There are hundreds of OTT and SVOD services sprinkled throughout globe, so when a new platform launches, there is bound to be some overlap in genre and content. But a trio of industry veterans are planning to capitalize on a niche that has yet to see much love from the streaming industry, trivia.
Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, the former head of global production and distribution group Zodiak, and Rod Henwood, who was previously at Zodiak and ran Banijay in the U.K., have partnered with former Sky exec Nick James to launch IQTV, a streaming service focused entirely on British quiz shows. The service is a product of the trio’s newly formed InQuisiTiVe Media, which is based in London.
The company has inked deals with BBC Worldwide, Banijay, and Britain’s Channel 4 for more than 100 titles, including as “Mastermind,” “The Weakest Link,” “Countdown,” and “Only Connect” (pictured). The service, which will run for £3.49 (about $4.90), is expected to launch in the UK this July, but there are plans to eventually expand beyond the country, according to co-founder Rod Henwood.
Niche SVOD is an interesting opportunity for IQTV. Because the content only appeals to a specific group of consumers, the service will likely never have as many subscribers as Netflix or Hulu, nor will they reach a size that allows them to make substantial revenue off of ads alone (which is likely the reason it will launch as a subscription service). But, the audience the platform does attract will be loyal, die hard fans of the content it is distributing.
One example of a streaming service that has established itself by catering to a niche audience is Ellation-backed, anime-focused Crunchyroll. Utilizing its loyal fan base, the company has been able to open up revenue streams beyond its SVOD platform via merchandising (shirts, posters, etc.) and live events.
While shirts and keychains may not be a likely stream of income for InQuisiTiVe, the company could potentially capitalize on live streamed quiz contests. One player that has been successful at this field is HQ Trivia. The trivia app, which is available for players to join remotely every day at 9pm ET as well as 3pm on weekdays, offers cash prizes for its winners. Within just the first few months after its launch, the platform has had quiz sessions that have attracted over one million players. While IQTV has no plans as of yet to make its service interactive, the first thing it would need to do, if it wanted to, is find its audience. And of course, not every niche service finds its audience, as NBC found out the hard way with its comedy-focused streaming service, Seeso.