TV and internet provider Telenet and DPG Media, owners of Het Laatste Nieuws and VTM, are to join forces to bring what they are calling the “Flemish Netflix” to market later in the year.
According to the joint venture, digital advances have changed the way the public consumes media, DPG said in a statement. “Classic television is still hugely popular, but people can now also watch TV programmes on their tablet, PC or smartphone when and where they choose.
Flemish broadcasters and operators have played along with this trend with the development of video platforms and applied services such as watch-again TV and TV apps. That has brought new dynamism to the television market.”
Over and above the classic TV channels, the company says, consumers are also looking for more on-demand content, and are prepared to pay for it.
“International paid streaming services, which are increasingly discovering the Flemish market, are putting pressure on the Flemish media ecosystem. However, this fast-growing market also offers potential for players who can be distinctive with a strong local offering in combination with foreign films and series.”
At present, Telenet has two streaming services which cater to 400,000 of its own clients, while DPG offers the free service VTM Go. The two partners are perfectly placed to work together, and later this year will launch a new local streaming service available via Telenet’s existing Play service, as well as a paid app for those who are not already Telenet clients.
The new joint venture, DPG says, will strengthen the local TV and video industry. And it stressed that the platform is open to cooperation with other content providers in Flanders, including the public service broadcaster VRT.