The Ukrainian OTT platform Divan.TV will next month become the first Russian language service available in Google’s Chromecast.
According to Andrey Kolodyuk, founder of Divan.TV and managing partner of AVentures Capital, Divan.TV already partners with Tvigle, TV Zavi and Platdform in Russia, with many more partnerships coming soon.
Elsewhere, it has exclusive partnerships in place with Nimble TV and Viaway.com. Divan.TV is the first multiscreen and only Russian speaking service on smart TVs worldwide.
Targeting 300 million Russian speakers worldwide, it was launched in 209 and developed its own OTT middleware solution.
Divan.TV went global and also completed the rollout of its TV Everywhere service late last year.
As of December, it was available in 200 countries.
Kolodyuk said its ARPU, which stood at $7, was growing by 15% a month and breakeven was projected for this August.
Over two in three (68%) of users now use two or more devices, and 80% smart TVs, to watch Divan.TV.
Kolodyuk added that the services had implemented several interactive features for users and two – sharing of recording and sending VOD movies as gifts between friends – were still pending.
Just two weeks ago, it had introduced two pilot projects: TV-Wall, reinventing the EPG by creating a personal TV experience, and a new service, running during the World Cup, that engages viewers, allowing for such features as real time betting.
Kolodyuk identified a number of key challenges facing operators.
They included finding the main killer app/festure for the OTT service; promoting OTT services that engage customers; competing with OTT prepaid vs post pay cable services; dealing with TV and internet bundle services; whether TV ‘no-watchers’ were lost to pay-TV; competing with pirates; and freemium ad supported OTT services.