TV not films the key for Lightbox OTT service
| 29 September 2014
The latest evidence of the primacy of compelling TV, as opposed to Hollywood, in the video-on-demand (VOD) and over-the-top (OTT) arenas has been delivered by Spark with its Lightbox video service.

lightbox powered by Xstream MediaMakerLaunching immediately, the company's stated ambition is to offer the best Internet TV service in New Zealand, and will make Lightbox available as a subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) service with more than 5,000 hours of TV running across multiple devices including laptops, desktops, iPads and Airplay on Apple TV. At the heart of the offering is Xstream's MediaMaker OTT platform which has seen use providing customised OTT and TV everywhere services.

Yet contrary to almost all other VOD and OTT players, Lightbox has nailed its colours to the mast of TV and not films in order to compete in a market that has been dominated by pay-TV giant Sky. Explaining the company's strategy at the recent Nordic Media Summit, Lightbox launch director Simon Høgsbro said that there has been a "massive" shift from movies to TV and it was this dynamic that his company would tap into. He added: "First run exclusive TV programmes are the key to draw people in and differentiate from the competition."

In his presentation as to how and with what Lightbox would present its offer, Høgsbro revealed that the company would be run as a standalone business and not as some value-added side to the main corporation. Indeed, he stressed that the cloud-based business's servers were all located in Sydney rather than anywhere in New Zealand. Talking about how his firm could use Xstream's cloud based capabilities to stay ahead, he added: "We're delighted to partner up with a company like Xstream who truly understands the complicated OTT/TV everywhere ecosystem ... Xstream offers ... a cloud-based platform with a wide palette of capabilities and features that we see as cost-effective and flexible. Importantly, MediaMaker [enables] us to build a platform we can grow and develop with as we move forward in a rapidly evolving market place. We need to stay ahead of the game and are relying on Xstream to help us do exactly that."