It used to be that building a new TV service was incredibly expensive, as operators had to build out all sorts of new infrastructure to do so. But now with the Internet, operators can launch streaming video services that can reach millions without major new investments in equipment. One example of an operator doing this is Singapore-based MediaCorp, which is launching a new streaming video service called Toggle that will provide live and on-demand access to streaming video content.
To make Toggle work, MediaCorp has hired Israeli video startup Tvinci to get the service on multiple devices. As a platform for video distribution, Tvinci helps companies to release streaming video services online and on other devices. Through a single content management system, operators can quickly and easily build and deploy apps for mobile phones, tablets, connected TVs, and streaming set-top boxes.
It’s providing those services to MediaCorp, which is building Toggle as a sort of “Netflix for Singapore.” That said, Toggle goes beyond the kind of on-demand streaming video provided by companies like Netflix or Hulu. At launch, Toggle will have VOD content, but will also have about a dozen channels of live TV available for streaming. In that way, it’s more like a virtual cable service being streamed to users’ connected devices instead of their TVs.
Toggle will be available as a subscription service, as well as on a pay-per-view basis, allowing users to choose whether they want to pay for monthly access to live and on-demand videos, or whether they just want to pay for individual movie or TV titles. At launch, it will have more than 1,000 hours of programming available on demand. It will give the ability for users to rate and share the shows and movies that they watch, and will be integrated with Twitter and Facebook to do so.
While the service launches on PCs, iPads, and iPhones in the coming weeks, MediaCorp and Tvinci hope to make Toggle available on more devices as time goes on. That includes Android phones and tablets, as well as a wide range of connected TVs and streaming set-top boxes, according to Ido Wiesenberg, co-founder and VP of business development. After a launch in Singapore, MediaCorp also hopes to potentially make the service available in other markets.
For Tvinci, the launch of Toggle represents its first deployment in the Asia-Pacific market, and could pave the way for more projects with operators in that area. The company currently has offices in London and Tel Aviv, but could soon open a regional sales office to support Asian operators who wish to deploy new streaming video services, or augment their existing pay TV operations with a streaming component.
Last fall, Tvinci raised $4.5 million in funding from existing investors Kaedan Capital and Zohar Gilon, as well as new investor Trellas Enterprises. The company has about 60 employees split between London and Tel Aviv, but will be adding more to support its new Asian win and enter new markets.