LONDON — Ahead of the tenth anniversary of its online TV catch-up player, Irish public broadcaster RTÉ is planning to add new features it thinks could please both viewers and advertisers.

RTÉ Player launched in April 2009, offering hundreds of hours of TV shows available to catch up with through online and some TV platforms. It has since expanded to offer a service outside Ireland, too.

Now more could be coming.

“We’re holding quite well online on our player, and what we want to give them now is a better experience both in terms of the actual stability of product and also in terms of what the content offering is,” says RTÉ head of sales strategy and commercial compliance Connor Mullen in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“We are going to be going into more genre-based content offers and box sets. That allows us to give particular sponsorship opportunities.”

Adding “box sets” (in other words, full-season shows available to binge-watch, as opposed to simply giving a short VOD viewing window of a week or two) is something RTÉ has in common with its counterpart BBC in the UK.

The BBC just announced a raft of “box sets” it will place on its cross-platform iPlayer this Christmas, having previously found increased consumption with the strategy, designed as a foil against Netflix’s unlimited binge-ability.

At the same time, RTÉ announced a similar move along with its RTÉ Player upgrade this week.

Unlike the BBC, however, Ireland’s RTÉ sells ads against its content. And Mullen, who is looking for opportunities to satisfy brands he says are growing tired with big technology platforms, wants to carve out areas of his Player that could serve marketers.

It allows us to create content for them as well so, in terms of rolling out brand and content offerings that we’ve done the last 12, 18 months, we will also have the opportunity to provide pop-up channels.”

“We’re coming into Christmas season,” Mullen says. “We could be getting into a Christmas foods pop-up channel at this moment in time. And that gives opportunities to both brands and advertisers in terms of saying, ‘I want to own a particular content genre’.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Future of TV Advertising Forum 2018, London. The series is sponsored by Finecast. For more segments from the series, visit this page.

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