In big news for Stockholm, Magine, the online cable company we covered this past winter, has raised a solid €14.5 million in funding. In Stockholm we talk about Spotify, Wrapp, iZettle, and Tictail being up there on the list, but this funding round validates that there's another big company to keep on your radar. The details of the funding round were not released, other than it includes a group of Swedish and international investors.
If you missed our past coverage, the way Magine works is by essentially delivering TV through the internet, rather than a cable. The benefit here for consumers is that you're not stuck with the software in your 4 year old cable box, and with about half of their channels you also basically have 2 weeks of all content recorded to watch whenever you want.
With Magine, TV can be consumed over your computer, with their iOS apps, or with smart TV apps (where your mobile apps can be used as awesome remotes).
In Sweden, Magine hosts channels such as Discovery, CNN International, BBC, Eurosport, National Geographic, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network as well as national broadcasters SVT and TV4. The company tells us they are in advanced negotiations with a number of other major international media and entertainment groups and further announcements are expected shortly.
You would think broadcasters would hate it, but Magine works with them more like another cable company rather than a radical disruptor. Traditional cable companies pay broadcasters for the rights to show live content, but Magine pays broadcasters every time a show is watched, whether its live or from their catch-up content, making a whole channel's backlog monetize like it's live.
Magine Chairman Michael Werner says, "Magine is not just another TV platform, but a totally new way of accessing and consuming content. It is a subscription service that was devised to make viewers come back to watching TV and this is why broadcasters and content providers are very keen to adopt the service."
Magine told us last winter they would soon be launching in new markets, and it seems to be going as planned. The company is next looking at the Spanish and German markets, where they should be launching soon.
We've been able to test out Magine at ArcticStartup, and as a chord cutter... it's gotten me to watch TV again. The deep amount of catch-up content makes it easy to find a sitcom to watch whenever you want, but you still get all the benefits of live TV, like today being able to watch the Tour de France in real time. It's not as good as Netflix for killing a season of your favorite show, but it makes up for it with live television.
I'm pretty bullish about Magine making a huge dent in the European TV market, so we'll keep posted with the company.