Another OTT Startup, Another Battle?


At around $3 per each genre-based channel package, VA-based KlowdTV’s streaming programming bundle seems unbelievably affordable. The platform, which went live less than a year ago, recently doubled its package offering with the addition of a 6-channel global news package including Bloomberg TV and Sky News International, and a 7-channel entertainment package including YouToo America and AWE TV. It already has a sports package which features nets like beIN Sports, Fight Network, FNTSY Sports Net and Outdoor Sport Channel, and an outdoor lifestyle package featuring nets such as RIDE, ChukkerTV, HRTV, The Outdoor Cooking Channel and Hunt Channel.

Like other OTT startups, it’s been a challenge signing up major broadcast and cable nets. Absent from the channel lineup are broadcast channels and major cable nets. “We started by focusing on the independent channels. We wanted to prove the concept, the platform, and the market while working our way up,” co-founder Michael Grams told us. The company is in talks with “some big name channels to bring them onto the platform,” he said. While legacy contracts prevent many networks from going a la carte, the good news is “financial barriers to bring networks from different parts of the globe have dropped immensely, and we are able to source new content and channels that are not readily available on many major US distributors,” Grams said. “It is really is an exciting time in the broadcast industry,” said the former CFO of Diversified Communications, which offers satellite services to North American and International TV nets.

He believes the company has the right price point that’s appealing to its target user base. Instead of a $20+ dollar skinny bundle (such as DISH ’s Sling TV), the service allows users to choose from multiple $3 dollar micro-packages, Grams said. “By being placed with other networks that have similar content and focus, the consumer gets more content that has a similar focus and all the networks in that bundle get paid.”

During the first few months since launch, live content focused around sports and other events was one of the main draws, Grams said. The priority of the rest of the year is to make KlowdTV available on all viewing platforms. The service currently works on iOS and Android platforms, as well as Roku, Amazon Fire, Sony Smart TVs, Hisense TVs, TiVo devices, Samsung Blu Ray Players, and other OperaTV enabled smart devices. “We also have a list of features we will be adding to the platform shortly that will add to the customer experience,” Grams said.

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