TNMG upgrades platform, adds channels

A slew of announcements from Tokyo-based The New Media Group, operator of the World On Demand internet TV platform, on November 27, including the extension of its service to Macintosh computer users and a tie-up with Japan’s leading online video community website.

TNMG has launched a new media player designed for TV, PC and Macs, based on Microsoft’s Silverlight platform. The new player adds new features such as a graphically enhanced user interface, easy channel and VOD selection, faster stream loading and security. The “important launch” is a precursor to implementing more social networking functions and full high-definition TV streaming.

While Sergio Miyama, World On-Demand’s lead developer sad that the company’s next steps were a secret, one clue could be in the tie-up with Japan’s Nico Nico Douga. The video community site has 9.3 million Japanese subs, drives 2.3 milllion unique users and claims to have passed YouTube to become one of the most visited sites in the Japanese web space.

“It seems an unlikely match, but both sides see tremendous potential here,” said Randy McGraw, President of TNMG. “Both of us are convinced that the Japanese domestic market is starving for more high brand and high production value content from around the world, much of it never having had any distribution here. This is just a first step to get it all in play, World On-Demand has been selected one of 20 Official Providers precisely because we are ‘a taste of everything else’ for mass market consumers and are carving out this position for the long run for ourselves. Japan is a tough place to gain a foothold if you’`re a foreign provider, but our company is a gateway now for big brands like Eurosport, Sky News, Aag, B4U Music, Zee TV, Trace TV, the Australia Network, VIVA, Taj Sports, Moonscoop, and a growing list of quality brands to come here and find a place.”

The service will launch in December and allow Nico Nico Douga account holders to access branded content geared to their hobbies and interests as well as “an invitation to subscribe to the full array of content” on World On-Demand.

Another World On-Demand announcement encompassed the launch of a Vietnamese channel, Thuan Viet, which targets the overseas Vietnamese community. Thuan Viet will be available as a linear service and on-demand to WOD subs in Japan, Australia and East Asia.

Also launching is Vision Asia, a channel devpted to the lives and events of Middle Asian communities living across East Asia; as well as Style Network and E! Entertainment which will launch on WOD in Japan.