Launching a product is usually big. Advertising, communication, actions ... marketing being used thoroughly. fuboTV, however, has entered Spain with another strategy.
Stealthily, without making a fuss and with a low profile, although with noteworthy ads, the tactic of this US-based platform has been to prove itself with a breakthrough price first of all.
"The objective in Spain, for now, has been to test the platform"
"The objective in Spain, for now, has been to test the platform, see that it works, make sure that the user experience is good ...", explains to Genbeta from New York the International Markets Manager of fuboTV, Álvaro González. "And we are in the final phase of developing the content."
Starting with the platform, entertainment and continuing with sports
fuboTV arrived in Spain in 2018, being its first and only foray into Europe for now, although it was not until the spring of 2019 when it was presented. He did it by betting on an affordable price, 2.99 euros per month, and a contained offer of entertainment -with Game of Thrones as great attraction - despite the fact that his strong point in the United States, where he was born, are sporting events broadcast live. From those that are more niche to the greats among the greats, like the Super Bowl. There, in fact, they produce their own channels related to sports.
fuboTV arrived in Spain in 2018, although it was not officially presented until 2019
The idea of the platform is to offer a service comparable to that of traditional pay television offered by large operators, but for a lower cost, no permanence and greater accessibility from all kinds of devices. Therefore, its strength is the channels, both pay and open, although content on demand is also present.
"We have about twenty channels. Those of RTVE and Atresmedia. Real Madrid TV and Barça TV. Also Paramount Chanel, Movistar Series and those of Viacom: Nickelodeon, Nick Junior, MTV ... The idea is to increase the offer. We launched ago two years in Spain with the idea of internationalizing the company, testing the market, seeing what internationalization is like ...
This access road to the country, as we said, contrasts with his career in the United States. There, to understand each other, they are a kind of DAZN.
They began as a platform dedicated to sports and have finished consolidating, growing hand in hand with entertainment. In Spain, it has been the other way around: they have arrived with entertainment and want to grow hand in hand with sporting events in the near future: "We want to be strong in sports. We are going to add more pay channels and also non-pay channels.".
"Our goal is to internationalize fuboTV and to have the platform ready - which I think we have very close to being fully prepared - to close a powerful contract and continue adding content. In the end, adding content is as easy as closing contracts. Technology is very difficult. It is not worth money alone. "
But before jumping into the pool of live sporting events, they say they want the infrastructure ready. "It is complex ... and in Spain there are experiences of other platforms, which have suffered a lot when there is high attendance. We have a very tested technology here and it is one of the things that I am personally very proud of.. In the United States we have broadcast the Super Bowl, with thousands and thousands of attendees, without any problem. We have saved that difficulty. We will offer sports both live and delayed, everything will depend on the contracts, as well as the possibility that the broadcasts can be recorded to watch later or not, "explains González.
"In Spain there are experiences of other platforms, which have suffered a lot when there is high attendance. We have a very tested technology here and it is one of the things that I am personally very proud of"
The platform It is available via the web, on Android and iOS devices, as well as on Fire TV, Android TV, Android TV, it is compatible with Chromecast and, as announced in recent hours, on Samsung televisions. Specifically, in smart tv of South Koreans submitted since 2016.
The great trick that fuboTV currently plays is to be the only platform independent from Movistar offered by the Movistar Series channel and, therefore, his series also on demand. These productions and others from both Viacom and free channels can be enjoyed at any time, within the available windows, which vary depending on the contracts signed by the company and ranging from a few days to a month, for example.
"The series that we offer on demand, in general, are those of Viacom. Of open chains we also offer series on demand. All this has to be expanded, because it is true that we offer a small window for the visualization of certain contents, of 7 days, 15, 30 ... of Movistar Series specifically, for example, we do have wider viewing windows in general thanks to the contractual conditions ".
Football, the eternal desire, and packaging, a novelty
Being a platform known in the United States for the broadcasting of sporting events and with the aim of offering sports in Spain, both the question about football and the answer seem obvious. Football in general, and the Spanish league in particular, is a maximum objective. Although it is difficult for him to take advantage of the accounts, as Álvaro González acknowledges.
"At a general level, in Spain, football is the desire of all platforms. However, it is difficult to monetize it. It is a bet, of course, it is the final objective, the maximum objective we have: to offer football, the Spanish league. Along this path, which can last a year or several, one of the strategies for this exercise is to put together a sports package; with football or a niche sport. In Spain, really, everything that is not football is a niche sport It can be surfing, extreme sports or tennis, although soccer is the ultimate goal. "
Add an offer, especially the one that implies a greater outlay in law such as football, undoubtedly impacts the costs of the platform and, ultimately, in the subscription of users.
FuboTV's International Markets Manager assumes there are insurmountable margins. "You can't have more users and keep losing money ... The more users you have, the more money you lose," he explains. Subscriptions currently start from 2.99 euros per month if the amount is paid annually and 4.99 euros per month if the payment is monthlyTherefore, increases are not ruled out as supply increases. However, one of the objectives, he explains, is to keep a low price compared to the rest.
"Our strategy is to incorporate content that allows us to maintain low fees, although we will have to touch the price sooner or later. To continue incorporating channels is the general strategy, and I am talking about entertainment, which in the end is what keeps the user in the longer-term platform; not a user who watches a game and leaves. "
Positioning yourself as an alternative to operators' pay television implies looking like them. fuboTV does this with functions such as going back on the live broadcast of linear television channels and will do so, in the future, with the packageization of its offer. In the United States, they work with packages and consider that it is an interesting way to attract different types of users, according to González.
"In the end, this is one of the advantages of this platform, that there is no user commitment and, in addition, you can choose a package. Sooner or later the packages will arrive in Spain and in a positive way, [para que cada usuario puede elegir una oferta con deporte o sin él, más enfocada en paquetes familiares o no...] An offer for a family is not the same as for a person who only likes to watch football. In the medium to long term it will happen. "
In front of its closest rivals today, Movistar + Lite essentially, the head of international markets marks distances. "In the end Movistar is a very different company from ours. It launched Movistar + Lite a little over a year ago because it sees that technologies like ours are the technology of the present and of the future, it is positioning itself in that market. We are in different situations and We come from very different places, "he says. "We want to be the affordable platform".
fuboTV has recently acquired a sports betting company and plans to integrate them in some way in its platform in the United States
fuboTV is a listed company and their shares rose sharply a few weeks ago when they announced the purchase of a sports betting company, Vigtory. The intention of this purchase, explained the platform, is to integrate it in some way as an additional service to the broadcasting of sports competitions. Could something like this reach Spain?
"At the moment it is limited to the United States, but it is a global movement, although it is too early to know if it is going to expand to other markets."
Though they do not reveal how many users they have right now in Spain, they assured last summer that fuboTV continued its upward trend in the number of new subscribers and consumption. During the validity of the first state of alarm, as of March, consumption reached a growth of 105% in relation to the data of December 2019. During the same period, users increased by 148%.