In Mongolia, like many other countries, we’re finding mobile devices are becoming the most important entertainment platform, giving viewers independence and personalized content.Bat-Erdene GankhuyagCo-founder
Brightcove’s OTT Flow Brings ORI TV to Over 3 Million Mongolian Consumers
For Bat-Erdene Gankhuyag, television is the family business. That’s because he and his wife, Nomi, co-founded Mongol TV in 2009, which has since grown to become Mongolia’s leading private television broadcasting company. The network offers free-to-air programming that includes both localized, company-produced content and licensed international content from the United States, Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. In the case of Mongol TV’s localized programming, the company buys the rights to popular shows and then recreates them for the Mongolian market. Shows like Shark Tank, The Voice, and Mongolia’s Got Talent are huge draws for the network. So it’s no surprise Mongol TV reaches about 200K households on average and holds about 25 percent of the country’s broadcast television market.
Shrinking Ad Revenue & International Reach Drive Mongol TV's Expansion
Up until recently, Mongol TV only offered free programming to consumers, so the company relied on advertising revenue for continued growth. However, Gankhuyag began noticing an ominous trend happening among local advertisers: they seemed to all be moving from broadcast television to digital media platforms, leaving free-to-air networks like Mongol TV at risk for demonetization.
“The only source of revenue we had was advertising,” Gankhuyag says. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen many advertisers go onto the social media networks. In Mongolia, the revenue for free-to-air TV is getting smaller and smaller. So we had to look into another way to monetize our content besides advertising.”
Additionally, Gankhuyag wanted to expand Mongol TV’s reach beyond Mongolia’s borders, because while three million citizens live within the country, hundreds of thousands live internationally and continue to access Mongolian media, predominantly on mobile devices.
To mitigate the risk of decreasing advertising revenue and, at the same time, provide audiences with web and mobile-friendly content, Gankhuyag had to find a solution.
ORI TV Becomes Mongolia’s First-Ever OTT Service
Gankhuyag decided that adding an OTT service to Mongol TV’s existing business model would be the best bet to meet both monetization and consumer reach challenges. Together with the company’s in-house technology team, Gankhuyag designed the channel’s overall concept to include a wide variety of current and past season programming totaling more than 2,000 hours of streaming video accessible across every device: web, mobile, mobile app, Chromecast, and Apple TV. More importantly, it would be monetized exclusively through subscription-based fees. Using Brightcove’s OTT Flow product, the team was able to launch its OTT channel, ORI TV, in a matter of eight weeks, making Mongol TV the first broadcaster in the country to offer an over-the-top video service.
Brightcove’s Technology Experts Help Bring OTT to Mongol TV
In the initial planning stages for the ORI TV, Gankhuyag knew he needed a video partner capable of providing three essential services: (1) a fully-equipped in-house team of engineers ready to build an OTT service from scratch, (2) an easy-to-manage platform for technology novices, and (3) the ability to deliver an OTT product quickly to global viewers, particularly on mobile devices. “I’m not a tech guy,” Gankhuyag admits, so being able to delegate all the technical responsibilities of an entire OTT build-out was of top priority.And with Mongolia’s growing population of mobile media consumers, Gankhuyag had to ensure a quick and seamless delivery of Mongol TV content to this particularly attentive audience. He explains: “In Mongolia, like many other countries, we’re finding mobile devices are becoming the most important entertainment platform, giving viewers independence and personalized content.” So being able to give these consumers on-demand, customized video in the form of an easily accessible OTT product was the ideal solution. Realizing Brightcove could deliver on all three of these requirements, Gankhuyag knew he had to bring the company onboard.
ORI TV Draws 5K Subscribers in Just Five Months, Putting Mongol TV On Top
Within the first five months of ORI TV’s launch, Mongol TV has already seen tremendous success, drawing over 5,000 subscribers to the platform. The OTT service has also given Mongol TV even more opportunity to increase viewership and engagement across national and international borders, since ORI TV is so accessible on all devices.
“Fifty percent of our subscribers come from abroad—they’re not physically located in Mongolia. They’re Mongolian people who live abroad,” says Gankhuyag. “These people tend to use more mobile than people accessing service from within the country. This audience uses mostly laptops and computers.”
And with ORI TV being the first-ever OTT service offered in Mongolia, it’s revolutionized the country’s media landscape, and it’s made Mongol TV a name synonymous with innovation and modernization. Says Gankhuyag, “Mongolia is a country with four very big telecom operators. They’re very big companies with big revenues, and they’re quite dominant in the market. Compared to them, we [Mongol TV] had a very small revenue. But with the help of ORI TV, we are the talk of the town. Now, a couple of those companies are trying to make their own OTT platform. Everybody said a small station like ours couldn’t have an OTT platform, and we’re happy to have proved them wrong. Now, we are the most successful OTT platform in the country.” The success of ORI TV has been so incredible, in fact, it’s given Mongol TV respect among fellow content creators. Producers often come forward to pitch Gankhuyag a number of possible project collaborations.
As ORI TV’s subscribers continue to grow, Mongol TV has refocused its social media strategy as well. No longer does the company post full-length video content to its Facebook and YouTube accounts; instead, Mongol TV uses its social platforms to market new ORI TV content when it becomes available. Followers receive alerts via social media, where they can click through to the ORI TV landing page and subscribe.
Plans to Double Subscribers in Near Future
For the remainder of 2018, Mongol TV plans to double ORI TV’s current subscribers to 10,000, and to do this, Gankhuyag has his sights set on three main improvements. The first is to adjust the service’s billing and payment options for Mongolian viewers. Since the country’s central bank doesn’t allow recurring payments on personal credit cards, subscribers have to use a foreign currency account to enroll. Gankhuyag plans to implement more purchase options through Google Play and iTunes in order to avoid the hassle of credit card billing and make the enrollment process much more efficient. Second, he plans to study viewers’ behavior through surveys, social media feedback, and analytics and learn what ORI TV subscribers want to watch. That way he’ll be able to anticipate their needs and deliver relevant content. And third, Gankhuyag is focusing on creating a new and improved marketing strategy to promote ORI TV and its content to more consumers. “If we get the combination of all three of these right, then we’re hoping to double our subscriber numbers,” he says.