OGLE plans major rollout over next 18 months
Modern-day digital DVD store OGLE plans to trial its video download platform service with a few large national retailers and malls, and establish 1 000 OGLE hotspots in the next 18 months.
This after the company received a lot of interest in the platform since ITWeb ran a story about the company last Friday.
Stanley Edwards, chief operating officer of OGLE Media, told ITWeb he received a lot of positive feedback, including about 20 direct responses and inquiries, including some from Nigeria.
"Besides inquiries, I've had four face-to-face meetings with interested parties; two who have been looking for a similar type of solution but haven't been able to find one," he said.
"From the various responses and inquires, the overall feedback has been very positive and people see an obvious need for the service, in South Africa and Africa, where the issue of data costs and connectivity is common."
OGLE is not an over-the-top (OTT) or streaming service, rather it is a content platform and users can only access the content at specific hotspots located at malls, retailers and fast food outlets. One of the group's aims is to address the issue of data poverty and data price discrimination by removing the data cost.
OGLE has an app through which users can download content directly to their smartphones. The content is physically on the hard drive at the hotspot so the transfer is fast and does not require any mobile data usage. Content is rented for 48 hours and if not re-rented, is automatically deleted from their smartphone.
"I had quite a few inquiries from retailers, Internet caf'es and others about placing OGLE hotspots, which we will evaluate based on foot traffic."
Edwards said there were also inquiries from people wanting to become OGLE agents in various areas.
"Our goal with OGLE is that for every 20 locations, we will employ one Oglenator who will work with the locations to help customers, marketing, promotion and maintaining the OGLE hotspot. Our goal is to roll out a minimum of 1 000 OGLE hotspots in the first 18 months, so we'd be creating 50 new jobs for the youth," he explained.
"We're going into trial with a few large national retailers and malls which will give us scale quickly. Retailers and malls understand the need to increase foot traffic, repeat visits and dwell time, and the opportunity to offer customers content and an incentive or reward for purchase and loyalty.
"A few people commented on the need for a platform that offers local filmmakers, musicians and even YouTubers with an opportunity to distribute and monetise their content, which we can easily do."
OGLE offers movies and short clip content from a number of partners. Content pricing starts at R1 for short clips and R2-R5 for movies. More premium movies in the future would be around R25-R35, depending on how new they are. The company also plans to offer music, audio books, podcasts, e-publications and virtual reality content in the future.
When asked how the company makes money, Edwards said its model is fairly simple.
"We do a revenue share with the content owner. We agree on a rental price, the revenue share and how long the content can stay on a customer's device," Edwards explained.
"We also offer brands the opportunity to distribute content they may have produced, funded or sponsored, and we charge a fee for this. This could be anything from cookery shows, travel, financial advice, healthcare, etc. This would be free content to OGLE customers. We are also distributing free education content for learners so a pupil can download their Grade 8 maths content for free and OGLE will fund this distribution."
In terms of the content deals, he says the revenue share model is OGLE's preference and some content owners are open to this, while others are not.
"The reality is that a lot of premium content is tied up in exclusive distribution deals and simply not available. I've attended many local and international content markets and there's huge amounts of great content available which we are acquiring. We will have the required budget to do this," he said.
"The content game in 2019 is going to be interesting, as Disney, Warner and a few others launch their own direct to consumer OTT services. This means Netflix will be losing this content and consumers will then need multiple subscriptions to access the content they want. To counter this, we're seeing big investments in original content and exclusive deals to drive subscriber growth," Edwards added.
"In terms of our market and customer, someone who would pay R35 to rent a new release may already have a Showmax or Netflix subscription so they're not necessarily our target market but if you're about to board a flight, you may download a few movies from OGLE to watch on the flight, even if you already have a subscription."