Telly (www.telly.com), a platform allowing people to discover new video-on-demand content via social recommendations, announced today that it is launching a new premium service called Telly Plus for emerging markets, and that it has signed international distribution agreements with both Sony Pictures Television and Miramax to provide content for the service.
The agreements enable Telly to bring premium Over-the-Top (OTT) content such as Breaking Bad, The Tudors, Justified and Community, as well as feature films such as Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, The Social Network, There Will Be Blood, and The Karate Kid (2010) to Telly Plus subscribers. Telly will continue to offer its free service to its millions of users around the world, including the US. Telly Plus will only be available in emerging markets.
Originally launched in 2012, Telly offers users content curated by their social network. With Telly Plus, the company is building a “Netflix for emerging markets,” according to co-founder and CEO Mo Al Adham. “Having lived, worked and traveled all over the world, including the Middle East and Africa, I learned that much of the world lacks the cable TV infrastructure of the US – and with the advent of broadband and wireless, that infrastructure will never really be needed,” said Al Adham. “Hence, the opportunity for OTT content is huge. People are thirsty for video content, and Telly is bringing it to them with Telly Plus.”
Telly began as a free service with a social bent, enabling subscribers to easily share content they liked with friends and followers. Rather than scanning thousands of videos or searching on YouTube, Telly allows them to simply see what friends have viewed and liked. The service is incredibly popular in developing areas such as the Middle East and Northern Africa, where comparatively little content is available via local providers. To date, Telly’s free service has experienced 10x year-over-year growth, with more than 115 million video views in February 2014. The company is now targeting that user base with Telly Plus.
According to ABI Research’s “OTT and Multi-screen Services” report, the increased presence of Internet-connected consumer electronics devices helped drive the over-the-top video market past the $8 billion revenue mark internationally in 2012, a 60 percent year-over-year growth. The continued growth of connected devices should push the market past $20 billion by 2015, the researchers suggested, causing big changes in the existing pay TV market.
Telly Plus is now available within the Telly app, with subscriptions starting at just $12.99 per month. The Telly app is currently available at the Google Android store and the Apple Store. The Android app already includes access to Telly Plus in emerging markets; the updated iOS app should be available by the end of March. Customers can also sign up online at http://telly.com/plus/?promo.