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Trace SVOD service to launch before end of year

Youth-focused international media group Trace TV is set to launch its long-awaited SVOD offering Trace Play by the end of this year, according to CEO Olivier Laouchez.

Olivier_LaouchezLaouchez told TBI sister title Digital TV Europe at MIPCOM that Trace Play would be available in English and French in 100 countries. Trace has acquired additional content rights through its purchase of African SVOD provider Buni TV, which is now fully integrated into the group, according to Laouchez.

Trace Play will be UK-based and Ofcom-regulated. The platform will include Trace’s total offering, encompassing its suite of linear channels as well as VOD. “We are targeting everyone interested in urban culture,” said Laouchez.

Trace is also planning to expand its original content line-up by commissioning new series. Four series are currently in production, including three in the US, one in the UK and one in France. Laouchez said that the group is making a significant investment in content and is also discussing two additional series, one in the Caribbean and one in Africa.

Laouchez said that Trace Play would be available in the US as well as Europe and Africa.

Laouchez said that launching a VOD offering in Africa was complex, because of bandwidth and connectivity issues. He said that Trace would work through these areas and added that the early phase of the launch was likely to involve a learning process, with work still being done on billing mechanisms.

“We are taking it step by step. We are going to learn,” he said.

Laouchez said he expected further consolidation of VOD platforms in Africa and said he expected Trace to be a consolidator in the region. He said he would like to see the service acquire “a few hundred thousand” subscribers in the first few years following the launch.

Trace’s VOD plans will be discussed in more detail in Digital TV Europe’s forthcoming Middle East and Africa special issue.