Vodafone has signed an agreement with online streaming service Netflix to provide the service to subscribers of its Ono cable TV operation, and its mobile customers. Netflix is due to launch in Spain in October and will utilise the connectivity of Ono’s TiVo box. The service will be available to Ono’s subscribers without the need to upgrade their existing decoders.
The agreement will provide customers with access to Netflix original features such as ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend’, ‘The Ridiculous 6’ and ‘Club de Cuervos’. Netflix has also expanded its Spanish language content with library comedies such as ‘El Chapulín Colorado’ and ‘El Chavo del Ocho’, as well as classic telenovelas ‘Maria La Del Barrio’ and ‘Rebelde’.
Vodafone's deal follows Italian IPTV provider Telecom Italia's recent agreement with Netflix. More analysis of these operator partnerships can be found here: https://technology.informa.com/548048/netflix-partners-with-telecom-italia-in-italy-while-spanish-telcos-are-still-considering-the-deal
Vodafone's deal is not the first example of the integration of Netflix streaming through TiVo. A number of pay TV operators, including Virgin Media in the UK and RCN in the US, have already incorporated the service into their branded set-top boxes. Partnering with Netflix provides television operators with access to a large changing content catalogue while minimising their exposure to the risk associated with content acquisition. At the same time, by ensuring content discovery and navigation through the TiVo platform's search interface, operators are able to continue their involvement in the consumer's viewing experience, even if subscribers move away from linear content.
The agreement could reap benefits for Vodafone's mobile business in Spain, since customers would be able to access the service via mobile devices and tablets. This in turn will provide further reach to Netflix. Vodafone’s cable television base in Spain reached 784,000 subscribers at the end of 2014 through the acquisition of Ono, which IHS expects will reach 794,000 subscribers by the end of 2015. With the inclusion of Vodafone's total mobile customer base, which stood at 14.1 million at the end of June 2015, the potential customer reach of Netflix expands further. Furthermore, in 2014 Vodafone’s European customers consumed 467,000 terabytes of data, of which around 40 percent can be attributed to video services. This suggests that a marketing partnership between Netflix and Vodafone will create opportunities for Vodafone to upsell data bundles and 4G packages.