, mostly South Asian diaspora. South Asian countries, the U.S., Europe, Australia and Canada are its main markets. YuppTV was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Atlanta, U.S., with C offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore."In 2015, OTT in Asia will take off and will be realised as a mainstream technology to deliver TV content." Uday Reddy, Chief Executive Officer/Founder, YuppTVWho’s driving the initiative... Uday Reddy, chief executive officer/founder The offering YuppTV delivers more than 180 live TV channels, 4,500+ videos (added daily) and movies-on-demand titles through a paid subscription model. Channels include Zee TV, Star Plus, Colors, Sony Entertainment, NDTV and Asianet. YuppTV offers content in 12 major South Asian languages (including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi Gujarati, Urdu and Bangla). At present, it offers free-to-air channels in India. The YuppTV application is available on smart TVs (more than 4.8 million down- loads on Samsung TV and 290,000+ on LG Smart TV), PlayStation 3/4 and is also set to be launched on Microsoft’s Xbox, among others.Price plans Three monthly plans, from US$9.99 to US$19.99How many new VOD titles do you add a month? “We have 1,000+ movie titles avail- able from almost all the major production houses in India and we add 10-15 titles every month.” [Uday Reddy]Three most-watched contentKochadaiiyaan-The Legend-Hindi, Highway and Shahid Target users Fans of South Asian programming Subscribers/registered users YuppTV has about 100,000 paid subscribers and about one million registered users. What is your expectation on take-up for 2015? “We expect to have 250,000 paid subscribers by the end of 2015.” [Uday Reddy] Average viewing time/user/daily About five hours Social media More than 425,000 YuppTV fans on Facebook. Ranked 8,612th (globally) and 941th (India), according to Alexa Traffic Technology partners Rackspace, Nokia, Intel, Telestream, Wowza Media Systems, Roku, Samsung Is there anything that has surprised you about the way people are using YuppTV? ”We have observed that the minutes of usage via TV screens are still higher than smartphones and tablets.” [Uday Reddy] The biggest challenge “Content rights negotiations have been our biggest challenge as these deals are very complex for each individual territory.” [Uday Reddy] Priorities for 2015 “The 2015 missions are: continue to make YuppTV a simple TV service and yet, available anywhere and anytime; expand our content offerings to other ethnic markets like Latin America; and officially launch YuppTV in India in 2015.” [Uday Reddy]What do you consider as the best thing that has happened to the OTT industry in Asia this year...“The best thing that has happened to the over-the-top industry in Asia this year is that more people now realise the potential of OTT and are em-bracing OTT as a medium to deliver TV content.” [Uday Reddy] The best thing that has happened to YuppTV so far this year is... “YuppTV easily handled 10 million customers on its platform with one million simultaneous streams on the day of the election results.” [Uday Reddy] What do you think will have the most impact on the online TV/OTT industry in Asia in 2015? ”In 2015, OTT in Asia will takeoff and will be realised as a mainstream technology to deliver TV content. OTT penetration in Asian markets will increase in 2015.” [Uday Reddy]* All information and opinion was supplied by the platforms themselves and fact checked for accuracy as far as humanly possible. ContentAsia has not road-tested all the platforms and offers no opinion on how well any of them work or what the strengths and weaknesses are from a consumer perspective.Issue Three 2014