Videoland was born as a physical rental shop in The Netherlands. That business model, a hit in the old days and a defunct way to watch a movie today, evolved into a Netherlands-centric SVOD service with a not inconsiderable second place, just behind Netflix.
In the midst of the transition to the Bedrock platform, where the entire Videoland infrastructure will be merged and transferred to this new service provider, we wanted to talk to some of its representatives to tell us how their platform works, what challenges they face today and how they see the future of an OTT designed by and for the Dutch people.
How was Videoland born?
Videoland’s history goes back to 1984 when it opened its first video rental shop. The digital part of the company was acquired by RTL in 2013 and in 2015 RTL launched Videoland as an SVOD service.
How has it developed through the years?
Videoland grew from an old fashioned brand into a strong local streaming platform with locally sourced and original content. It is a service that holds a solid number two position in the Dutch market right behind Netflix. Mid 2021 the service had over 1 million subscribers, making it also the largest local SVOD service by far.
What makes Videoland different from other OTT / VOD platforms?
Videoland is the no. 1 in local content in the Netherlands with the Dutch viewer as the absolute priority. We released over 65 exclusive local originals in 2021 and we invest firmly in local drama, documentaries and reality shows. Being part of the RTL network Videoland also has access to exclusives windows of RTL’s linear content.
What criteria do you use to choose the titles you offer on your platform?
Our local, exclusive originals differentiate Videoland’s proposition from our competitors. We are always on the lookout for innovative and authentic local content which reflects what is relevant and current in our society. It addresses the wants, needs, fears, hopes and/or frustrations of the Dutch people. If our content is the talk of the town, we know we succeeded in striking a chord.
What market challenges does your platform face?
It is the growing competition on the entertainment consumption time. Each year new streaming services are entering an already crowded market. The Netherlands is a beloved springboard for new streaming services. They produce local content, a small percentage of what we do on Videoland, but it does lead to a higher demand on local content production and talent.
What is the technological infrastructure of your platform?
We use Kubernetes-based cloud microservices architecture.
What is the cloud platform that hosts Videoland? What services does it offer to you?
We mainly use Azure, both for playout and data engineering. We use Azure media services as a main service. On the data side we use Snowflake.
How much of your content is broadcast in HD or 4K? Are there plans to continue growing in this aspect?
All content is currently broadcasted in HD. Videoland offers no 4K content, but we will probably do so in the future.
Do you have any goals to grow internationally?
RTL Group is already present in several European countries with a local SVOD service, e.g. RTL+ in Germany. Videoland has a local focus, instead.
What is the technological next big step for Videoland?
The next big step is the migration of our subscribers to the Bedrock platform.
The multimedia content market is growing a lot and the offer is huge for the viewer, what do you think the future of OTT / VOD platforms will be like?
We expect to hold a strong position in the Dutch market as the leading local streaming service. Only those that have a large unique offering, including blockbuster titles, will be able to gain a significant market share. We also expect innovations such as live TV and live events. Good news for Videoland.