Deutsche Telekom is moving ahead with its plan to launch multiscreen services, initially in Germany, according to Gerry O’Sullivan, senior vice-president, global entertainment and television at the German telco, speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London this morning.
Multiscreen will extend the Entertain offering initially, but O’Sullivan said the telco would also look to address the question of whether Deutsche Telekom could also become an OTT player in its own right moving forward.
The company announced in August that it will offer its Entertain IPTV customers the option of watching a range of TV channels on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Telekom said the Entertain To Go service would give access to 40 channels on connected devices via 3G or WLAN for €5 per month. Launch channels will include Sat.1, ProSieben, Kabel eins, along with public broadcasters ARD, ZDF and 3sat. A range of content from Entertain’s on-demand catalogue will also be made available on multiple devices.
Service providers recognise that they must serve multiple screens but customers expect multiscreen delivery for free, raising a number of challenges, said O’Sullivan. He said that Deutsche Telekom would look to offer services free “for sampling” and then look for ways to make these services pay, rather than put up a paywall from the start. O’Sullivan declined to comment on whether Deutsche Telekom would continue to focus on the Microsoft Mediaroom platform for its Entertain service. He said that the company had a large number of customers that were “very satisfied” with this product. However, he said that if Telekom could ultimately deliver services from the cloud without the need for a set-top box, that would be ideal.
Deutsche Telekom has adopted the strategy of embracing OTT through its own service as well as via partnerships, O’Sullivan told attendees at the summit. O’Sullivan said that Deutsche Telekom had embraced OTT on its own via its Videoload service, an online video on demand service whose brand has been made available across OTT and its own Entertain IPTV service. He said the operator has also sought new ways of offering music, including a high-quality download service, Musicload, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It has also teamed up with Spotify and Deezer to offer streaming music. With Spotify, Deutsch Telekom has created a bundle, delivering music without any impact on consumers’ data allowance on mobile devices.
O’Sullivan said that, where it made sense, the telco would look to partners to get services up and running quickly rather than build its own service from scratch. Deutsche Telekom has also launched an app store on its Entertain IPTV platform, enabling OTT providers to come on to the platform and deliver their services to Telekom’s IPTV subscribers.