A pioneering Swedish video-on-demand start-up, Magine AB, with offices in London, as well as Stockholm, Berlin and Hong Kong say they have reached an agreement to build, launch and operate an Internet based video streaming service for the Chinese market.
Magine have also announced that they have established a new Magine Asia Unit, based in Hong Kong.
The company has agreed to help an unspecified Beijing digital TV system integrator supply video on demand and linear content streaming to over 100 million households within the Chinese market.
They say the company they are working alongside has “active businesses in a number of provinces in China, and close co-operation with some of the largest TV stations and operators there.”
Magine CEO Ambuj Goyal commented “global expansion and deep strategic partnerships are key to Magine’s growth. With this agreement we become a leading player in the rapidly evolving Chinese streaming market.”
“Magine’s superfast, reliable and secure global internet based TV distribution platform, dubbed our ‘TV Superhighway’, is transforming the way how production quality content moves around the world,” he added.
Magine has been operating consumer services in Scandinavia and Germany since 2013 but has more recently grown and established new partnerships in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. They say they are “building the fundamentals of the TV Superhighway. Offering a global OTT platform and an ecosystem for content providers and distributors in all parts of the world. “
Another way of describing the service would be to call it a “leading cloud based TV aggregation app and platform”, according to the company’s website.
In February this year the company announced that users of the service in Germany would now be able “gain direct and immediate access to exactly the pay TV content that they want”, with stand-alone premium content packages offered from only €2.99 per month, including kid’s shows and films and series. “Viewers only want to pay for what they actually watch” says Goyal.
Magine TV hosts some of the world’s best known brands and channels including Fox, Nickelodeon, CNN International, the BBC and Eurosport, and last year the company launched a beta service in the UK, with further developments planned for 2016.
After the acquisition of Plejmo, the largest independent streaming service for viewers in the Nordics, Magine, which has raised $58m over the course of 3 funding rounds, all with the same investor, Global Investment House, since June 2013, the last round being in October last year, the company is also exploring different ways to support partners and fuel expansion into new markets, such as white label products and joint commercial ventures.
The company, which was led by previous CEO and founder Mattias Hjelmstedt until Goyal was hired in July 2015, after a 31 year career at IBM, are positioning themselves as the missing piece of the jigsaw that links the emergence of Live TV, apps, streaming, and smartphones and tablets, “allowing viewers to watch their favourite shows across all screens and devices, both live and on catch up.”
At times the number of complexities and overlaps that exist in the modern consumers’ repertoire of TV and video viewing devices almost beggars belief. There are so many options, and yet, in an age where consumers value personalisation above everything else, a service that can seamlessly capture everything that you want and discard everything that you don’t could become a valuable accessory indeed.
And therefore partnering with an organisation that can roll out the product to more than 900m viewers in a marketplace, China, that has defeated the likes of Facebook, Uber – even Google – must be a thrilling experience. Perhaps the success of Magine could serve as a particularly prescient barometer of whether the Chinese markets are as open and susceptible to products aimed at their middle classes, originating from within Europe, if no longer, in Britain’s case, from within the EU, as many have promising / hoping.