Russia’s longest-established DTH platform NTV-Plus does not want to become a mass market service, according to Mikhail Demin, the company’s general director.
Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with Kommersant, he said that historically NTV-Plus was and remains a service for such people as decision makers.
It has a large number of customers who are VIPs and hence high expectations on QoS, which cannot be seen to decline. Although it sharply lowered its prices a few years ago, its subscriber base did not rise to the level of its competitors and it has recently changed its position in the market. Since last year, for instance, it has no longer produced its own TV channels, being instead involved in Match TV and other Gazprom Media operations.
Demin added that the reduction in prices in 2013 was not backed up sufficiently by an advertsing campaign and in fact resulted in a reduction in ARPU. More recently, ARPU has started to grow again and as of the end of last year was 2.5-3 times higher than that of its competitors.
Meanwhile, revenues for 2014-16 rose by almost 30%, or R1.2 billion (€17.6 million).
Asked about its interactive TV service, Demin said that while it is still being tested (having been launched in December 2016), NTV-Plus very much believes in the demand for it.
The service, which Demin sees a step towards Big Data, is being developed with Gazprom Media Technologies and a number of partner companies including LefeStream and South Korea’s Kaon.
Demin also said that NTV-Plus is actively growing in two other areas, namely OTT and online TV.
Broadband TV News notes NTV-Plus was launched in 1996 as a four-channel analogue service and quickly developed into an offer targeting a mostly affluent audience.
Tricolor TV, the market leader in the DTH sector, is a more mass market service, as is arguably Orion.