Pittsburgh, PA, January 13, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- From: Mark Cavicchia, CEO
To: Customers, Shareholders and Stakeholders,
WhereverTV continues to make progress in becoming the world’s first global, internet-based cable television platform by delivering a purely “over the top,” completely portable, and live-streaming alternative to traditional cable and satellite television subscription services to customers in 189 countries around the world. WhereverTV accomplishes this by delivering cultural, geographic, and language specific content from one geographic region of the world to recipients desiring this content across a wide range of portable and stationary devices in other regions of the world. This is the timely and breakthrough technology WhereverTV possesses and offers on a global scale.
This shareholder update intends to inform our customers, supporters and followers what we have achieved, what we are presently working on, and what we intend to do in the near future. And how we intend to capitalize on the rapidly growing popularity of Internet TV by marketing this technology to the nearly 500 million iPhone and iPad users, and the nearly 1.1 billion Android users for which we have already developed fully functional and readily accessible “apps.”
But first, we wish to convey this message of gratitude. WhereverTV is appreciative of our shareholders, customers, subscribers, stakeholders, vendors, employees, Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends. We appreciate how many of you joined our efforts by blogging, "liking," "tweeting," and "sharing" WhereverTV. The market for Internet TV is becoming widely accepted and has become a mainstream media topic in just the last few months. And our internal developments continue to convince us that we are the premier play in this market space. And as a result, we are beginning to see a groundswell of support. We ask you to continue your efforts to help us become the company we intend to become, the first global internet-based cable television platform offering content to, and delivering content from all regions of the world. Together we can continue this mission to deliver targeted content to subscribers in the United States and in the other 188 countries around the world.
Our goals for 2014 include launching more subscription packages, offering value added services, increasing access on more devices and technology platforms, reaching new markets, developing the first DVR device with unlimited simultaneous recording capabilities, finalizing our patent, improving customer service and most importantly, focusing on customer acquisition. We will address many of these topics more specifically below.
Continued Growth of Over the Top Video Consumption
Consumption of Over the Top (“OTT”) video continues to increase at a record pace. The largest OTT service provider, Netflix (recorded content only), now has more customers than the largest US cable company – Comcast. Hulu’s (recorded content only) popularity also continued to grow dramatically during 2013. These statistics benchmark consumers’ demand for viewing flexibility, platform options, portability and personalization of viewing access such as that offered by WhereverTV (includes live-streaming in real time and/or recorded content). Consumers are becoming more aware of and migrating to cheaper and more flexible alternatives to cable and satellite providers such as OTT services, which directly benefits WhereverTV’s long-term customer acquisition strategy.
In fact, the overall market for OTT services surpassed $8 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $20 billion by 2015. One expert cited a Cisco Systems report and stated: “Online video isn’t just growing fast, it’s growing faster than any other type of consumer service offering – and soon it’s going to be even more popular than Facebook, Twitter and Co.” This trend bodes well for WhereverTV, as the Company continues to deploy its niche-focused broadcast model. While it is clear that several are currently vying for market share in this space now, and that many will most likely follow, WhereverTV feels it has a competitive and comparative advantage in that it is distributing either licensed content, or patent pending software. This is unlike many providers, for example Aereo, which is retransmitting US channels without any content licenses in place. As a result of this alleged “pirating,” networks have sued Aereo and the ultimate decision of the courts is expected in 2014, when Aereo will defend itself in front of the US Supreme Court. WhereverTV intends to avoid litigation by working with content providers and/or licensing content.
WhereverTV is constantly working to improve its customer experience so users can easily sign up, find their favorite channels and then watch our service across a multitude of devices. 2013 was no exception in terms of continual improvements to the WhereverTV platform, which most notably include the introduction of our iOS application in March, making our subscription services available on the wildly popular iPhones and iPads (over 500 million sold). More than 10 million AppleTV users can also access our services by using the Airplay functionality offered on all new iOS devices.
While the initial WhereverTV iOS application only supported Greek, Moroccan and ArabicTV subscriptions, the Company will be adding GlobalTV support in the next release slated for early 2014. In regards to the Company’s recent Global IPG application, the Company believes the combination of the low monthly costs ($4.99), combined with the large offering of more than 300 channels from 60 countries, presents a substantial revenue opportunity in 2014.
The Company has also recently consolidated its two Android applications; one that supported only GoogleTV devices and another that supported only Smartphone and Tablets applications (over 1.1 billion devices sold) to a single application that works on all Android devices. During 2014, WhereverTV will introduce its US based service and a cloud-based, network DVR service which will allow for unlimited simultaneous recordings and other popular features requested by customers.
In 2006, the Company filed a patent application for a multi-source television program guide that can move across devices and geographies – a distant-cousin of existing fixed-location, single-source program guide presented by cable and satellite companies today. Receiving patent approval will provide an opportunity for the Company to create a new revenue stream around technology licensing to content distribution companies who are interested in adding two or more content sources to their program guides. An approved patent will also bring additional shareholder value to the Company in the form of increased asset value and long-term revenue opportunities. To our customers, the Global IPG means more content variety, allowing the Company to deliver an unlimited number of live and video on demand channels, including highly-targeted content, to any television set in the world that is in range of an internet connection.
With a multitude of companies, devices and platforms embracing the “TV Everywhere” concept, which continues to grow in popularity and demand by consumers around the world, WhereverTV will look to capitalize on any product, service or company that plans to or is offering one of more sources of content to its customers by licensing its patent-pending technology in exchange for licensing fees. The Company remains optimistic that it will receive patent approval in 2014 and expects the Global IPG patent to provide long-term and substantial value to our stakeholders.
OTC Listing Upgrade
The Company is currently taking steps to upgrade its market listing status from pink sheet to OTC Bulletin Board. Becoming OTC Bulletin Board compliant requires that the company move from a “non-reporting” SEC filing status to becoming a “fully reporting”, audited financials status. The company is now making arrangements to get into compliance with SEC reporting requirements and expects to have its audit completed by the end of 1Q2014. At the conclusion of the audit, WhereverTV expects to be current with its reporting requirements to the Securities and Exchange Commission and is desirous of moving the TVTV listing from OTC Pink to OTC QB sometime during the first half of 2014.
Investor Relations Coverage
From an investor relations perspective, WhereverTV began taking an active role in 2013, after completing a reverse merger, updating its name and ticker symbol in 2012, and expects to increase its investor relations efforts during 2014. The Company received favorable coverage from The Goldman Research Report in October and will continue to develop relationships with other analysts and Investor Relations specialists to increase investor awareness about the Company, its services, and plans for growth.
Internet and Social Media Strategy
During 2014, WhereverTV will greatly increase its presence on the internet and in Social Media. Due to a wider array of content available to its customers, WhereverTV is now implementing a more aggressive sales & marketing strategy, which includes external marketing efforts, internal marketing efforts, email marketing campaigns, affiliate marketing ads and increased visibility by leveraging social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Fiverr.com.
With the introduction of our GlobalTV service on iOS devices scheduled for early 2014, coupled with the new channels offered on our ArabicTV and GreekTV offerings, the Company is currently developing a number of targeted messages to distinct ethnic groups that we can now provide live, streaming, internet television content to them across each of the most popular internet devices in the world. Meanwhile, the company continues to pursue other opportunities for content licensing and distribution on other continents, and in other countries.
Internal Marketing Efforts
Over the past 5 years, the Company has accumulated a large number of email addresses from current and past customers and will begin marketing to these individuals via email, auto-responder campaigns and newsletter updates in 2014. With over 150,000 free subscribers to its services, WhereverTV will attempt to convert as many of these free customers into paying subscribers by continuing to expand its content offerings across a wider array of devices and ConnectedTV platforms, and by providing access to the most popular television channels from around the world. Additionally, the Company has increased its social media marketing efforts, its search engine optimization efforts and email marketing campaigns.
External Marketing Efforts
WhereverTV has established two specific marketing relationships to promote its GreekTV and ArabicTV services, and plans to strengthen these relationships throughout 2014. The GreekTV marketing relationship is with the largest Greek organization in North America – the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – with more than 1.5 million active members. The Company plans to expand the relationship to include more grass-roots marketing oriented activities and will work directly with local parishes to drive customer acquisition.
With approximately 4 million Arabic speaking people residing in the US alone, the Company believes its greatest current growth opportunity is through ethnic programming and its presently available ArabicTV offering. The Company’s plans to increase Arabic marketing efforts have already begun. In 2014, WhereverTV will air :30 and :60 second television commercials on the Arabic Channel, the oldest and most established US-based Arabic language television channel, promoting its ArabicTV subscription package which includes access to over 50 different channels. WhereverTV has also made arrangements to run print ads in the leading Arabic language newspapers along the East Coast, including Boston, the New York Metropolitan Area and down through Washington, DC to build brand recognition with the Arabic-language community.
Additionally, the company has secured a marketing relationship with an email marketing partner with a database of nearly 200 million email addresses. We expect this partner to commence marketing for all types of potential WhereverTV subscribers via their database and on our behalf in January 2014.
In addition to direct-to-consumer subscription marketing, WhereverTV has entered into negotiations with several content distribution companies interested in using the Company’s patent-pending Global IPG software to enhance their existing content subscription service offerings. The Company anticipates signing its first software licensing agreement in January 2014 with an Africa-based IPTV service provider. The agreement would make WhereverTV’s GlobalTV service available to this IPTV service provider’s customer base.
WhereverTV is also discussing other licensing opportunities with content distributors and content owners, both in the US and abroad, to deliver highly-targeted content to the content owner’s customers, using WhereverTV’s software branded in the content owner’s identity. Similar to the Company’s relationship with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, WhereverTV would create virtual 24/7 television networks for these content owners, who would, in turn, market WhereverTV’s services to their customers. This strategy has proven successful for GreekTV and the Company is looking to replicate the model as it introduces new services in 2014.
WhereverTV currently offers GreekTV subscription packages, ArabicTV subscription packages, Moroccan TV subscription packages, and GlobalTV, a low cost, entry level 300+ channel subscription package that includes channels from all around the world. The Company also offers more than 1,000 free channels to 150,000 PC users in 189 countries.
In the coming weeks and months, WhereverTV intends to add additional channels to its existing subscription packages, add new subscription packages from various countries which includes the USA TV package, and drive progress on a number corporate specific initiatives aimed at becoming a global internet television subscription company. Below we will discuss several of these strategic topics individually.
The Company launched an ArabicTV package in 2013, featuring more than 50 channels from across the Middle East for $9.99 per month. The service is available on the GoogleTV platform, as well as on iOS and Android devices. During 2014, the Company expects to add another 20 channels to its Arabic lineup and will focus on the growing Arabic expatriate community in the Americas (North, Central and South). It is expected that the ArabicTV package will start to increase WhereverTV’s overall revenues during the next 12 months.
The Company’s GreekTV packages are presently the most popular subscription services offered. The sustained marketing support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America continues to help introduce WhereverTV’s services to Greek expatriates throughout the US and Canada. And while the financial turmoil in Greece forced one major network (ERT World) off the air in June, WhereverTV was able to replace this channel with another high quality network (Alpha Sat) in December. The Company plans to add at least 2 more channels to its Greek lineup during 2014.
In July, the Company introduced the GlobalTV service for Android devices, which organizes more than 300 free-to-air channels from more 60 countries into one easy-to use, customizable channel lineup. The service is only $4.99 per month and WhereverTV expects to add another 100 channels during 2014 as more broadcasters make their signals available online.
USA Basic Service
WhereverTV has successfully negotiated rebroadcast rights with more than 50 US channels and is in discussions with as many more. Although the Company had planned to launch this service in 2013, capital limitations prevented it from doing so. WhereverTV does, however, expect to launch this service in 2014, which will include more than 80 video channels, 40 audio channels as well as the ability add other outside channels and an unlimited DVR capability.
In summary, 2013 has proved to be an important positioning year, and an important relationship building year. The company has shaped its deployment strategy, forged most of its marketing, technology, licensing, and financial relationships and now is in position to become a global alternative to cable and satellite subscriptions. We welcome all supporters to actively join us on our mission.
Forward Looking Statements
This shareholder letter contains certain forward looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding improvements to our service and growth in subscribers; growth trends, including: competition, customer acquisition, profit and margin, as well as content licensing; platform development; and strategic partnerships during 2014.
The forward-looking statements in this letter are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ, including, without limitation: our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers; our ability to compete effectively; our ability to build and market our brand; the continued availability of content on terms and conditions acceptable to us; maintenance and expansion of device platforms for instant streaming; fluctuations in consumer usage of our service; disruption in service on our website or with third-party distribution networks and devices that help us operate our service; competition and widespread consumer adoption of different modes of viewing in-home filmed entertainment. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.