When and how the idea of Swanbay.tv flourished?
Ans: The ideas which led to the creation of Swanbay had been around for a few years before the arrival of Steve O’Meara as Chief Executive Officer and Duncan McIntrye as Chairman of the Advisory Board provided focus and a new impetus to the company. Duncan was chairman of Monitise – the mobile banking and payments company – and brought his knowledge of the mobile marketplace while Steve added his experience of leading two start-up technology companies at Azlan and Morse. Chief Technical Officer Mike Street has been in the IT/Telecoms sector for over 35 years and spent the 10 years prior to joining Swanbay providing IT solutions to mobile network operators.
What are the biggest challenges you faced at the time of starting Swanbay.tv in India?
Ans: The Indian market is one of the most dynamic mobile data markets in the world. With a forward-thinking consumer base, eager to explore the latest technology, it is the ideal place for Swanbay to provide a service. As with all markets, local knowledge is crucial. Swanbay has based its technology team in India for several years but the company needed specialist knowledge of the marketplace before launch. It took some time and careful consideration before we settled on the marketing and operations team we now have in place.
What is the USP of Swanbay.tv in contrast of other Mobile video content providers?
Ans: Swanbay is more than a mobile video content provider. We also provide the technology platform which means Mobile Network Operators can start providing our service to their consumers with no capital expenditure required and with a rapid ‘time to market’. We can provide content owners with their own ‘channels’ to showcase their material which can be either advertising-funded or paid for by subscription.
Our strategic partnerships with global mobile billing technology companies means that subscribers can pay their fees for our premium subscription channels – which include exclusive English Premier League soccer club content – as part of their routine mobile phone bills and don’t have to worry about providing their payment details to yet another company.
Beyond video, Swanbay will be increasingly offering mobile technology-related services such as Geofencing, SMS text alerts and mobile scratchcards as we provide a complete mobile ecosystem for businesses and organisations to communicate with their customers, fans and supporters.
What is Swanbay.tv doing differently to increase its market share in India?
Ans: As stated above, each market in the world is different. And each market in India is different. We’ve already launched a number of advertising-funded (free to the consumer) and subscription channels in India but we are working on sourcing additional content to appeal to different audiences. For example, audiences in Chennai may wish to view different content to audiences in New Delhi. We will be working with specialists in the Indian marketplace to best understand what material our different audiences wish to have access to.
What are the major Industry verticals targeted by Swanbay.tv?
Ans: Currently we offer Entertainment, News, Lifestyle, Bollywood and Sports content across India. We would like to offer regional and specialist content to best meet the needs of the audience as well as extending the range of our Sports and Entertainment channels.
Would you please reflect upon your R&D work?
Ans: Our technology infrastructure has been built in-house and designed to be easy to deploy with multiple mobile network operators. We continue to enhance and develop our technology to keep pace with the fast-moving world of mobile communications. Currently we are developing new platforms and user interfaces to make the user experience even better and more intuitive.
As a fast-growing player in the mobile video content provider and content monetization services, where would you like to be in the next 5 years or so?
Ans: The opportunity in mobile video and related services is huge. We believe we are well placed to provide the services consumers will increasingly demand and aim to be one of the leading mobile service providers in India.
Do you plan any significant market expansion in near future?
Ans: We would like to partner with the remaining Mobile Network Operators in India so that everyone has the opportunity to view our premium, subscription-only content. Our free, advertising-supported content is already available to everyone with a suitable mobile device, whichever network they use. Beyond India, we aim to build our market in Asia-Pacific and Europe.
What are the current trends in the mobile content market?
Ans: The number of mobile phones in India is about to surpass the number of televisions. The current trends shows that audiences like to see their favorite movies, shows, live and non-live streaming content on the go.
Moreover, the cost of advertising on mobile is considerably less than advertising rates per slots on television. Mobile can also target key audiences accurately. With the fixed and increasing cost of producing content and decreasing margins for production houses, mobile video is a great alternate source for content owners to monetize their content.
Your message to the Mobile and Tech community…
Ans: The Indian and Global Mobile ecosystem is set to witness remarkable growth and innovation. Be it a product or a service, the focus should be on customers and their satisfaction.