Marquee.TV, an on-demand service focused on the arts, is due to launch on Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes in the US later this year.
Speaking at Videoscape Europe yesterday, Simon Walker, Marquee.TV’s CEO and Co-Founder, announced the move during a keynote talk about how to ‘super-serve underserved audiences and focus on global passion niches’.
Outlining a number of ‘rules of the game’ for launching niche SVOD services, Walker said you need to “genuinely identify an underserved market,” claiming that fans of topics like history or football are already well catered for.
Often niche areas of interest come with under-exploited content rights, making it relatively straightforward to pick up IP, and come with ‘pre-aggregated’ consumers. However, another area to think about is whether a niche links to in-person activity, he suggested.
Finally, Walker said that the final test for a niche service is whether it could exist without the video content: “I could imagine providing an app for arts and culture users that aggregates together their tickets, their memberships of organisations, it could have a loyalty scheme in it. If you then layer content on top, it can become really powerful and interesting economic models and business models.”
Launched last July, Marquee TV is a subscription service focused on dance, opera and theatre performances from across the globe. In the UK, where it is based, the service costs £8.99 per-month or £89.99 per-year.
The company also launched a country music SVOD service late last year, taking a similar approach to Marquee.TV but applying it to country music – which is a mainstream genre in the US but has narrower appeal internationally.
As Walker explained: “We can take stuff that is mainstream in the US and repackage it for international audiences and create a really efficient way to build a niche brand and a subscription brand.”
Marquee.TV is currently available on Apple, Android and Amazon Fire TV devices. CountryLine is available on Apple and Android phones with launches planned for iPad, Android tablets, Roku, Apple TV and Fire Sticks.