By Emeka Aginam
Ericsson Wednesday announced the launch of its first end-to-end subscription video-on-demand content service, NuVu. The service will be marketed in close collaboration with service providers.
The first service will be launched in partnership with leading telecom operator Airtel Nigeria in Q1 2016 to more than 30 million subscribers.
With the solution, subscribers will have access to around 3,000 local and international TV and film titles spanning a wide variety of genres.
With this solution, subscribers will have access to around 3,000 local and international TV and film titles for a small monthly fee.
They will be able to download content directly to their smartphones or tablets at no additional data cost during off-peak network times, and access the content offline for up to 30 days after downloading.
A core feature of the service is the built-in ability to distribute content to consumers during off-peak periods.
This is expected to minimize data costs for both operator and consumer, addressing the cost challenge that has so far been an obstacle for video-on-demand uptake in Africa
With the new solution, Ericsson and telecommunications services provider Airtel Nigeria are planning to jointly launch NuVu in the first quarter of 2016 to more than 30 million Airtel subscribers in Nigeria.
NuVu’s content offering, which is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, will span a wide variety of genres including Hollywood and Nollywood movies, TV series, kids, music, gospel and education. Ericsson is working with a number of leading international distributors to acquire TV and film content for the new service.
NuVu is a complete end-to-end technology and content service. The platform, which has been developed by Ericsson and leverages the company’s extensive over-the-top capabilities, will be fully integrated into the operator’s customer relationship management and payment systems.
The service will be launched initially as an Android app for smartphones, providing subscribers with a personalized user interface, bookmarking and personal recommendations. Ericsson will continue to roll out the service on other platforms and operating systems.
Speaking on the new solution, Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson, said that, “The launch of NuVu is a significant landmark for Ericsson and is uniquely positioned to help our operator customers to address a significant untapped market for video content.
“Africa has some of the highest mobile adoption rates globally, with ever-increasing levels of investment and infrastructure. However, downloading is currently preferred to streaming due to connectivity issues. We believe there is a huge opportunity to open a window to a world of content through mobile devices that may not otherwise be easily accessible.
“As one of the largest operators across Africa and the third-largest mobile operator in the world, Airtel is the perfect partner to help us launch NuVu. We are very proud to launch NuVu in Africa and we look forward to rolling out this service to other markets over the coming year.”, Sauer said.
For Ahmed Mokhles, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, “At Airtel we are passionate about putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians and this is one of the ways we achieve this goal. One of the key advantages of NuVu is that customers will have the flexibility to enjoy a variety of entertaining content, including music videos, comedy, movie trailers, cartoons, sports among others on their mobile devices anytime, anywhere they desire.
“We are delighted to be a part of this project as it also reinforces our commitment to creating real value for all our stakeholders, in line with our key objective of enriching lives and empowering people”.
The NuVu brand identity was created by the award-wining creative agency Red Bee, which is part of Ericsson. Red Bee has created identities for a number of leading broadcasters around the world, including the BBC, DreamWorks, UKTV, NBCUniversal, RTÉ, CBC Egypt, TV2 Norway and many more.
Consumers are increasingly accessing TV content via smartphones and tablets.
According to Ericsson ConsumerLab, 61 percent of consumers watch TV and video on their smartphones, a figure that has increased by 71 percent since 2012. Over 50 percent of consumers binge-watch content at least once a day; only 5 percent claim that they never binge watch content.
In addition, 42 percent refrain from consuming more content on any device if a service is not available offline.