The Nova media group will make its Voyo video portal accessible through the HbbTV platform, i.e. through hybrid broadcasting. The upcoming innovation is in the final phase of testing and it has already been available in its beta version via Nova Gold.
Voyo’s entry to HbbTV will significantly increase its availability. Viewers will not have to search the application in a menu. After pressing the red button, the service will appear as one of the available offers. This option may also be perceived as compensation for the service’s absence on remote controls, which now offer special buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Rakuten TV or some other services.
In order to protect content, Nova selected HbbTV 2.0, which includes DRM that is needed as defence against copying. As the new feature is in the final phase of testing and is deployed on Nova Gold in beta mode it may go live next week so that viewers do not miss the launch of new shows on the media group’s paid online platform.
Voyo wants to be a regional response to services like Netflix, HBO GO (later HBO MAX), Amazon Prime Video and soon also Disney+ (its launch date is yet to be specified). Nova’s managers aim to position the platform among the top three most successful VOD market players. Production of exclusive content in the form of ‘Voyo Originals’ is no longer a secret and the content will be completed with programmes of all genres acquired (not only) in various corners of Europe.
At present, Voyo offers around two thousand items and a total of 11 thousand hours of entertainment most of which (60%) is consumed by viewers through CTV. This is what the Head of Digital, Daniel Grunt, said to our portal after Nova’s press conference on Wednesday. Twelve programmes are expected to be produced exclusively for Voyo next year, in the same period shooting of the first 4K content should start so that it can be offered to viewers later.
Nova’s own production is available on Voyo.cz in Full HD resolution, the acquisitions that used to have standard resolution are gradually replaced with higher quality versions. Technically, the service has been prepared for UHD/4K and as such its deployment next year, or the year after the next, makes sense. With respect to the statement that Nova missed the boat, we should take into consideration that a new owner has only entered the group this year and had no impact on it before that.
Nova does not want to specify the number of subscribers to the service for various reasons including its competitors. Grunt only said that the increase in the customer base was about 185 percent in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and 165 percent in the Czech market last year. With our Eastern neighbours, Voyo scored after broadcasting domestic football league while Czech viewers are attracted by original production, which is watched by subscribers from the archive in the summer. The last publically known numbers of subscribers were about 30 thousand.