Advanced Television

Magine TV goes beta in UK

August 4, 2015

By Colin Mann

OTT TV platform Magine TV has launched its beta service in the UK, offering ‘TV For Me’: a subscription-based, personalised live TV experience, streamed directly with no cables, hardware or contracts. Its launch follows that of TVPlayer, Simplestream’s OTT streaming platform, which in addition to a range of free-to-air services, recently announced the launch of a ‘mini-pay’ package.

Also available in its native Sweden and Germany, Magine TV plans to offer UK audiences a clean, legal online TV service, having entered into OTT distribution agreements with major broadcast partners including ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, with more to follow.

By working with the TV industry, Magine TV says it operates with the content providers’ cooperation and is a part of broadcasters’ broader strategic digital future, helping to maintain the industry value chain and ensuring the longevity and quality of the service it can provide. It says this model of working with the industry has proved successful in both Sweden and Germany, where relationships with partners such as ProSiebenSat.1, RTL, Discovery, Turner, Viacom and Eurosport continue to flourish. In Germany, Magine TV has over 1.5 million registered users.

Magine TV can be streamed to any device through intuitive apps for iOS, Android and Windows, offering a streamlined, personalised TV experience in one place, without the need for switching between apps and websites. Key features include:

  • My Lineup: The service centres around a personalised TV Lineup. This allows viewers to curate their favourite shows in one place, drawing from a clean, uncluttered and intuitive interface.

  • Personal Show Alerts: For every show the user adds to their TV Lineup, they will receive an alert on their device just before the show is about to start.

  • Your Channels, Your Order: In addition to the traditional TV guide view (EPG), viewers can create a “My Channels” view, where they select the channels they want to watch, and hide the ones they don’t. They can also rearrange the channels in any order they want.

  • No Box, No Installation, No Hassle: Once registered, all that is needed to watch Magine TV is an internet connection. Magine TV provides a live TV service without the need for contracts, cables or hardware.

Magine TV says it celebrates and enables the shared collective and emotional experience of live TV. As a result of popular shows such as The X Factor, Humans, and significant sports events, Ofcom data shows that 69 per cent of all content (viewed across all devices) in the UK is watched live – including 50 per cent of all shows watched by 16 – 24 year olds, who each watch an average of 148 minutes of TV per day. Catch-up is available on certain channels within Magine TV, with more content to be added.

Magine TV says its mission is to simplify television, making it personalised and flexible, offering consumers TV on their own terms. Research reveals that audiences are sick of scrolling, channel surfing and searching through live content, and Magine TV caters to those who have a desire to curate and make sense of the wealth of content available to them. Throughout the beta phase, Magine TV will work in response to user feedback on its product, enhance the personalisation within it, and ensure that the platform will ultimately offer UK consumers the service that they want and need.

Magine TV says that with the rise of increasingly sophisticated technology, every sector, from travel and restaurants, to banking, data, and music, is moving towards a more personalised service, and TV is no exception. Research from Deloitte (July 2015) shows that 43 per cent of consumers between the ages of 16 and 24, and 46 per cent of those aged 25 to 30, are more attracted to a product that is personalised, with 1 in 4 stating that they are willing to pay a premium for a customisable service.

According to Ambuj Goyal, CEO of Magine TV, the shared experience of live television is electrifying, and Magine TV’s single-minded focus on innovation in this space sets it apart from other video streaming services. “We believe that there will always be an important place for live TV in the entertainment industry,” he added

Neale Dennett, Director, Pay Content and Packages at ITV, said the broadcaster wants audiences to be able to view its content when and where they choose to via both free and pay routes, and across as many devices as possible. “Magine TV is an exciting OTT service and we’re very happy to license our channels to this innovative new platform,” he stated.

“We welcome legal innovation in the channel distribution landscape, and are pleased to license some of our linear channels for streaming on Magine’s beta service,” commented Carl Pfeiffer, Head of Distribution at Channel 4. “We look forward to developing our partnership as Magine TV builds towards its full product launch,” he continued.

James Tatam, Director of Digital Media & Commercial Development at Channel 5 said: “We’re delighted that Magine is bringing its innovative TV service to the UK market and welcome Magine’s collaborative approach to working with content providers, including Channel 5. We look forward to extending our partnership as the service moves to its full launch.”

Magine TV launched commercially in March 2013 in its native Sweden, and in Germany in April 2014, hosting some of the world’s best known brands and channels in each territory, including Discovery, Fox, Nickelodeon, CNN International, BBC, Eurosport, and National Geographic, as well as channels from key national broadcasters.

Magine TV has deals with both major commercial broadcasters in Germany – RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 – making Magine the first OTT service offering a full TV replacement service in Germany, matching traditional TV services with an added flexibility and mobility, with content being available across all screens and devices.

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