TCL of­fers US stream­ing ser­vice

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By LIA ZHU in San Francisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

To ap­peal to a broader au­di­ence, China’s elec­tron­ics gi­ant TCL has re­cently added the stream­ing ser­vice GoLive on to all of its smart TVs in the United States.

The ser­vice, launched by TCL in 2014, was pre­vi­ously only avail­able in China. It pro­vides ac­cess to more than 10 video-on-de­mand pack­ages, with over 200 stream­ing chan­nels from China.

The GoLive TV pack­age also fea­tures five English-lan­guage chan­nels for non-Chi­nese speak­ing au­di­ences, said the com­pany.

TCL’s re­search shows that grow­ing num­bers of US con­sumers want to stream their fa­vorite con­tent on their own time, when­ever they want. Many are also look­ing to cut the cord with ca­ble providers in an ef­fort to save on monthly ex­penses, ac­cord­ing to a TCL spokesman.

Of­fer­ing stream­ing ser­vices and op­tions will be a “crit­i­cal com­po­nent” to the com­pany’s “on­go­ing suc­cess” in the US mar­ket, the spokesman added.

Cur­rently, the TCL Roku TV lineup of­fers more than 3,500 chan­nels and over 350,000 movies and tele­vi­sion shows, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

“Given the di­ver­sity of our pop­u­la­tion,” the ad­di­tion of GoLive means tar­get­ing the Chi­nese lan­guage cus­tomers in the US, the spokesman said.

The GoLive’s li­brary of pro­grams in­cludes live shows from China, 80 real-time high def­i­ni­tion chan­nels, and pop­u­lar Chi­nese chan­nels like Hu­nan TV and Zhe­jiang TV.

Chi­nese video stream­ing gi­ant LeEco in Oc­to­ber an­nounced it would build a new stream­ing plat­form called LeEco Live in the US with part­ners such as Show­time, Lion­s­gate and MGM, but mi­nus apps of ma­jor sports leagues.

The com­pany is re­ported to have of­fered LeEco Live ac­cess to its smart TV and smart­phone users, but no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion has been dis­closed as to when and where the ser­vice will be re­leased.

But an­a­lysts said it’s chal­leng­ing for the Chi­nese TV mak­ers to do built-in stream­ing ser­vice in the US.

“The chal­lenge here for Chi­nese com­pa­nies is that none of their brands is at all fa­mil­iar in the US video space. Even though smart TVs have sold in de­cent num­bers, the sell­ing point has al­most al­ways been Net­flix, Hulu, or other well known video apps, not apps from the TV mak­ers them­selves,” said Jan Daw­son, chief an­a­lyst of Jack­daw Re­search.

“Built-in stream­ing ser­vices sim­ply aren’t a con­sid­er­a­tion when peo­ple are choos­ing a TV in the US,” he said. “I could see a well-es­tab­lished brand like Sam­sung do­ing some­thing like this a bit more suc­cess­fully,” he added.

TCL has been step­ping up in­vest­ment in sports con­tent and mar­ket­ing as it finds in their re­search and sales data that a large por­tion of their buy­ers say watch­ing sports is a driver be­hind their pur­chase, ac­cord­ing to Michelle Mao, pres­i­dent of TCL North Amer­ica.

the num­ber of chan­nels of­fered by the TCL Roku TV lineup

AP

A man walks by ul­tra high def­i­ni­tion TVs at the TCL booth at CES In­ter­na­tional in Las Ve­gas.

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