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The Rapidly Growing Niche Online Video Market Opportunity

Photo of Tim Mulligan
by Tim Mulligan

Yesterday Falcon Media House, the international media group focused on the streaming video market, relisted on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market under the ticker FAL. Overseen by a management team from the overlapping worlds of pay-TV, media streaming and telco, Falcon is a full stack media company, looking to capitalize on the huge global growth in demand for streaming video. What makes the company interesting is their range of assets which they are looking to deploy on a niche and territorial basis around the world.

At the core of the business is the Quiptel Media Platform which is being deployed as an end-to-end Online Video Platform solution. The patent-protected module powering the solution is called Q-Flow and focuses on enabling optimization of online video flows through existing online connections. The revenue model is to sell a one-off implementation fee followed by ongoing license revenue based on the number of customers activated on the network. The ongoing license fee is known as a Software-as-a Service (“SaaS”) fee. Currently, the technology is being used to power the Mongolian Telco Mobicom’s video platform and Canadian ISP Frontline which uses Quiptel to deliver SD and HD channels to its customers.

The second pillar of the Falcon Strategy is their Teevee D2C network, which they envisage becoming a “Netflix For Sports” through combining the Quptel technology, the Teevee network and the third pillar of the Falcon proposition which is their media and production company Teevee Makers.

The Niche Opportunity

As MIDiA Research points out in The State Of The SVOD Nation 2017 report, two thirds of global SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) services globally are aimed at mainstream audiences and offer four quadrant mainstream content. Only 12% of global SVOD services are sports based, highlighting the gap in the market for niche sports content.

In addition to Falcon’s core technology offering , the company has spotted the opportunity to monetize niche sports interest through signing a deal with the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the largest East Coast sports college franchise which sponsors over 30 men and women’s varsity sports. The plan is to create bespoke programming for the these niche super fans who number in the millions. Niche works because it provides tailored specific content to super fans who are far more disposed to pay for exclusive content which they cannot find on mainstream services.

Embracing The Distributed Viewing Opportunity

In a world of increasingly fragmented online engagement, no one single distribution approach or content genre will succeed. Instead, audiences are now capable of being super-served (the US for example has 42 SVOD services of whom 52% are niche). SVOD accounts for 10.5% of all online video engagement, and much of the growth in video consumption is being fuelled by the messaging app which now accounts for 6.5 billion monthly active users, over twice the number of website users at 3 billion and social networks users at 2.6 billon. And this gets to the heart of both the opportunity and the challenge–digital consumers are on multiple platforms on a daily basis, sometimes even at the same time.

In an increasingly sophisticated digital landscape, niche allows services to effectively monetize a particular consumer demand which is otherwise underserved. The challenge is to make it both relevant and easily found by interested consumers.

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