Monday, November 11, 2013, 8:28 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Late last week online video platform provider Kaltura announced MediaGo, a new offering that allows content providers and smaller pay-TV operators to quickly stand up their own subscription VOD services. Kaltura is positioning MediaGo as a "Netflix-like" video portal which wraps new merchant/billing services and subscription management with core CMS, multi-device player and content preparation features.
Shay David, Kaltura's chief revenue officer, told me that there's pent-up interest from customers to launch their own SVOD services. As I pointed out a few months ago, to date there have been very few examples of successful online video subscription models; most of today's online video remains free and ad-supported. However, Shay believes this is due to SVOD services being too complicated and costly to set up, so only the biggest content providers can consider subscriptions as an option. I'd argue another complicating factor is that it's incredibly hard to move consumers from a free to a paid model.
But Shay said Kaltura is already working with several content providers and expects to be able to announce initial customers for MediaGo in the next month or so. He indicated that early adopters would have highly defined communities of interest like sports or kids. In addition, Shay said smaller pay-TV operators are expressing interest in their own SVOD services outside of TV Everywhere.
If these kinds of SVOD services emerge and succeed it would be a big change in the market. It's also not clear that consumers are interested in maintaining multiple subscriptions. The recent launch of YouTube's partners' subscription channels don't seem to have gained much traction. Maybe it will be different this time around.