Multiscreen video service M-GO preps for autumn commercial launch, international in 2013

Technicolor is to beta-launch its M-GO multiscreen video service in the US in the summer ahead of a planned commercial launch in the autumn, with expansion in Europe penned in for 2013.

Speaking to DTVE, Greg Gudorf, chief operating officer, M-GO at Technicolor (pictured), said the venture would offer films for rental as well as titles for sell-through via an UltraViolet digital locker. M-GO will initially offer a catalogue of “several thousand titles” that “will quickly grow” to between 10-15,000 titles, according to the company.

Gudorf said one of the key differentiators for M-GO against other over-the-top services would be its “uber-catalogue” of titles from other service providers and catalogues, amounting to over 100,000 movie titles and 300,000 TV shows, enabling users to access a much wider range of content. “Even if something is not in our transactional catalogue, we can point you which way to go,” said Gudorf.

Technicolor will offer electronic sell-through and transactional video-on-demand to M-GO users. The company has teamed up with Samsung, Vizeo and Intel to preload M-GO on devices including Samsung Smart TVs, Vizeo TVs and Blu-ray players and Intel Ultrabook computers. M-GO will also be available on iOS and Android devices as a free downloadable app.

Gudorf said pricing would be comparable with competitive offerings. He said Technicolor would also consider a subscription offering later. He said the offering would be comparable to Apple’s iTunes offering rather than a service such as Netflix.

Gudorf said the company would look to international expansion in 2013. “We have ongoing conversations with European operators,” he said. While M-GO has been developed by Technicolor as a consumer brand, the company is also looking to tie up with service providers in the US and – potentially – internationally to provide them with a multiscreen content offering and user experience. According to Gudorf, M-GO could also be deployed as a companion screen offering enabling service providers to deliver access to its own and third-party content via user interfaces on tablets and other devices.

“One core principle with us is to keep the big screen big,” said Gudorf. “Entertainment happens on the big screen and smaller screens can help consumers to navigate.”

M-GO, initially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, provides unified search and recommendation driven by users’ previous viewing habits, ratings and recommendations from social networks.

Gudorf said multiple users within a household could be identified via users choosing an avatar, or potentially by voice or facial recognition.

Although M-GO could be seen as a potential competitor to existing pay TV offerings, Gudorf said Technicolor was also looking to partner with service providers. “Operators with legacy equipment are looking to experiment in embracing multicsreen to hold onto their customers,” he said. He said there were “several different paths” by which M-GO and operators could work in partnership. One was to act as a replacement technology for legacy user interfaces, while another was to help pay TV providers unable to swap out existing set-top boxes to reach new screens. Another was for existing pay TV providers to outsource all or part of their VOD offering to M-GO, he said.

Tags: M-GO, Technicolor, US