By Joel Pinaroc
SM Prime Holdings has ventured into a potentially lucrative video-on-demand (VOD) service following an agreement it signed with technology company Omni Digital Media Ventures, a subsidiary of Solar Entertainment.
The two companies will work together to offer Blink, a VOD service that offers pay-per-view movies and TV series online and on multiple platforms.
Omni Digital Media will be the technology provider for Blink while SM Group is expected to flex its muscle on the marketing and networking of the service for the mass market.
The SM Group, one of the largest Philippine conglomerates, already has an entertainment unit but the addition of VOD services is seen to further expand this business.
Aside from “riding” on the considerable network that SM currently controls, Omni Digital is expected to benefit from SM’s other interests including Banco De Oro (BDO) Rewards, and SM Advantage Card, among others.
One of the key elements of the SM-Blink tie-up is that subscribers of Blink can now use these payment facilities of SM in addition to the payment options using prepaid and postpaid loads of Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.
This payment infrastructure is an extension of the usual credit card or debit car payment that online companies use.
As a VOD service, Blink will offer about 550 movies per year and about 2500 hours of TV series, according to Ronan De Guzman, COO of Digital Media Ventures.
De Guzman said that by next year, content from local studios and film outfits will also be made available from Blink.
“This partnership essentially extends the life of movies and TV shows that subscribers may want to view,” De Guzman said.
Blink currently has some 30,000 subscribers which is expected to significantly increase with the entry of SM Group, De Guzman added.
The pricing structure is attractive at P60 to 90 pesos per movie, although monthyl subscriptions are also available, the executive added.
In terms of revenue sharing, SM will get 60 percent while Solar Entertainment will get 40 percent, according to Edgar Tejerero, president of SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc.
Tejerero added that there is even an anti-piracy component in the partnership, because there will be free content that subscribers can also get from Blink.