Prior to his participation in the next edition of NexTV CEO Latin America, the leading conference organized by Dataxis, Raúl Domínguez, director of TCS Digital, spoke with NexTV News Latam about the multiplatform strategy of the Salvadoran network, which includes the launch of two international channels that will be available through TCS GO, the OTT platform of the company.
-What is the TCS’ multiplatform strategy in the country?
Last year we created a completely independent division, called TCS Digital, which is responsible for all the corporation’s digital platforms and the creation of new businesses, even those not related to television. One of the things we did was to create an OTT platform called TCS GO, which is totally fresh and dynamic.
-What contents does TCS GO include?
It includes channels 2, 4, 6 and TCS+ live, and additionally all the contents are completely on demand, instantly. We also offer soccer matches because all our rights now include the digital platform. In this way, when a match cannot be live on television, it is available exclusively in the application. It has happened that there were three simultaneous matches and all three were available in the application.
We have now the catch-up rights to series, movies and telenovelas from leading providers. Starting next year, people will not only be able to watch TCS channels live and the shows on demand, but will also be able to watch again movies, series and telenovelas for free. 70% of our content providers already authorized us.
-What is the business model of this platform?
Currently it is free inside El Salvador. We know that people are going to move from one type of platform to another. We believe that in five years the television will reach users through internet. That is why we believe that this OTT platform, within the country, has to be completely free. What we want is to reach a million subscribers; currently we surpass 330,000. We call them subscribers because they are active users who continuously access the application to watch contents.
We know that our core business in TV is advertising. And that same core business has to be represented in digital, so what we do is to sell to our TV clients the digital advertising. And our OTT platform is very good because we have different ways to monetize it. One of them is the insertion of a video that divides the screen into two and allows the user to continue to see the content and the advertisement. Then, every seven minutes the advertising appears, but it is not intrusive.
We are now designing two strategies in parallel: one in partnership with Millicom (Tigo) for users to access the OTT platform without consuming data of their mobile plans, activating a subscription of USD 1, for example. And another option is that those who have high data plans have preloaded the application and access to exclusive content. The idea is to start with these strategies in 2018. On the other hand, another advertising initiative involves a third integrator that gives mobile data to users after they sees a spot and answer a series of questions.
-What is the strategy for the international market?
We are already creating new services for the international market. In the United States, there are 3.5 million Salvadorans. We have created a specific TV channel, called TCS HD America, with the contents of all the channels in one place. And we are also creating a specific news program for this initiative. This channel will be in the entire region, including South America for a monthly subscription of USD 4.99. In addition, we will launch TCS Internacional, a channel designed for Europe, with a time slot with a difference of eight hours, adapted to the region. The good thing is that we do not have to launch different applications; the user will find a single platform – TCS GO – that will determine the location and will establish what contents the user can access. Both channels will be launched in the first weeks of November.
-What devices are currently compatible with TCS GO?
It is available for iOS and Android devices, PCs via web, Roku, and we want to end the year giving access through Samsung, Sony and Playstation.
-What other digital project does the company has?
In March of this year, we launched Vlixers platform, which is a Salvadoran YouTube. We made deals with each of the biggest Youtubers we have in El Salvador. We put the TV studios, cameras, technicians, and we sell the contents, the advertising in the page, the presence of the talent and the social networks. We have 170,000 registered users. The idea was to captivate the millennials we know are not watching television. Moreover, as our relationship with the major television stations in Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala is very good, we are thinking of aligning with them to make Vlixers a regional platform.