Content differentiation is the key to success for the Belarusian telco Velcom, which is part of the A1 Group.
Speaking in a panel discussion at the Nextv Series conference in Berlin, Anton Bladik, the company’s senior director fixed line businesses and integration, said that Belarus is a highly regulated market, with around 200 channels approved by the state.
With attractive content such as the Champions League being carried by FTA channels, it has decided to adopt a strategy of showing and promoting local sports. As a result, its viewership has increased 10-fold in the last few months.
Velcom has also started to dub classic movies into the local language. The only company to do so in Belarus, in now offers 100 on an SVOD basis. Furthermore, it will start to produce its own content next year.
Bladik said that there are currently 170 cable operators in Belarus. It acquired around 10 companies last year and had problems deciding what to do with legacy boxes. Eventually, it started to sell smart TVs with its product.
Bladik also said that Velcom is trying to bring transparency into the market. In his view, it will earn more revenue from content than fixed services in the next 2-3 years.
Velcom currently has a 7% share of the fixed market, compared to the incumbent’s 75%.
Meanwhile, its share of the TV market stands at 12%, compared to the incumbent’s 60%.