Zattoo Goes After Casual Users With In-Browser Version

image Live streaming online TV service Zattoo is launching a browser-based version in a bid to attract casual users across Europe and will launch a paid-for, premium subscription service in Germany and Switzerland. A “very small number of users” have been invited to an in-beta trial of the new version and users in the company’s native Switzerland — where it this week passed the one million users mark — will be first to sample the service when it goes live, before its seven other markets including the UK. Currently Zattoo’s TV-streaming software must be downloaded before users can watch live terrestrial TV. P2P VOD site Joost moved to a browser version back in September.
UK country manager Alex Guest told me: “One of the key things is looking to the casual user. We have a lot of users who are very, very loyal but a lot of people are still surfing the web. If you don’t have a screen presence, you don’t serve these customers.” Guest, who started his current role in November, says it offers a “new proposition for advertisers” and also for potential partners in the online VOD sector. Zattoo pulled out of Belgium earlier this month because of high licensing fees to re-broadcast terrestrial channels. More after the jump…
Premium channels: Zattoo is also launching premium channels: about eight paid-for channels will be bundled together and offered for subscription, first in German and then in Switzerland. No word yet on which channels will be selected or what price they will be sold at, but it will be available “this Spring”.
BBC Alba: Zattoo is making an unlikely pitch as a public service partner to the BBC: after requests from Scottish users, it will today become the first to broadcast BBC Alba, the Beeb’s Gaelic channel, online. Alba is a digital, Scots Gaelic language channel that broadcasts between 5pm and 11.30pm each day, but the BBC doesn’t stream the channel online and currently only those with Freesat can watch (Freeview carriage will be reviewed by the BBC Trust next year). Guest: “License fee money is being invested in this channel but it has not been reaching all of the interested audiences. So Zattoo is happy to assist the BBC in delivering on its public service commitments at no additional cost to the license fee payer.