1. August 2013–
The future of television is creeping closer, with Swedish tech company Magine today bringing its cloud-based streaming platform for cable TV to Germany.
Founded in 2011 by Michael Werner, Matthias Hjelmstedt, Erik Wikstrom, Xavier Ritort and Hakan Tranvik, Magine promises more flexibility for watching TV, a fluid experience across devices – television, computer, phone, tablet – and eliminates the need for a clunky cable setup box. As well as tuning in live, viewers can catch-up on already aired TV shows by dragging back on a simply designed timeline.
The startup launched the first version of its service – currently available for iOS devices, Apple TV and Samsung smart TVs – in Sweden in March. It expanded to Spain in early July, making this the third European market for the company in less than a year.
Magine's offer is spot-on for several big trends for television: on-demand, mobile viewing and switching between multiple screens. The company's paid subscription model is also a way for broadcasters to get a cut from those who wouldn't pay for a normal cable subscription.
[contentad keyword= "left"] The biggest challenge for Magine, as for Spotify with music, is getting – and paying for – enough licensing deals. In Germany, Magine has so far managed to negotiate a deal with major media company RTL for six channels plus ZDF, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VIVA, DMAX (Discovery Networks). Discussions with other providers are underway.
The company's competitors include old-school cable companies such as Comcast and Kabel Deutschland, though neither currently offers this kind of experience.
Magine raised $19m from a group of undisclosed Swedish and international investors in July to fund future international expansion.
Additional reporting by Charmaine Li.
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