MADRID — Chinese techno and mobile giant Huawei will launch what is being described as a Netflix-style video streaming service is Spain and Italy from first quarter 2018.
Huawei’s Jaime Gonzalo, VP of Huawei Consumer Europe mobile services made the announcement of the launch on Thursday at a Huawei Eco-Connect Europe 2017 conference in Berlin.
The Spain and Italy launch is seen as a test case for a possibly broader roll-out outside China. Spain’s Atresmedia, one of its two biggest broadcast network groups, confirmed Friday that it will “collaborate” with Huawei”new contents platform.” According to Spanish-language web press reports, Under the Milky Way will also supply Huawei Video with content.
Huawei Video will be made exclusively available to Huawei and Honor smartphone clients. The service will offer free-of-charge trailers and documentaries, plus Huawei ID, allowing client who give personal data content share and other facilities. It is unclear whether an pay SVOD service will kick in from the very beginning of Huawei Video’s launch. It will offer both international and local content – hence its agreement with Atresmedia in Spain.
Launching in Spain and Italy, Huawei has chosen two of the three Western European territories with lowest pay TV penetration, just 32% for Spain and 33% for Italy, according to an IHS Markit study, Pay TV and Online Video Trends – Spain 2017. Those levels compare to Germany’s 56%, 63% for the U.K. and 69% for France. In Spain, Huawei Video joins one of the most competitive markets for SVOD services with Netflix bowing in Oct. 2015, HBO España in Nov. 2016, Amazon Prime Video one month late and Sky last month.