How is Style doing in Asia?
Alex: Style HD offers 100% lifestyle programmes ranging over a variety of topics among which design & gardening, fashion & trends, gastronomy & lifestyle, travel & heritage. All the programmes are in French subtitled in English, traditional and simplified Chinese. Besides, TV5MONDE offers localised programming subtitled in 15 languages to the world’s business and cultural elite as well as the vast global community of Francophiles.
We are already present in Singapore, Thailand and a few other markets in the region. We’re in closing phases in Korea and a few others as well. We are close to launching in China which is a key market as well as a complex one. A few good OTT launches are also expected in China. Style has high quality content and I believe it is exactly what the Asian audience have been in search. It’s the TV answer to Asian craving for French lifestyle, be it fashion, food, travel or design. It’s really matching the interest of Asians.
What about its OTT offering?
Alex: We have been in the OTT environment 17 years ago without the availability of mobile or tablet platforms initially. TV5MONDE is one of the first 24/7 cable TV cultural networks worldwide. With a total of 11 channels reaching 318 million homes worldwide on all platforms and over-the-top. The platform carries all our channels in the region including Style as well as two other services which are purely digital.
The operators have no access to these services; it remains our service on the digital platform – a kids channel, news channel, catchup- TV service and VOD. It’s a fully integrated solution that is sold directly to consumers.
How are you doing in terms of revenue in Asia?
Alex: We have 25% increase year on year so well, we’re doing pretty well, both distribution and revenues have been increasing tremendously since we changed the strategy. The old strategy was to be convert into a pay-TV channel from an initial free TV channel that we used to be.
We’ve been switching over in most of the markets and it’s true that we still remain a free-to-air channel in some countries. That’s because we have actually spend more money running after pirates in these locations than collecting from the channels.
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