Videoland, the RTL-backed Dutch online video streaming service, owned by the RTL Group, is to launch a standalone online version of its SVoD service with premium, original and adult local and international content by summer 2014. The monthly fee will be approximately €10 per month. The content library will feature popular TV series from RTL, including Westenwind, Gooische Vrouwen, Divorce and Moordvrouw. In addition to the SVoD offer Videoland will continue to use a transactional business model for new release movies.
The service has been already made available via several pay TV providers in the Netherlands, including KPN and DELTA. Videoland Unlimited was launched on KPN’s interactive TV platform in November 2013 for a price of €10.
RTL Group acquired a majority stake in Videoland in August 2013 and announced its plans to launch a subscription offer immediately following the acquisition. Acquisition took place just a month before international SVoD service Netflix entered the Dutch market. Netflix launched its service for €7.99 per month and is increasing the price point it to €8.99 in May 2014 for its new customers. Before the entrance of Netflix the subscription business model had not been widely applied by Dutch companies, used predominantly by small niche players instead, which has allowed Netflix to rapidly become the main player in the marketplace.
The move from the RTL Group will increase the level of competition in the subscription streaming market, particularly given the fact that the company has already announced its strong premium local content proposition and its investments into original productions. RTL invests heavily into American and Dutch productions, mainly through a partnership with Dutch Filmworks, one of the main film distributors in the Benelux region.
RTL’s competitive advantage includes its knowledge and experience in both the online and offline video space as well as its extensive range of local TV channels, its multiplatform VOD- and catch-up services with Dutch and international titles, and the ability to use its existing channels to cross-promote the new service to consumers. Despite a higher level of the monthly fees, Videoland with its strong content proposition could become a serious competitor for Netflix.
Overall, new services and high level of competition is expected to further accelerate the growth of the paid for online video segment in the Netherlands. IHS expects the paid for online video sector (across transactional and subscription business models) to reach €63m in 2014, nearly four times the size of the market in 2013.