The leading Russian premium on demand service Play will start 4K tests next year.
However, according to Leonid Belyaev, the company’s CEO, it will introduce more innovations much sooner, with full HD, multi-audio and subtitles all due to be added this month.
Belyaev said that Play’s service is now available on over 3 million registered devices and has 200,000 paid users.
The business has grown four fold year-on-year in 2013, with revenues surpassing $1 million a month in November.
Interestingly, Belyaev also said that smart TV has been Play’s focus from day one and now 90% of its business is on smart TV.
There is a very high conversion from registered to pay users – up to 25% on some models – and high demand for quality.
Play’s next steps include working on cinema grade VOD; enhancing discovery using mega data; and adapting UX for effective multiscreen usage.
Belyaev said that although Play was pleased with TVOD, it faced the challenge of going beyond the universal figure of three movies a month.
Its solution was to launch a SVOD service named PlayFamily in June this year.
Offering 10 channels, five of which are curated, it is still in an experimental phase but has seen the number of movies accessed, compared to TVOD, increase seven-fold.