EarthTV zooms in on Asia
By Gabey Goh November 30, 2012
- earthTV embarks on global campaign to launch new national networks in countries that 'want to attract business and tourism'
- Plans to install five cameras in Malaysia by Q2 2013 as part of first phase of global expansion
GERMAN satellite television network earthTV has announced plans for an aggressive push into the Asia Pacific region, making its first stop at the Asian Television Forum in Singapore come December.
Broadcasting since 2002, earthTV is a global destination camera network which broadcasts live images of destinations around the world to online, mobile and television channels. It has a presence in more than 60 locations in six continents and claims two billion viewers every day.
In July, the company was acquired from the Telcast Media Group by German film producers Nikolaus and Claudius Lohmann of Stereo 3D Experts and the expansion of the network’s global footprint forms a core part of the company’s new strategy moving forward.
In an email interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), Nikolaus Lohmann (pic), managing director of earthTV, shared that the company sees immense potential in Asia due to the growth projected for 2013 and beyond for media and tourism expenditure in several key territories.
“We are currently developing a new phase of rapid expansion in terms of re-launching the new earthTV brand, our flagship television programs and our patented camera technology into the Asian market as a new and exciting 360 degree multi-platform product,” he said.
Lohmann added that the company has over 70 camera partners in Europe and the Middle East and “are working very hard” to include more Asian locations to its portfolio.
Currently, earthTV has agreements with governments or tourist authorities in Morocco, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Qatar and Switzerland. Discussions are also taking place with potential clients in the Middle East, the United States and the Caribbean.
“We already have destination partners in Hong Kong, Brunei, Macau and we are very happy to be in advanced talks with the Singapore Tourism Board which found us an amazing location offering panoramic views of the entire city in one shot,” he said.
Lights, camera, action
The company’s network of lightweight high definition (HD) TV camera systems is remote controlled with 360-degree pans and 20x zoom capabilities offering high quality night vision, 24-hour live coverage and motion time lapse coverage.
The company also offers applications for weather, news, travel and events programming which caters to tourism organizations.
The patented and proprietary camera and broadcasting technology was developed entirely by earthTV‘s technology company earthTEC GmbH in Bavaria whilst all 3D and mobile applications are developed by partner company Stereo 3D Experts GmbH in Berlin.
Lohmann claimed that over 100 man-years of research and development (R&D) and over €10million (US$ 12.9 million) has been invested in the proprietary TV platform since earthTV was founded, but declined to comment on ongoing and future R&D investment plans.
He added that in the past earthTV only presented destinations from around the world mostly with one all-around camera view.
“Now our new camera technology and strategy to expand to the smaller and special destinations will allow us to actually establish complete regional and national networks appealing to many more advertising partners from a region to associate with our brand,” he said.
The company is in the process of updating its embedded earthTV player for easy integration onto external websites and has reorganized its earthTV.com portal to allow sponsors to present individual camera landing pages. In addition the company offers partners the option to produce individual national network programs from its content and formats.
With an eye toward garnering the attention of advertisers looking for an alternative marketing platform, Lohmann described earthTV as a unique cross platform concept that is a hybrid of traditional media and new with online, television and mobile exposure through the live visual output from a single camera and producing several cameras into network programs
“Our biggest advertising power is not to be another platform-option where advertisers can randomly spread their messages, but to be a true authentic window to the real world by which advertisers can associate themselves as a believable part of our destinations,” he said.
“We believe that the earthTV platform with our various live programs is a simple, yet efficient alternative because it first allows the viewers to connect to a faraway destination by getting to know it every day, live. Secondly it offers the consumers an authentic chance to decide on tourism and travel to those destinations,” he added.
In Malaysia, the company aims to establish a national network of a minimum of 10 HD broadcast cameras by 2014 in key touristic destinations throughout the country.
“We are starting with at least five cameras to be installed by the second quarter of 2013 as part of our first phase of the global expansion into South America, Africa and Asia,” said Lohmann.
As part of its continued push into the region, earthTV will be present at the Asian Television Forum in Singapore, slated to take place from Dec 4-7 to meet with existing and prospective Asian broadcast and technology partners to develop new distribution slots with its new camera network.
A first for the company, this year, it will also be evaluating options with different partners in the region to bring in essential parts of the earthTV network operations to Asia.
“I cannot mention more detail, but Kuala Lumpur is definitely one of these very promising options to establish and grow our Asia-Pacific base for the future,” said Lohmann.