Russian ‘Play’ Aim For Cinematic Quality 4K Content


Play, considered one of the best-known video-on-demand services in Russia, is set to improve their service by launching ‘full HD streaming’, subtitles, and ‘multiple audio’ options across the next fortnight, with future plans to develop the ability to display 4K content, moves which (the latter in particular) would see them stand out as one of the most technologically-advanced streaming platforms in the world.

play-ruPlay’s CEO Leonid Belyaev spoke of the upcoming changes at the ‘Digital TV World Summit’ in London (England) yesterday (4 December), with his company claiming to be planning a ‘cinema-grade’ VoD experience, helped by offering selected titles in early theatrical windows as soon as 2-4 weeks past its theatrical release date.

The improvements proposed would add to the current ability to buy or rent content for streaming or download across ‘all connected devices’ in SD, HD and 3D formats, according to Belyaev, who notes that their users currently average 3 movies/month consumed each. He stated: “We want to go beyond that magical number and play a bigger part in the video lives of people.

[Our latest service PlayFamily] shares the same application launcher as Play. We are still experimenting, with half of the service being non-curated channels - a long playlist that’s shuffled using a special algorithm - and half being curated channels with about 20 or so movies shuffled on a daily basis. We are on a thin line between TV and VoD here. We are pleased with the traction so far and we have increased the number of movies people watch seven times [from three to 21 a month]. We’ve [also] seen up to 25% conversion from visitors to pay users.”

Having grown from their origins as OTT-only service YotaPlay, Play’s development has seen them grow to over 60 licencing contracts covering over 1,500 titles (150 of which are 3D-applicable), with 200,000 subscribers and strong coverage on smart TV sets (around 90%) of overall usage, and it now appears as though further steps are about to be taken, but will becoming one of the first to be reflected in their future numbers?

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