SPB Software used the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to unveil its latest iPhone and Blackberry applications, its SPB TV 3.0 software, which Vassily Philippov, SPB’s COO, says has already enjoyed 4m downloads to its TV streaming and VOD versions. SPB’s existing product has found firm demand in Germany, Russia, China, India, Turkey and the UK.
Philippov says the St Petersburg-based company provides a very easy to use outlet for TV channels to broaden their appeal to a global audience. “Today’s product, ahead of the 3.0 release, was only for free TV, and we are still adding around a half-million new users a month for that service. Our new product takes that product to a much wider potential.”
Philippov says mobile TV is now very firmly “catching on” thanks to products like the iPhone, iPad and the other ‘smartphone’ devices. “But we were limited to free-to-air channels, which meant we could not offer pay-TV channels, and by and large these are the channels that people want to watch. That changes with 3.0. It offers a number of options for pay-TV, and we have a number of broadcasters talking to us now.”
SPB has three core services: first, is a ‘standard’ pay-TV model where the broadcaster owns its own material or has worldwide rights to the content. The TV channel, as with Apple’s AppStore can decide what to charge, either a few cents/month or a larger fee/year depending on the channel’s value.
Second option is for the broadcaster to stay ‘free’ but to permit advertisements to buffer the clip’s playout. The broadcaster would then enjoy a revenue share with SPB.
Option 3 is more akin to today’s traditional pay-TV environment, where there is a subscription fee, and the playout is country (or region) specific.