HyppTV Everywhere partnership with Digi not exclusive: TM
By Goh Thean Eu April 14, 2015
- Collaboration will help HyppTV get more eyeballs, Digi to grow data business
- Five HyppTV packages being offered, zero-rated for customers during promo
FIXED-line operator Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has announced a collaboration with Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd for its HyppTV Everywhere mobile app service, but said that it was not an exclusive arrangement.
However, the collaboration could give Digi a head-start of a few months, according to TM executive vice president of new media Jeremy Kung.
Such partnerships usually take time to seal – in the case of TM and Digi, approximately six months, he added.
“It’s not so straightforward … working with partners, tapping onto their network, their expertise, their billing system at the back – and to be able to market and sell the services together. It requires a lot of effort,” said Kung.
“Nevertheless, we are not in talks with any mobile operators on a similar initiative currently,” he however acknowledged at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur on April 13.
Under the partnership, TM, via its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service HyppTV, will provide the content and application on the HyppTV Everywhere service, while the infrastructure and network will be provided by Digi.
Essentially, the collaboration allows Digi customers to have access to HyppTV’s content on their mobile devices, on-the-go. They can subscribe to the packages or channels that they want, and these purchases will be recorded on their Digi bills.
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Although it is normal to see tie-ups between fixed-line and mobile operators, the TM-Digi collaboration drew attention partly because industry observers were expecting the telco giant to partner with Celcom Axiata Bhd first.
Celcom, a wholly-owned unit of Axiata Group Bhd, was once a subsidiary of TM before it was spun off in 2007.
Today, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund, owns a 28.95% stake in TM, and has a 37.89% indirect stake in Celcom.
“For us, I think it’s about the chemistry. We both believe in the things that we do and share the same view on where the industry is going,” said Kung, when asked why TM chose Digi and not Celcom as its first partner for the HyppTV Everywhere initiative.
While he did not say, another reason could be the extent of Digi’s and Celcom’s business.
Celcom, which had the largest customer base in 2014 of close to 13 million, is believed to have the lowest smartphone penetration rate amongst the dominant mobile telco players.
This is partly driven by the fact that its leadership is in rural and suburban areas, where the take-up rate of mobile broadband plans and smart devices is likely to be lower than in urban areas.
Although Digi is the smallest player amongst the incumbents in terms of total subscribers and revenue, it has a few key selling points that likely attracted HyppTV’s attention.
These selling points include the company’s strong smartphone user base, as well as its customers’ appetite for content.
“Last year, smartphone penetration among Digi's over 11 million customers increased from 38.1% to 49.3%, and Internet subscribers grew 31% year on year,” said Digi chief marketing officer Christian Thrane.
“We have more and more people who are getting online through their smart devices, and entertainment is an important part of their Internet experience. HyppTV gives us the flexibility to offer exciting video content for customers,” he added.
The collaboration will benefit TM as it is able to further monetise HyppTV’s content via Digi’s subscriber base of over 11.42 million.
Having a larger audience will also put the company in a better position when negotiating for new content for its platform.
As for Digi, this is one opportunity for it to further grow its data business. Thrane said that depending on the quality of the video, such a service could take up approximately 100MB for each hour of video streaming.
“Different services attract different consumers. Video services like this would be attractive to customers who are familiar with data or with high data packages,” he added.
The partnership also has a revenue share model, where both companies will take a cut whenever a Digi customer signs up to HyppTV Everywhere packages.
According to TM, with the HyppTV Everywhere service, customers can enjoy HyppTV offerings on any broadband connection of two megabits per second (Mbps) or faster. Customers can download the app through Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
TM is providing five special packages: Entertainment, ‘Sensasi,’ Dragon, Kids and Sports. HyppTV was previously only available via its UniFi and Streamyx broadband services.
Digi subscribers with an existing mobile Internet plan will enjoy zero data charges from now till June 30. In addition, first-time users among Digi’s customers will also enjoy a one-week free trial during the same period.
At the end of the free viewing period, they have the option to subscribe to their favourite channels either on a ala carte basis or by subscribing to the HyppTV Everywhere packages exclusively for Digi customers, priced from RM10 to RM15 per month. [RM1 = US$0.27]
For a full list of available HyppTV channels and pricing exclusive for Digi customers, visit http://digi.my/hypptv.
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