Media and entertainment company Central European Media Enterprises (CME) is moving towards a subscription model of its video on demand service in all of its regions.
Following the roll out of the VOD brand Voyo in six central and eastern European countries during 2011, the next step, says the company, is to monetise the service by charging a monthly fee. The plan is to make the changes to its business model in all of its markets by early next year except in Slovenia which already has a subscription model in place.
According to Robert Berza, head of CME’s Internet division, this represents a new market opportunity. “We’ve already seen this business model work inside CME, with Voyo Slovenia, and over the years, everyone has become aware of the strong results of Netflix in the US and the promising trend of Hulu and LOVEFiLM,” he said.
“We believe that subscription offers better value for the consumer: you will get unlimited viewing for a month with little or no advertising for around the same price as a trip to the cinema. It also has the added advantage of being legal. Subscription is not a huge barrier as long as the cost is reasonable and you have content that viewers want to watch,” he explained.
Berza revealed that so far, CME’s local content is the most viewed, especially if streamed before being aired. The shows that generate the highest numbers are the local fiction series such as Lara’s Choice in Croatia and the Czech series Ulice and Ordinace. “However we’re always looking to grow our library and plan to expand the number of our titles by thousands rather than hundreds in the future, diversifying our offers not only in fiction, but also in reality and entertainment, sports and documentaries,” he revealed.
Currently, Voyo claims over 1.2 million Real Users for the month of September across the six CME territories.