Sergey Kupreev, CBDO of Star Media, spoke to ttvnews about the company’s new streaming service, LAVA, sharing details about the strategy behind it, its content catalog, key markets and potential launch date.

Over the last year and a half, the world has had to learn to navigate the new reality caused by the global pandemic. And a big part of that has been spending more time at home with their families, due to the work-from-home and quarantine measures imposed by most governments around the world.

In this context, TV consumption has grown notably as families have been seeking more entertainment during their time at home, leading to two major trends: on the one hand, an increased need for quality content to meet this increasing demand from viewers. And on the other hand, the revolution of the streaming world, with dozens of new players coming into the market, offering custom catalogs and solutions to audiences worldwide.

As one of the leading media groups in Russia, Star Media has been able to rise to the occasion on both fronts, as it has continued to develop high-end productions that add to its already impressive catalog of series and films, and most-recently announcing the launch of its very own streaming service: LAVA.

Aimed at Russian-speaking audiences in their native country and around the world, the new service will be available for Smart TV, mobile phones (iOS & Android) and tablets, and offer Star Media’s most popular content at launch, with plans to expand the offer to the company’s entire library in the future.

“We want is to provide our viewers with a simple and convenient way to view Star Media content, all in one place”, said Sergey Kupreev, CBDO of Star Media, who spoke to ttvnews about the new streaming service, the strategy behind it, its content catalog, key markets and potential launch date.

How did you come to the necessity to launch your own streaming service?

Star Media regularly extends the opportunities to monetize its main asset: content. We already have our own pay TV channels, MCN on Youtube, so launching of our own streaming service was a logical step considering the size of our catalog. We see growing interest in our content beyond the CIS borders so LAVA is another possibility to watch great Russian language content on any devices.

The Pleasure Principle

Please, tell us about your target audience.

Our key markets are North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and some part of Asia. Of course, we target the Russian-speaking audience, which accounts for around 35 million people according to different estimates, and taking into account their family members and friends, we may double this number. Content presented on LAVA will catch interest of the Russian-speaking audience that loves strong drama stories. We also hope to engage the foreign audience that speaks other languages and takes interest in quality content, modern Russian culture, cinematography, studies Russian language perhaps.

On what devices will the app be available?

LAVA is designed for Smart TV, mobile phones (iOS & Android) and tablets. Thanks to this universal and simple app, users will have a possibility to watch content on any of the above-mentioned devices anywhere in the world.

When will LAVA streaming service become available to users?

We are planning to launch LAVA later this autumn.

Detective Anna

Do you have a strategy how to make LAVA outperform the international streaming platforms? Netflix, for example?

We are not going to compete with global or local platforms. All we want is to provide our viewers with the simple and convenient way to view Star Media content in one place: on LAVA, which, we hope, will become a home of Russian-speaking content one day, soon we plan to start aggregating third-party content.

What kind of content will LAVA present?

When launched, LAVA will offer the most popular content of Star Media. In the future, we are planning to expand the offering to the whole library, which consists of more than 7.5 thousand hours of ready-made content. Among others, users will be able to find the popular series Detective Anna, as well as thrillers Silence and The Pleasure Principle, co-produced by Star Media and foreign partners. Within the next few years we plan to start producing LAVA originals, including co-productions with other local platforms.

Cold Shores

How do you handle the language issue? Taking into account that LAVA targets the audiences of different countries.

Most our films and series will be presented in Russian. A part of content will be available both dubbed and subtitled in 6-8 languages including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and others.

Tell us about the business part of the project. How do you plan to monetize it?

LAVA will be available in AVOD & SVOD which will allow skipping all ads.