YuppTV furthers US reach with ETV, Netflix fails to return fire in Asia

The ambitious South East Asian OTT service YuppTV has teamed up with Indian entertainment firm ETV to bring popular shows from its Telugu channel to subscribers in the US – targeting an estimated market of 250,000 speakers of the native Indian language Telugu in the US, primarily based in California.

We have to praise the bold aspirations of YuppTV; a company which has emerged from the comfort of South East Asia where it has enjoyed widespread success, to expanding into Europe and the US and executing its business model effectively, where many others have failed.

Netflix, meanwhile, has taken its business in the opposite direction, but has so far struggled to get a foothold in South East Asia, following its launch there in January 2016. Essentially the SVoD King has failed to bulk up on content in the array of local languages across Asia, as well as content that accurately reflects local cultures.

One of YuppTV’s main keys to success is its virtually unrivaled availability of languages across its content catalog – offering over 250 TV channels, 5,000 movies and 100 TV series in 14 languages, claiming to add 2,500 hours of new on-demand content every day.

It has further added to this with the addition this week of content from ETV Telugu, which includes the shows Padutha Teeyaga, Jabardasth, Extra Jabadasth and Manasu Mamatha, exclusively on YuppTV in the US, with plans to expand the partnership to include content from other ETV channels – Life, Plus, Cinema and Abhiruchi.

The Yupp Telugu Gold Value package is currently being sold at $170 for a year’s subscription in the US, which is slightly more expensive than a standard Netflix subscription and much higher than in its native India at just $1.50 a month. Netflix is priced at $10 a month in India, and has refused to reduce its subscription fees to anywhere near the average cost of local SVoD services across all the Asian countries it launched in last year – clearly targeting the middle-class and expat audiences in the region.

YuppTV’s vast penetration across more than 50 countries has earned it favor in over 400 million households. Although YuppTV has not publicized how many of these are outside of India, we expect its expat audience to be growing rapidly as YuppTV is striking multiple new deals with content providers and overseas operators every month.

TiVo recently made YuppTV available on its series 5 and 6 set tops offered by US cable company Mediacom, and TiVo hinted that Mediacom’s TiVo devices will be the first of many to take on YuppTV – potentially opening the door to a huge number of consumers that TiVo reaches through its customers in Europe and the US.

Data from the American Community Survey in 2013 found that there were more than 1 million speakers of various Indian languages in the US – including 650,000 Hindi, 250,000 Bengali, 250,000 Punjabi, 250,000 Tengulu, 73,000 Marathi, 5,000 Oriya, 1,700 Kashmiri, and 1,300 Assamese. The total figure is likely to be closer to 2 million speakers of these languages today.

YuppTV Founder and CEO, Uday Reddy, said: “ETV Telugu’s entertainment content has been successful in striking the right chord with the users and we are happy to make the same available in the US markets, henceforth exclusively. It is also exciting for us to introduce in the US Market other channels like ETV Life, ETV Plus, ETV Cinema and ETV Abhiruchi. We further look forward to a long term association with channels and would always strive to surprise our users with further such engaging and entertaining associations.”

K Bapineedu, CEO, ETV Network, added: “we have enjoyed our association with YuppTV for a while now. The decision to go exclusive on our partnership with the platform was taken due to the positive response, especially in the US market. Our entertainment shows have become popular over the time in the Indian expat community settled in the US. We further look forward to enhancing the reach of our entertainment content via the incredible penetration and popularity of YuppTV.”