Whether or not you’re convinced that in the age of on-demand there’s an appetite for live TV over the Internet, two services that deliver just that are claiming impressive growth.
“Zattoo is growing nice and steadily”, the company’s UK and Ireland Country Manager, Alexandra Illes, told last100 in an email. “We have reached over 2.4 million [users] and are now available in over eight countries.” Zattoo delivers live streaming of existing ‘over-the-air’ and cable channels, with various channel lineups depending on country.
IIles was writing to tell us about the latest Zattoo software update which adds features including new channel management functionality. “With a channel line-up that’s getting bigger and bigger, we thought it important to allow users to arrange channels in self-defined groups and change the order of the line-up. The idea is that each user can customise the Player to suit their viewing habits.”
In a press release put out on the same day, LiveStation, a similar service to Zattoo that streams a number of television and radio news stations, boasts that their users “have already spent seven years watching live news on their PCs.”
Whatever that means.
“These figures clearly demonstrate that there is an appetite for live news and events delivered direct to the desktop, whether in the office, at home or on the move”, continues the statement.
LiveStation’s current channel lineup includes Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, Bloomberg Television, EuroNews (English, French, Italian and Spanish), France 24, i>Tele, Russia Today and the BBC World Service. Unlike Zattoo, LiveStation hasn’t publicly launched and is still operating in a trial period.
The two services also differ slightly in the way in which they have chosen to work with broadcasters. While both company’s have formal relationships with a number of broadcasters, Zattoo has a different interpretation of UK copyright law, which it says gives it permission to retransmit any public service channel without a direct license agreement.
In contrast, LiveStation is taking a more cautious approach in which it only streams channels it has a direct relationship with, something that CEO Matteo Berlucchi appeared to allude to in the company’s press release.
“These figures tell us a lot about the importance of working in partnership with the broadcasters as we provide them with a new, global audience and drive traffic back to their channels and websites.”
Berlucchi added, “Imagine how this partnership with the broadcasters will change the global TV viewing landscape once there is heavy promotion and Livestation actually launches.”
The service is due for public launch later this year.