AFRICA – Molotov, a French startup that provides an OTT TV streaming service with live TV, premium channels, a cloud DVR and on-demand content, has announced that it is set to launch its service in seven French-speaking African countries.
Co-founded in 2016 by Jean-David Blanc, at the origin of the Allociné site, Pierre Lescure, former president of Canal +, and Jean-Marc Denoual, the platform will first broadcast about fifteen local linear African channels and replay and on-demand programs.
The launch will start with Ivory Coast where it’s already live, Senegal in January, Cameroon in February, Burkina Faso in March, Tunisia in April and Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo after that.
“When it comes to features, the service is more or less the same, but content is different,” CEO Jean-David Blanc said.
Molotov is betting on local partnerships to launch its service in new countries. It is partnering with Digital Virgo, a mobile payments company available in 40 countries. Digital Virgo is handling the relationships with local content owners. Molotov is taking care of operations and the tech stack.
There will be 15 channels at launch, such as Nina TV, Passions TV, Trace Urban, Trace Africa, Trace Urban Africa, Savannah TV, Gametoon, Africanews, Euronews, France24, Trace Sport Stars and DocuBox. Molotov will also grant access to its ad-supported on-demand streaming service Mango.
To support its international expansion plans, the startup had to rework its infrastructure so that it’s more robust — it relies more on cloud hosting and it is partnering with more CDN companies. For instance, the service should work better if you don’t have as much bandwidth as before.
And this is just a start as Molotov is already talking with different B2B partners in Asia, South America and Europe. “Our strategy is that we lean on local players to launch Molotov in new countries,” Blanc said. So, you can expect more news on the international front with new countries and new partners.
Molotov’s ambition does not end there. It also has announced that it wants to settle in the rest of French-speaking Africa “during the quarter”, then in Europe, South America and Asia. In French-speaking Africa, the monetization of the paid offer will be based on the payment solutions provider Digital Virgo, allowing daily payment via the mobile operator.
“Molotov on the one hand helps viewers discover new content, but also provides publishers, channels and SVoD services with the ability to be easily discovered and more frequently used,” Jean-David Blanc said in the statement.
The platform claims 13 million users, including some 200,000 paying subscribers. Its free basic offer allows you to watch non-linear channels and programs on connected television, mobile or computer.