Acorn TV , yet another streaming service expands to India


British streaming service and international television Acorn TV  (owned by AMC) has launched in India as part of its global expansion.

Besides India, the service has also launched in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, and more South American countries.

In India, Acorn TV will be directly competing with Hostar, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV, and ZEE5. While Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a strong repertoire of English content local players like Hotstar, SonyLIV and ZEE5 are not far behind.

The international rollout started in June, when Acorn TV launched in a plethora of markets in Latin America. More territories in that region were added as part of Tuesday’s wave.

The Indian OTT market has seen the entry of multiple local and global players in the last three years. The numbers of players in the Indian OTT market have witnessed a 3.5x increase in the last six years growing from just nine players in 2012 to 32 in 2018.

According to a BCG report, The Indian OTT market has the potential to touch $5 billion in revenue by 2023, according to a Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) study ‘Entertainment Goes Online’.

The study also noted that both ad-supported and consumer pay model will continue to co-exist. It expects the paying OTT subscriber base to touch 40-50 million by 2023. Further, the advertising video on demand (AVOD) services are expected to have 600 million users by 2023.

Acorn TV’s international offering will add new programmes each week and currently features British and international television, including the first seven seasons of the British dramedy ‘Doc Martin’ with season eight being added on 17 December, Irish detective drama ‘Jack Taylor’ starring Iain Glen, Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch in the British drama ‘The Last Enemy’, and Daniel Craig in wartime drama ‘Sword of Honour’.

The content offering also includes the complete series of the original Poldark, Australian cop drama ‘East West 101’, British period drama ‘The Bletchley Circle’, Lynda La Plante’s ‘The Commander and ‘Above Suspicion’, and Miniseries ‘The Secret Agent’.

The programmes will be in English-language with English and Spanish subtitles available. The Acorn TV streaming service is available for $4.99 per month.

Launched in the US and Canada in 2011 and quickly becoming the leader in North America for premium entertainment from British and international television, Acorn TV expanded internationally in June 2018 to twelve Latin American countries and continues to rapidly expand worldwide.

RLJ Entertainment is the holding company of Acorn TV. In July, AMC Networks had acquired RLJ Entertainment for an aggregate enterprise transaction value of approximately $274 million.

Commenting on the global expansion, RLJ Entertainment’s Acorn TV senior VP, GM Matthew Graham said, “Acorn TV is doing phenomenally well in North America, so we’re thrilled to continue to take the Acorn TV experience globally with 30 new countries. We are excited for global fans of British and international drama and mystery to discover the wonders of Acorn TV with addictive series featuring stellar acting, beautiful settings, and gripping storylines.”

RLJ Entertainment is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content.

RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD, and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE commissions and co-produces new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie.

Together with SVOD stablemate Urban Movie Channel, Acorn TV had more than 800,000 subscribers by mid-2018. Its current trajectory suggests it will hit the million-subscriber mark in early 2019.


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