Carlos Sandoval, CEO of Blim (blim.com), the new OTT of Mexican television company Televisa, spoke exclusively to NexTV News Latam and anticipated novelties such as the proximate disappearance of the TV Everywhere (TVE) and Video On Demand (VOD) service Veo (veo.tv), offered to customers of Pay-TV operator Izzi Telecom, owned by the corporation. He also assured that they will produce original shows in the short term, supported by the Content division of the network.
– What is Blim?
Blim is a simple product: a subscription video on demand service. The first month is for free and from there on the subscriber pays a monthly fee of 109 Mexican pesos (USD 6.05) or its equivalent in the different local currencies throughout Latin America (excluding Brazil) to a credit or debit card or via PayPal. In the coming months and throughout the year we will have other means of payment made available so that the user can comfortably afford different models.
– How were the idea and the name born?
It is a natural step in Televisa’s strategy to reach consumers where they are consuming the content. We are the largest and best producer of Spanish-language content in the world and we have also been in distribution since the beginning of Televisa on the radio, then on broadcast TV, cable, satellite and now the internet. The name is something abstract that, curiously, are the most difficult to find. We took between four and six months with very deep market studies, we started with over a thousand names. What was very clear for us was that we wanted a name that was a blank canvas with which we could build the brand positioning and an SVOD of our culture, something of four letters with a dot com available worldwide. We moved away from the typical OTT and subscription names, everything that had to do with Go, with Play, with Now, with Anything.
– Is it a joint venture? Is the type of service only for monthly subscription only or will it include a-la-carte contents?
We are a 100% Televisa product, made in conjunction with the network’s Contents division. We are not going for Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD). We are facing a product, as I said before, simple, so that the user is not confused with what film is for rent, which film is on subscription, which is on the unlimited catalog. It is a simple monthly subscription product for the Latin American user.
– In Mexico, will there be discounts or offers for Pay-TV subscribers?
Correct. We will have discounts for all users of Izzi Telecom and the other cable companies that Televisa has consolidated under this brand (Cablemas, Cablecom and TVI). In Mexico we have business partnerships with Dish (MVS-Echostar) and Sky (Televisa-AT&T) and there will be a discount for those subscribers when they pay their monthly bill. The price in Mexico is 89 pesos (USD 5.5) and we do not rule out doing something similar with operators in the rest of Latin America. We have nothing closed yet but we are talking with many.
– Will you keep the Veo service parallel to Blim or are you looking to replace it? Will Blim have TV Everywhere live channels? What will happen to the 14 channels that Veo has?
They are completely separate products. Now they are both alive but definitely Televisa’s bet is Blim and Veo will disappear from the market in the coming weeks. At this time we will not have live channels, we do not rule it out for the future but not right now. Pay-TV companies will give their own TV Everywhere offers directly.
– What will be your offer in terms of content? Will it be the same for all the countries of Latin America? Will Blim make original productions?
The idea is that supply should be the same for all the countries of Latin America. In the event that we cannot achieve this, it will be on the minority. The competitive strategy is that we want to be the SVOD of Latin American culture. We will produce constantly and regularly original series in the short term. We will also have exclusive premieres for Latin America of series in Spanish that are not originally from Blim but that will have their first window here. We have Televisa series that cannot be seen anywhere else such as El hotel de los secretos (The Hotel of Secrets) and Burocratas (Bureaucrats). The idea is that the user always has something new to see, either original or premiere.
This original production strategy, which is so powerful, is also supported by large amount of contents, more than 5,000 episodes, for children, who are heavy users of these platforms. We will also have Hollywood series and films like the 24 of the James Bond franchise, including Spectre, which will be available in May. All this is strengthened by all of Televisa’s archive, which travels across the region, with content curation on four areas: Comedy, Fiction, News and Sports.