RTÉ announces plans to develop the next generation RTÉ Player

Published May 3rd, 2017

RTÉ today announced its plans to develop the next generation RTÉ Player, Ireland’s number one broadcaster video-on-demand service. It is expected that the new service will be launched before the end of the year.

The redeveloped RTÉ Player will be RTÉ’s multi-channel television and video platform, designed and re-imagined for how Irish audiences watch television and video content online. It will be a world-class online television and video destination that seamlessly blends the audience content needs across live and on-demand with a curated, personalised service, with new features and functionality.

The new RTÉ Player experience will be a gateway into a world of great content, from box-sets and curated on-demand libraries across 10 genres, to exciting new original RTÉ Player shorts, as well as the ability to enjoy RTÉ’s live channels on any screen.
Delivering a multi-platform experience, the redeveloped RTÉ Player will be available across web, iOS, Android, connected TVs and OTT services, including Saorview, Chromecast, Android TV and Apple TV.

RTÉ’s lead partner for the delivery of the project is Fincons Group. The global IT Business Consulting company has over 30 years’ experience as a broadband and broadcast service partner and has worked with many leading companies including Sky and the largest Italian commercial broadcaster, Mediaset, as consultant and integration partner for their video solutions and OTT platform rollouts.

RTÉ and Fincons Group will also work with the Dutch-based TV app development company 24i, an internet TV app company, which powers apps for leading brands like Viacom, Fuse media and Sinclair. Discovery and personalisation provider ContentWise will integrate its content personalisation solution.

RTÉ Player will benefit from the combination of Fincons Group’s design and integration, 24i’s unified UI front-end expertise and ContentWise’s user experience automation capabilities.

Múirne Laffan, RTÉ’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “The delivery of the next generation RTÉ Player is hugely important for RTÉ’s future. It is a sophisticated proposition that will position us to meet evolving audience expectations and compete within a highly competitive, globalised media environment.”

Aoife Byrne, Director of Content & Products for RTÉ’s digital division, said: “In order to meet the changing needs of our audiences, we are transforming RTÉ Player from being a pure catch-up TV service to being a world-class live and on-demand online TV and video platform. Irish audiences will continue to be able to catch up on their favourite show, but with the next-generation RTÉ Player we will soon be offering so much more: on-demand libraries with hundreds of great titles from across the genres; great box-sets to binge on, and brand new short-form content, exclusive to RTÉ Player. Audiences will also be able to enjoy RTÉ’s television channels live, on any screen.”

“As well as delivering on our audience’s content needs, we want next-generation RTÉ Player to deliver a superb streaming experience. To achieve this, we are working with our delivery partners Fincons Group, 24i and ContentWise who are hugely experienced in delivering world-class online TV and video platforms. We are rebuilding the product from the ground up to ensure technical reliability, and we will also be adding some great new features and functionality such as live restart and autoplay to make watching great TV and video even better” added Aoife Byrne.

Michele Moretti, CEO at Fincons Group, commented: “We are delighted to be bringing our tailored solutions and wealth of experience to support such a key strategic project for a national media like RTÉ,designing and integrating a future-proof OTT solution which will efficiently provide a seamless and compelling multiscreen user experience. Building on our extensive experience working with the major international players, this project further confirms our footprint in the media and broadcast sector.”
ENDS

For reference, please contact:
Marika MacCarvill, Communications Manager, RTÉ Digital
Tel: 00 353 1 208 4665 / 00 353 86 171 2568

About RTÉ Player:
RTÉ Player is Ireland’s number-one broadcaster video-on-demand service, continuing to attract record-level audiences. Last month (March 2017) was the strongest month ever for RTÉ Player, attracting its highest level of viewers for any month to date, serving over 5.3 million streams and attracting over 2.1 million unique browsers. January and February this year were also the strongest on record for their respective months.

In 2016, RTÉ Player attracted its highest level of audiences, serving over 50 million streams, which represents an additional 10 million streams or 26% increase on 2015. In 2016, the popular online service delivered an average of 4.2 million streams per month, and an average of 1.7 million unique browsers per month, with both figures up 30% on the previous year.

Signifying changing viewing habits, live viewing on RTÉ Player was up by 74% on 2015 volumes, with 20% of monthly streams being live in 2016. Of the 2 million streams served for Euro 2016, 1.5 million streams were live.

RTÉ Player’s offering continued to evolve in 2016, moving away from being a purely catch-up service, with the commissioning of more online-exclusive content and extra content around some the most popular RTÉ Television series and events of the year, as well as the addition of new permanent content hubs, including Doc Hub, Food Hub and Arts Hub. Together the online extras and exclusive shorts on RTÉ Player attracted over 3 million streams.

Free trials often end up to Subscription

Nearly one out of three people who try out a video-streaming service during a limited free period end up subscribing, according to new research by Parks Associates. While spending on transactional services has declined, average monthly spending on subscription OTT video has increased, reaching $7.95 per U.S. broadband household in 2016.   Most households build their services around at least one of the top three services, Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, which also show among the most effective trial conversion rates. "Free OTT trials are effective in converting a sizeable portion of trial users into subscribers," Glenn Hower, Senior Analyst, Parks Associate said. "There is a potential for free trial abuse, but only roughly 1% of consumers are 'serial trialers' who abuse free trials to avoid paying for services. Most consumers use trials for their intended purpose of trying out a service before deciding whether or not to continue as a paid subscriber." According to Parks, more than a fourth of US broadband households tried out at least one online video service in the last six months with a free trial. Of these, 47 percent subscribed to at least one trial service after the free period expired. Source: Parks Associate