Expanding on their current set-top box deal with the ‘Virgin Media TiVo’ cable/internet TV service in the UK, Netflix have found their way onto a second European set-top box, after confirming a deal with Swedish cable TV provider Com Hem as of December.
With the move made primarily due to the ‘TiVo’ link above (the American TV brand provide connected DVR set-top boxes to both the English and Swedish service providers), Netflix’s intention to expand their reach to other areas of the world to more consumers, providing their service on ready-made platforms with a vast audience, is one that has now taken its second step, with Com Hem noted as being the largest provider of cable TV in Sweden (with over 605,000 ‘digital TV subscribers’).
Com Hem announced the move yesterday (25 September), with the agreement signed ensuring a start for their collaboration in October for the TiVo-based 1TB set-top boxes (which currently have over 45,000 Com Hem customers having ‘registered their interest’ ahead of their 7 October roll-out).
Content set to be available under the deal for Com Hem viewers includes anything Netflix hold the rights to in the Scandinavian country, with the app set to most prominently include the service’s original TV series such as House of Cards, Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove, and Orange is the New Black, amongst others.
Asanga Gunatillaka, the ‘product development director’ at Com Hem, stated: “We are very pleased to offer Netflix in our TiVo service and thus make their premium range (of content) available to our customers. The collaboration also demonstrates the great benefits of TiVo as a platform for home entertainment. With our TiVo service, we collect the best content on the market and make it both accessible and searchable at the same place.”
Speaking at Goldman Sachs’ ‘Communacopia investment conference’ in New York City (USA), Netflix’s ‘chief financial officer’ David Wells said of how the latest news fits into their main plans for box coverage: “We would love to reduce the friction to the end consumer [in America], and to be available via the existing device in the home which is the set-top box. We haven’t really changed our willingness to do those types of things. It’s up to the MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributors] to decide how much of a competitor we are or a complement.”
While streaming TV viewers in Sweden will be happy with the deal on one hand, they may also be a little worried, after the Scandinavian Country made plans to impose a streaming tax on residents who use online video to dodge the national license..
With Netflix having stated their desire to make similar launches in their home country, are set-top boxes the area in which the next major impact for subscription streaming will occur, or is promoting their service on cable TV platforms a move that can only end with one market victorious?