ProSieben's video service uses personal touch to fight competition

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2016 6:45 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German on-demand video service Maxdome is hiring staff to provide more personalized recommendations to users, trying to fend off rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime which are battling for a share of a growing market?.

"Even the best algorithm could not satisfy our users," said Maxdome's co-chief Filmon Zerai, referring to the way Maxdome, owned by German media group ProSiebenSat.1, and its competitors lead users through their extensive movie catalogues.

Facing complaints its service is unwieldy, Maxdome has appointed a seven-strong editorial team to give its platform the look and feel of a magazine.

A survey by Maxdome showed almost 60 percent of users were frustrated with the time taken to search for what they wanted.

The German subscription video on demand market has grown 13 percent last year to 229 million euros ($257.7 million), according to estimates of German broadcasting association VPRT.

The German video streaming market, which also includes products that don't need a subscription, is estimated to grow almost a quarter to 717 million euros this year, according to German technology lobby group Bitkom.

ProSieben says its Maxdome platform is one of the top three players in the German market, but it declined to give any specific details about its subscribers, revenues and profit levels.

The media company has previously said Maxdome subscribers rose by 78 percent last year, while total views were up 81 percent.

Netflix and Amazon have not published any details about their German activities. ProSieben estimates total video on demand subscribers in Germany will double until 2018 from current levels of 4.2 million.

($1 = 0.8888 euros)

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Frankfurt and Joern Poltz in Munich; Editing by Keith Weir)