Bell’s new Fibe Alt TV platform aims to attract a millennial audience that previously may have not been interested in a traditional live television subscription, whether through digital cable or satellite.
Though the platform went live earlier this week, MobileSyrup, as well as you, our readers, had a number of questions about the platform.
So we sat down with Joel Orvis, the head of the telecom’s new Alt TV initiative and the director of TV product management at Bell, to discuss the platform and its various intricacies.
Question: To start, what demographic is Fibe Alt TV targeting?
Joel Orvis: We’re targeting people who watch TV on their PC or on their mobile device as opposed to sitting in front of a TV. This is about being able to connect them up to entertainment that they’ll get a lot of value out of. They’re not necessarily someone who has finished university and went out and got themselves a TV.
It could be maybe that they’ve just found their entertainment in other places and that the commitment to a bigger TV subscription was not something they wanted to make. They could have a small apartment and not have purchased a TV but still want to consume the content from a legitimate source and this is an opportunity for them.
Q: Is it possible for someone who is already a Fibe subscriber to also subscribe to Fibe Alt TV?
Orvis: It’s actually not something that we built into the systems because it’s not really necessary. So if you’re an existing Fibe TV subscriber, then you have a PVR, you’ve got maybe a few more set-top boxes around the house, and what we give you in addition to that without any additional charge, is access to the Fibe TV application.
This is actually the same app that our Fibe Alt TV subscribers have access to. That application works on the same devices and works in much the same way as what you have with Alt TV. You can consume your TV subscription at home and on the road — to the extent that we have rights to show it out of the home — on a device of your choice.
Q: In terms of Alt TV packages, did you try to replicate the packages that are offered with standard Fibe TV, or did you take a different route with them
Orvis: It’s really the same packaging that we have available, from starter packages, to larger packages, to à la carte.
We want to really take advantage of the fact that with our Fibe TV capability in the home, we want to deliver content to those screens and make it available as a product [to consumers] that maybe didn’t want a traditional set-top box or TV subscription.
Q: Are there plans to bring the Fibe Alt TV app top more platforms in the future?
Orvis: It’s a little unsure right now. We have mentioned Android TV is coming. Beyond that I think we’re going to wait and see where our customers want to take it… We’re always looking to see what the next popular device will be and we’ll see where that goes.
Q: Do you envision Fibe Alt TV ever being available to someone who is not a Bell Fibe internet subscriber?
Orvis: We do not have any plans to do that. It runs on a managed network and that’s part of our ability to deliver the content that we have on offer. That’s really not something that we have the intention to change at this point.
Q: Will Fibe Alt TV ever be available on Bell Fibe internet plans that aren’t unlimited?
Orvis: The ones that we have it available on today are unlimited internet packages [home internet]. We don’t have any concrete plans that I can point to on that right now, but that’s not something we’d say would never happen.
Q: Is there a future where if you’re a Bell mobile customer and you’re watching Alt TV content on mobile, that data usage won’t count towards your cap?
If you want to consume data over a mobile network standard data rates apply as if you were consuming any other data on your mobile device. Our regulatory regime that we have to respect have had something to say about this in recent times on a couple of occasions. On that one we would want to stay on how we’re currently offering the product.
Q: There seems to be some overlap with the audience CraveTV and Alt TV are targeting. How does Fibe Alt TV fit into this broader ecosystem and was there any thought given to creating a Fibe Alt TV/CraveTV bundle.
Crave is available in a couple of different ways. There is Crave content available through a traditional TV subscription. So if you’re a Fibe TV subscriber you can also subscribe to Crave and you get access to all of that content and you can use your credentials with Bell to log into CraveTV applications to consume on other devices.
In fact, in the Fibe Alt TV app we have all of the Crave content available for consumption in that aggregated environment as well. You can subscribe as though it’s another à la carte channel or part of a package that’s available in Alt, just the same as any other content.
We also do Crave where it’s not tied to an internet subscription and it’s available coast to coast.