Foreign language content delivered over an IPTV network is set to become a hot new category for content companies, as Telstra and Fetch TV go head to head in a battle to attract a potential subscription market of over 1.3 million foreign language immigrants. This is the same audience size of Foxtel’s current subscription base.
Last week David Thodey, CEO of Telstra told SmartHouse that he saw “foreign language” content as a key category for the recently launched Telstra T Box and that executives from the carrier’s Hong Kong operation were already involved in securing content from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
According to Fetch TV CEO Scott Lorson, foreign language content will, during the next 12 months, become a key IPTV category that will attract subscribers because of its unique content.
During a recent interview with SmartHouse he said: “There are over 1.2 million foreign language immigrants in Australia. This is an audience that want content in their native language, currently we are negotiating content for the Fetch TV network from India, China, the Middle East and several other countries”.
According to Colin O Brien, a director at IceTV, foreign language content presents several revenue opportunities for carriers and IPTV competitors but over time, and as the market grows, they could face potential problems.
“We were actually working on a foreign language concept when Channel Nine took action against us 3 years ago” he said.
” The problem is that a lot of foreign language content, especially content out of China, India and the Middle East, is not DRM protected, it is cheap content and it will appeal but over time, the providers of the content will work out that there is money to be made in Australia and start selling the content directly themselves from hosted servers based overseas.”
“This is a risk that all IPTV content providers face even when dealing with Hollywood studios. As technology matures, the Hollywood studios will start going direct in an effort to shave off another layer of costs”.