*By Enrique de la Rosa, from Mexico City
Launched in May through Claro Video for users with no pay TV subscription in Mexico, OTT platform FOX Premium App will be launched in October as an independent service, directly to the end user.
The news was announced by Federico Alamán González, SVP & General Manager of FOX International Channels Mexico, during ConvergenciaShow.MX.
"FOX Premium App, which is already available through Claro Video, will go into massive distribution in October," he said to ttvnews.
FOX is following down HBO's footsteps, which weeks ago launched its HBO GO app in Latin America as an independent service. Netflix, Claro Video and Blim will now also be its direct competitors.
For Alamán González, however, the industry is evolving into a "multi OTT" future, in which users will have several platforms of this kind.
"Our biggest competition nowadays is free time. How can we make users spend that time watching content. Because I think the market is going to become multi OTT. One single user will have apps for Blim, Claro, HBO, Netflix and ours, and will use all of them," he explain, stating these platforms will account for premium content consumption.
More importantly, he said, the goal will then be to have the best content possible and to understand consumers' needs.
"We don't worry about the number of users, but rather about understanding consumers perfectly and fill the app with what consumers want to see. It's more important for us to produce the content people are asking for, because at the end of the day, that's what they will be looking for," he said.
As far as FOX Premium App, the executive explained it will include "the entire Premium package" currently offered by FOX on linear TV, yet presented in a library "like any other OTT does."
The app will seek to have full seasons of the series it presents, such as The Walking Dead, Empire or The Young Pope, among others, although it won't always be possible due to rights issues.
"In those cases we will have the Rolling Four mode. This means that when we don't have the complete stacking, we will have the episode currently on air and the four previous ones," he said.
The executive also highlighted FOX's advantage from the rest in terms of segmentation, which allows it to offer more diverse content than its competitors through its OTT.
"The big challenge us programmers have is to have a diverse offer, that's solid and segmented. FOX has been working on segmentation for years and we have to take advantage of that, because we have content for a variety of ages and very diverse audiences," he said.
"The advantage we as a network can have is that our movie library with current rights can be offered there, especially the kids titles," he added.
Yet, he warned, in the OTT world, quality is more important than quantity. "And that's something we have as our motto."
Alamán González finished by justifying this step towards the OTT world, explaining the industry can't stay the same while technology evolves.
"I believe the world is shifting that way. We have to be close to the consumer to understand their habits and how they're evolving, and understand how the market is shaping as best we can. Because we can't stay still. The industry is evolving too fast and we won't be able to compete unless keep an eye on audiences and innovation," he concluded.