Tuesday 25 July 2017

RTE's next-generation Player due by 2017

RTE player will feature exclusive online content, including What Would Holly Do?, with Holly Carpenter. Photo: Fergal Phillips
RTE player will feature exclusive online content, including What Would Holly Do?, with Holly Carpenter. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

RTE is to launch a significantly upgraded version of its video-on-demand service RTE Player later this year.

The new technology will play a key part in the broadcaster's strategy to compete in a digital TV market in which new services such as Netflix are gaining ground.

It is understood the next-generation platform, which is being developed with a number of international partners, involves an investment of close to €1m.

Aoife Byrne, director of content and products for RTE's digital division, said: "Netflix and YouTube have forever changed how people are consuming content online. There is an expectation that content will be available on demand.

"Broadcasters like ourselves have to move beyond mirroring what's in our linear schedules.

"It's about creating an online destination that's designed for audiences and how they watch online."

At present, content on RTE Player is available for 30 days from broadcast but in the new system content will be available for much longer periods.

RTE has begun commissioning short-form content for its Player such as exclusively online series What Would Holly Do?

Although RTE is in the middle of a cost-cutting programme, Byrne said investment in the Player was required in order to meet audience demand.

RTE's lead partner on the project is Fincons Group, a global IT business consulting company which has worked with Sky and the largest ­Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset.

RTE and Fincons Group will also work with Dutch-based development company 24i, which is an internet TV app firm that powers apps for leading brands such as Viacom, Fuse Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Also working on the RTE Player are ContentWise and Comcast Technology Solutions, a leading global provider for linear and online video content management.

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