NatureTime will be available as a free streaming service in markets where the Love Nature brand is already established as a linear service. Content will be windowed in strategic ways to set each brand apart – i.e. Love Nature’s linear platforms will have first window access and NatureTime will have second window.
NatureTime has already launched on VIX Latin America in 18 countries and the service will be available imminently across Spain, France, Switzerland, the Nordics, Benelux and Portugal. NatureTime is a Love Nature sister brand that complements Love Nature’s linear platform in markets where linear exists, to differentiate between the two platforms. Both brands are owned by Blue Ant Media.
Love Nature already has 12 FAST platforms in the U.S., which Blue Ant started launching in 2020. And like the U.S. launches, anywhere Blue Ant launches FAST services globally where there’s no linear channel – it will be called Love Nature. If there’s a linear platform, Blue Ant will offer the sister brand, NatureTime.
Love Nature has a vast library of original wildlife and nature series and documentaries, mostly in 4K, distributed in different ways, including branded pay TV linear and streaming platforms available in 127 countries; content partnerships such as the one with Sky for Sky Nature; and global licensing via Blue Ant International.
“When we debuted Love Nature in the U.S. in 2020, we were not only the first wildlife and nature brand to launch a FAST channel, we were also the first content platform to do so with zero intention of launching a pay TV service in the U.S.,” Carlyn Staudt, global general manager, Love Nature, told Variety. “We knew then that FAST presented a tremendous opportunity and two years later we are validated by the brand’s success in this market, having since launched on free streaming platforms like VIX, VIZIO Watchfree+, SamsungTV Plus and The Roku Channel, among others.”
“Since our initial launch in this market our viewership has grown 900%. If you compare our first four months of 2022 (versus our first four months of 2021), our U.S. FAST revenue growth has been 282%, which has been a combination of organic growth with our current partners, as well as the addition of other carriers added in April 2021,” Staudt added.
“The numbers speak for themselves and our free streaming success in the U.S. has truly informed us as we worked to grow our presence in other global markets, notably EMEA, Asia-Pacific and LATAM, which are catching up to the free streaming world,” Staudt said. “Audiences are hungry for free programming to add to their overall entertainment portfolios, particularly via connected TVs and devices and through the launch of Love Nature’s sister brand, NatureTime, which will allow us to meet this growing demand in other countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.”
Staudt says that it is critical for Love Nature to continue being nimble and agile and reach previously untapped audiences who are consuming content in new ways. At the same time the outfit is not losing sight of its linear audience. The windowing plan ensures that they get a first look at several of tentpole programs.
“We predict that in the next five years FAST platforms will dictate how we as an industry distribute, not just our second-window opportunities, but also our key tentpole original productions,” Staudt says. “So don’t be surprised if you see us rewarding our NatureTime audience with select world premieres on our free-streaming platform.”