How much do you actually know about Slovakia? Unless you are a passionate hiker and the High Tatras -with peaks over 2500m and glacier lakes- speak to your heart, probably not much. However, this country of unique natural wonders and a population far smaller than New York city, is on a solid growth path with falling unemployment and household consumption on the rise. In this context, “ain’t no mountain high enough” fits well for Slovak Telekom’s Magio TV, which recently celebrated a successful 10-years anniversary.
Currently delivering TV services to more than 564 thousands of households, Slovak Telekom is one of the largest TV providers in Slovakia. In short: No. 1 in revenues, No. 2 in customers. But how did it get here?
A little bit more than 10 years ago …
It was end of 2006 when Slovak Telekom introduced its IPTV service offering a choice of up to 49 channels; by the way today it is more than 210. One of the first revolutionary features that Magio brought on the Slovak market at the time was the EPG, short for Electronic Program Guide. What might seem not so revolutionary now, was quite a breakthrough back then; a convenient on-screen overview of all the broadcast stations made it easier for customers to access the scheduling information without having to buy the -usual back in those years- printed TV guide.
Magio was also the first Slovak TV platform to bring to customers the „pause and rewind“ feature. Giving the opportunity to pause any live broadcast and rewind it back meant a lot of freedom for the audience. Thanks to the built-in HDD (Hard Disk Drive) in the Magio Set-top Box, customers were able to record the programs of their choice. An extensive collection of Video on Demand (VOD) titles was also on offer since the very beginning. Five years later, in 2011, Slovak Telekom introduced the TV Archive, which allowed watching content from selected channels up to 7 days back.
From IPTV to satellite and tablets
In 2010 the Magio family grew bigger: in addition to the existing IPTV, a satellite platform under the name of Magio Sat was launched. Thanks to that, coverage expanded to the entire territory of Slovakia. The evolution did not stop here: with the acquisition of the Slovakian operations of the satellite and cable provider DIGI in 2013 Magio Sat grew further. A year later, the whole operations migrated to the same satellite, allowing not only increased efficiency but ultimately helping to deliver a superior quality service.
Providing the best TV service in the market meant it had to be made available anytime, anywhere. An important step in this direction was made in 2012, with the OTT TV GO solution, named Magio GO, initially with just ten channels. Now hosting 50 channels and a whole set of new functionalities, amongst which the TV Archive, Magio GO is much appreciated by customers who can enjoy a great TV experience on their smartphone, tablet or computer, be it at home, a student hostel or simply on the road.
How to grow every year?
Committed to offering the best content means that if there is a good TV channel available on the Slovakian market, it is going to be on Magio TV. Moreover, a variety of premium exclusive sports content, such as UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, and Spain’s La Liga, broadcast over 5 own operated sports channels speaks for itself. But premium content goes well beyond sports: “Tuki TV”, the exclusive TV channel for kids went on-air on International Children`s Day at June 2015. It broadcasts the best fairy-tales and kids’ series available on market. In addition, the Magio infochannel broadcasts Telekom-oriented news as well as some special “Slow TV” content, such as nature sights, views from a passing train, or images of a lit fireplace.
Capturing growth opportunities is also key. When Markiza, the leading TV station in Slovakia, stopped free-to-air broadcasting from the beginning of 2017, it was a clear opportunity to gain thousands of households from about a 200 thousand base that previously were not pay TV customers but suddenly had to look for a pay TV offer. Results proved to be impressive, with Magio recording the most successful months in its entire history to date. Only in December 2016 more than 12.000 households were acquired with the ascending trend continuing in the first months of 2017, translating into nearly 13% year-on-year increase in the customer base in the first quarter of 2017.
Magio in numbers:
- more than 564,000 TV customers (as of first quarter 2017, including DIGI)
- 2.5 billion hours of TV watched
- the most active users watch over 500 items from the TV archive per month
- 11 million hours of sports watched on Digi Sport channels in 2016
- 5,7 million hours of fairy tales watched on Tuki TV, the exclusive TV channel for children in 2016
- more than 1 million rented movies via VideoOnDemand
- highest point with active Magio is Dedo restaurant, 2634 meters above sea level, at Lomnicky Stit in High Tatras
As TV business is blooming across the footprint, with Greece as a frontrunner but also other markets further developing and expanding their TV offerings, stay tuned for more stories to follow!