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OTT viewers may not be quite as sophisticated and demanding as we have been led to believe, certainly not in the case of the Irish OTT service AerTV. Philippe Brodeur, Director of Aertv, which provides 11 linear channels including the main Irish broadcasters and its own niche content, declared today: “If consumers turn on the service and there are some moving pictures from a trusted brand, they are happy to sit there and watch it, regardless of what the content is.”
To justify his point, he revealed that OTT viewing on the AerTV service generally reflects the popularity of the traditional broadcast channels, so the top five Irish broadcast channels account for 60-70% of the AerTV viewing. But AerTV created a travel channel of its own and made that the default channel viewers came to first, and that became the most popular channel on the platform.
Speaking at a breakfast briefing called ‘Extending the reach of Pay TV using OTT’ at the start of Connected TV Summit, he emphasised that people will watch trusted brands like the BBC and RTE whatever they offer. In its short time in the market (launched October 2011), AerTV has now reached that happy position as an aggregator, he believes. “Whatever we give them will become part of their TV experiece,” he said.
Equally interesting, from a commercial point of view, AerTV has now found a sponsor to fund that entire travel channel. “We have sold that channel to a brand, which now owns the channel. So our mantra is ‘Don’t advertise on the channel – buy the channel’.”
AerTV is a linear-only OTT offering, so it may not fit the typical profile of OTT aggregators. And it does only have 11 channels, which means you can easily find what you want by ‘channel zapping’. Despite this, in a year characterized by talk of recommendations and social discovery, this is a reminder of how powerful a moving channel is as the start, and potentially end point, in the discovery journey!