TVPlayer, the UK’s leading livestreaming TV platform, has completed a £5m investment round led by A+E Networks, the US-based award-winning, global media content company.
TVPlayer is a freemium over-the-top TV service in the UK which offers all of the country’s major free to air channels together with a pay TV bundle of 30+ premium channels for £4.99 per month without a contract. As part of the free to air package, TVPlayer will offer A+E Networks’ Blaze which launched in the UK on September 20.
The startup, which already has over 1 million active users, targets millennials, mobile users and households who have not previously purchased pay TV. In doing so, TVPlayer offers broadcasters an incremental audience on top of traditional pay TV operators.
Major broadcast networks including A+E Networks, Fox, Viacom, Discovery, Eurosport, SONY, UKTV, Turner, Scripps, ITV, Channel 4 and Five already have their channels on the TVPlayer platform. In total, over 100 channels are available across desktop, mobile, tablet, Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, in the home and on the go, via wired, WiFi, 3G and 4G. TVPlayer has acquired 4G streaming rights for all of its channels and is the first service in the UK to have done so.
The investment will be used to further develop the content offering and to expand distribution of the service in the UK. A sizable marketing campaign, including TV spots on a number of free to air channels, will launch in the lead up to Christmas. Existing investors, including venture capital firm Beringea, invested alongside A+E Networks.
Adam Smith, Founder of TVPlayer, says: “We are very excited about the investment and the backing it provides operationally and financially for the expansion of TVPlayer. TVPlayer has already succeeded in building a first-class content delivery platform and being the first provider in the UK to launch a legal live TV streaming service carrying all of the major channels. With our investors’ support, we look forward to focusing on our efforts on customer acquisition and subscriber growth.”
As part of the transaction, TVPlayer has de-merged from its parent company Simplestream and now operates as a standalone company with dedicated management, marketing and technology teams. Founder Adam Smith, and Co-Founders Lewis Arthur and Dan Finch continue to hold a significant stake in the business and will work alongside a new management team soon to be announced.
TVPlayer is a freemium over-the-top TV service, offering over 60 free-to-air and 30 pay channels to over one million monthly users in the UK. It is available as a website on Desktop and a free to download app on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Samsung Smart TVs and OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. The TVPlayer app has been downloaded over 2m times and is regularly featured in the App stores. TVPlayer won Best TV Video Service in the 2016 VideoNet Connected TV awards for its in-house video delivery technology platform. The company was founded by Adam Smith, Lewis Arthur and Dan Finch, the senior management team of Simplestream, a leading provider of streaming services to broadcasters across Europe. Simplestream’s customers include A+E Networks, Sony, Turner, Discovery, UKTV, News Corp and QVC.
TVPlayer is backed by a group of investors including Beringea, a venture and growth capital investor in high growth businesses, with £450m ($600m) under management and YOLO Leisure & Technology plc, an AIM listed investment company focusing on digital media and tech investments.
ABOUT A+E NETWORKS
A+E Networks®, LLC.is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from linear channels to websites, gaming, watch apps and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E®, Lifetime®, History®, LMN®, FYI™, VICELAND, H2™, A+E Studios™, History en Espaňol™, Crime + Investigation™, Military History™, Lifetime Real Women®, A&E IndieFilms®, A+E Networks International®, A+E Networks Digital® and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks’ channels and branded programming reach more than 335 million households in over 200 territories. A+E Networks, LLC. is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.