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Russian Netflix-style service plans live channels push

Ukraine-headquartered VOD service Megogo.net is planning to launch live channel feeds through its service, according to marketing director Ivan Shestakov.

Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London, Shestakov said that Megogo – which operates in the Ukraine, Russia and the former Soviet states – is currently trialling the streams and is in direct discussions with TV channels, though would not reveal any partnerships at this stage.

He said the firm is also in discussions with cable andsatellite operators in Russia about partnering to deliver their channels over-the-top on its service, a move that he said could help cut down on card-cloning piracy for accessing pay TV feeds.

“We are launching linear TV on our platform, because for now we have just VOD. Linear TV is the next step in the development of our service. Our CDN is all ready for unicast and we are testing TV channels now and preparing all the ads on all the devices,” said Shestakov.

Speaking on stage at the conference, Shestakov said that Megogo also planned to beef up its music, news and kids content.

He said the firm was in addition looking to develop subscription for premium content but warned that the market was currently not ready for this.

Megogo’s main monetisation model is advertising – something Shestakov said was essential in the Russian and eastern European market where privacy rates are high. Russia and Ukraine account for 36% and 37% of Megogo’s traffic respectively.

The firm claims to be the second largest online video service in Russia behind IVI.ru, with 24 million monthly unique visitors and more than 2 million unique visitors daily, which watch more than 2 million video streams and 35 million minutes of video.