The Ukrainian online cinema SWEET.TV considers it necessary to increase the average bill for using OTT services in order to create the possibility of producing its own content.
As Director of SWEET.TV Oleksandr Rezunov said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, the cost of an average tariff plan for OTT service in Ukraine today is within UAH 100 (about $3.5). This price includes royalties for broadcasting TV channels and films.
“In order to be able to generate their own content, Ukrainian platforms should increase their average check. Then they can afford to create original content for their money. Netflix, which does not have TV channels, costs $10. The high check helped the platform create a lot of original content, for which you do not need pay monthly royalties,” he said.
Netflix is also monetizing its content globally, Rezunov said. Meanwhile, Ukrainian producers can only rely on the territory of their country, since for the majority today it is a great success to sell content abroad.
“To summarize: the market should mature and emerge. Accordingly, if the market for pay TV and paid services is formed, more people will start paying, there will be less piracy, and the average check will grow. Then platforms will be able to afford to buy and produce their own content,” the director of SWEET.TV said.
About 10 million households in Ukraine use T2 digital air and pirated services, according to a study of the Ukrainian SWEET.TV online cinema.
“There are now about 10 million households in Ukraine that watch TV channels and films through free sources. These are T2 air and pirated services… In addition, there is a problem that Ukrainians, in principle, do not understand that they are using pirated services and viewing advertisements on such sites. It is equated to the legal purchase of content. Many do not even think that viewing content on pirate sites is illegal,” Director of SWEET.TV Oleksandr Rezunov said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, when buying a new TV set, most Ukrainians do not even receive an offer to subscribe to a legal Internet TV service because almost half of the equipment is bought in small, local stores.
All this, in Rezunov’s opinion, greatly hinders the development of the pay TV market in the country.
“T2 broadcasts free channels of media groups that show expensive Hollywood content. At the same time, OTT services have to pay royalties for placing each channel and each unit of content on their platforms. This approach to filling T2 broadcasting significantly slows down the development of the paid content market. In the place of media groups, I would wonder whether it is worth broadcasting expensive content for free,” he said.
The director of SWEET.TV also said that pirated resources are funded mainly by advertisers and supported by consumer interest. This means that it is worth introducing responsibility for placing advertisements on pirated services, as well as responsibility for watching pirated videos – as it already works in most European countries and the United States.
According to him, in order to fight piracy, SWEET.TV became a member of the Clear Sky anti-piracy initiative, as well as a member of the supervisory board for media and communications of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.
SWEET.TV is a Ukrainian OTT platform with more than 260 TV channels, including HD and 4K, products from Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, etc.
The platform has direct contracts with Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony and other international content producers for dubbing media products specifically for the territory of Ukraine, and not for the CIS. The service creates Ukrainian-language dubbing for cult Hollywood films in the Hollywood in Ukrainian project.