Who doesn’t have an SVOD platform these days? Now one of the largest interrnational distributors, MHz Networks, can be added to the list. MHz Networks will now bring its library of award-winning, foreign-language crime, drama and comedy series with English subtitles to the U.S. via a new streaming destination, MHz Choice. Powered by the recently-acquired VHX technology, MHz Choice was an essential next step for the distributor, according to Lance Schwulst, VP of Content & Digital Strategy at MHz Networks.
“It was imperative for us to relaunch MHz Choice. We stumbled out of the gate the first time around,” he said in reference to the Fall 2015 initial debut of MHz Choice. “[Our] subscribers deserved a highly functional and intuitive platform, now they have it.”
The service will offer titles such as “In the Footsteps of TinTin,” “Detective Montalbano,” “Spiral” and “Blood of the Vine” behind a paywall for $7.99, with an approach very similar to DramaFever, a streaming destination for premium Asian and Spanish-language titles, AcornTV, which specializes in British television titles, and even Hulu.
Viewers will be able to watch on desktop, mobile apps on iOS and Android, and smart TV apps, all turnkey products for VHX clients. MHz Networks linear business reaches over 30 million households nationally via distribution to 28 broadcast affiliates. In addition to scripted and unscripted titles, MHz also offers news which streams via those local market affiliates.
Using a service like VHX is a faster go-to-market strategy for IP holders who want to capitalize on the openness of the Internet, customer’s anytime-anywhere viewing behavior, and direct-to-consumer revenue benefits. The features built in to VHX’s platform were what made it an obvious acquisition target for direct-to-consumer video platform, Vimeo, which announced it had aquired VHX earlier this week. Others in the space include Zype and Intelivideo.
“The internet has put all the power in the hand of the end user as a result of the fragmentation of the TV industry. Viewers can pick and choose exactly what they want to watch and they are doing so, more and more every day,” added Schwulst. Streaming content puts us in every home in America with a broad-band connection without having to try to attract MSOs or broadcast towers. It’s a much more of an egalitarian business model compared to that of broadcast and cable.
MHz Networks will also benefit from Vimeo’s 280M monthly users as it will be among a handful of clients inherited by Vimeo. Others include the recently launched streaming destination from Jack Vale and Black&Sexy TV.