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Deutsche Telekom has pledged to further invest in its Megathek on-demand library as it continues to build up its collection of exclusive content and originals.

Speaking at the Connected TV World Summit in London, Deutsche Telekom’s Vice-President of Business Development and Strategy for TV, Joerg Richartz, referred to the company’s TV offering as the ‘Deutschland platform’ that is “open for all partners”.

Deutsche Telekom rebranded its EntertainTV service to MagentaTV in October 2018, at the same time introducing new features like a refreshed user interface and its Megathek (‘mega library’) of content, which is available at no extra cost and is a central element to the offering.

Richartz said the company’s TV strategy is now built around three pillars: best user experience; best partner portfolio; and exclusive content.

“We have the broadest linear line-up of stations on the platform, be it free or be it paid, we have all the big SVOD partners on the platform and we also are investing into our own content,” said Richartz.

“In the fight between the engagement platforms our competitors are not Netflix and Amazon but the cable competition in Germany. These guys are also aggregating so we decided to go into exclusive content because we think that makes the difference in the end and is not repeatable for our competitors. Exclusive content for us is especially fiction and sports.”

Deutsche Telekom started co-producing series last year with German-French series Deutsch-Les-Landes, and has a number of new exclusives coming to the platform, including Italian mafia drama Il Cacciatore – The Hunter and the third season of Canadian detective series Cardinal. Both are due to launch on Megathek on April 4.

“The good message is we won’t stop, we want to further invest in the Megathek,” said Richartz. “The libraries need exclusives and also originals.”

Megathek launched with more than 10,000 titles, including content from major German broadcasters ARD and ZDF, creating what Richartz described as an “exclusive configuration” of long-tail content.

By February this year, Deutsche Telekon announced that Megathek had grown to around 15,000 titles after adding some 900 episodes of Nickelodeon series – including SpongeBob Squarepants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol.

While Richartz wouldn’t reveal user numbers, he said the company is seeing growth and that by stacking international licensed content with German long-tail it is addressing a “completely new customer group”.

“For us, it’s not so important if you have two, five or 10 million views on the platform. What we want to achieve is to bring our subscribers from linear to non-linear, so to open up the world for them, and that’s what we are seeing.”

Deutsche Telekom is also looking to marry its data with recommendation engine technology to help content find viewers, rather than the other way around. By doing so, it aims to bring the platform “to the next-level feature-wise”.

“In the end, we think that we are the ‘Deutschland Platform’ as we call it, so the leading German platform, because we are an independent platform. We are open for all the partners. Everyone can come to our platform, we enable every business model. We have free, we have pay, AVOD, TVOD, SVOD – everything is possible,” said Richartz.

“Our ambition is always to really integrate the partners as deep as we can. Not because of taking over the customer data, but from a customer or user-experience perspective. The deeper the content is integrated into your platform, into your UI, the easier it is for the customer to enjoy the content and that’s our ambition.”


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