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rlaxx TV CEO Ronny Lutzi Interview: New Hybrid Video-on-Demand Service Rivals Netflix

Kareen L., Tech Times

With the pandemic going on, many of us are staying at home. There is no doubt that streaming videos and watching movies are one of the top things to do to keep ourselves entertained. While Netflix, Amazon TV, and other platforms provide us easy access to movies and series, there is one platform that will be launching soon that would change the way we watch online.

TechTimes was given the opportunity to interview rlaxx TV CEO Ronny Lutzi wherein he discussed what rlaxx TV can offer and the future of Video-on-Demand.

(Photo : rrlax TV CEO)

TechTimes: People these days watch movies and television series via online streaming platforms. Apparently, this type of service is already available. What is the number one reason why rlaxx TV was created? What problem/issue can it address? What is its mission?

CEO Ronny Lutzi: The number one reason for creating rlaxx TV was that we are currently witnessing a VoD-market that is overwhelming and thereby also confusing its users with an overabundance of content. In order to help the viewer overcome this confusion, we seek to combine the flexibility, the individuality and precision of a modern VoD service with the relaxed experience of linear TV.

On more traditional VoD services, research from the US shows that the average user spends 7.4 minutes to find content that suits them. If used daily, this adds up to around one hour of valuable leisure time per week. In our view, the search process therefore reduces the overall viewing experience. Therefore, we see it as our mission to deliver the best viewing experience under modern standards, which we summarize in our motto: “Watch more, search less.”

(Photo : Pixabay/ Jan Vašek )

TechTimes: We all know that Netflix is very popular and it has a huge number of subscribers. How would you encourage a subscriber to switch to your service? Please tell us what makes rlaxx TV better than its competitors.

CEO Ronny Lutzi: First of all, rlaxx TV is an advertising-financed product. There are no monthly costs for the viewer as with Netflix and other SVoD services, which means that rlaxx TV can be enjoyed as a complement to such services. However, it is the concept of our product which will drive viewers to spend more time watching video content on our platform.

rlaxx TV’s content is organized in linear channels with engaging programmes, and the former can be tailored to many specific target groups. We call this premium niche. This concept has two major advantages: first, consumption is easier and available at any time. And second, we can address many different “special-interest” groups with content that really speaks to their passions.

With channels such as VEVO POP, Baeble Music, Watch4, and programmes like HorizonSports, Comedy Dynamics, Wness TV, Gusto TV, Masters of Food or Televisa Novelas we are currently already covering a broad variety of topics in sports, comedy, lifestyle, food and special interest. And of course, we are constantly striving to expand this catalogue.

TechTimes: When you say, you are “filling a gap in the market” that your competitors do not cover, what particular market are you referring to?

CEO Ronny Lutzi: The global TV-market is full of cable operators, SVoD or TVoD Services and Broadcasters. All of them charging a monthly fee from the user. We do not, as our service is free. Additionally, all companies using the aforementioned distribution methods are concentrating on similar content. They have to, because with paying viewers and subscribers as their only revenue source, they need to address the biggest possible audience. Thereby, these services are struggling to address special interest groups. We do not, as our advertising based-business model allows us to address rather small audiences and still be profitable.

This set up is beneficial for many parties: our advertising partners, as we offer a very precise targeting of their potentially future customers, our content partners, as their contents now reach far more people than before, and last but not least our viewers, as the distribution via app and internet allows to deliver channels with contents that really speak to them and accurately address their passions, no matter how extraordinary they might be.

A good example for such contents would be smaller sports such as lacrosse or table tennis, or foreign-language movies.

(Photo : Pixabay/mohamed_hassan)

TechTimes: How does rlaxx TV works? What do users need to use this service? Discuss to us the technical side of video-on demand.

CEO Ronny Lutzi: Our offer is structured in linear channels that allow viewers to enjoy TV immediately and avoid long search times as with SVoD. Nevertheless, rlaxx TV viewers are given the possibility to skip content by fast-forwarding and rewinding within the channel at any time. The viewer can also select individual videos across the complete content catalogue.

From a viewer’s perspective, all you need is a device where the rlaxx TV App is available. At this point, shortly after our launch in Germany and the UK, this means smart TVs. As a sister company of Foxxum, a white-label service for smart TV platforms of several TV manufacturers, we are currently positioned quite prominently on 25% of all smart TVs in the UK.

However, we do not limit ourselves to smart TV devices and will make rlaxx TV available on all OTT devices, i.e. all devices capable of video streaming, in the coming months. This of course includes smartphones and tablets.

TechTimes: Can you share to us the future plans of the company?

CEO Ronny Lutzi: Our mid- and long-term goal is to grow our technical reach to all devices worldwide, as well as develop an even more exciting portfolio of content for every local market and viewer in the world. These goals are of course closely connected, and we are currently pushing very hard to achieve most of them within the upcoming twelve months. At this moment it is too early to make any more concrete announcements, but you will be hearing from us on several occasions throughout 2021.

TechTimes: What do you think is the future of video-on-demand and home entertainment? Am I right to say that rlaxx TV is actually designed for the future market?

CEO Ronny Lutzi: rlaxx TV is definitely designed to satisfy what we think will be the needs of TV market of the future. It combines the most traditional features of TV, such as preorganized channels, with the most common characteristics we know and love from on-demand services.

We predict that the market will very much consolidate regarding the number of OTT services in the upcoming years. Apart from that, there will be major changes to all areas of home entertainment, mainly driven by the rapidly changing demands and behaviour of video consumers.

In the future, it’s very likely that TVs do not lead you directly to the content of the TV tuner after you turn them on, but to the programmes of a linear OTT service such as rlaxx TV.

It is also conceivable that video distribution via satellite keeps losing significance and more content is distributed via IP instead.

About rlaxx TV

rlaxx TV recently launched in some European markets as an advertising-funded and completely free of charge for viewers innovative streaming provider. They are currently expanding into other countries and will be worldwide by the end of 2021. They see themselves as direct competitors to Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube by filling a gap in the market those services don’t cover.

The model fills a niche not currently offered by other major players by basing its set-up on a hybrid model offering television channels which users can fast forward or rewind as well as select videos on demand. In the future, this model will be updated so that users can create fully personalised channels.

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