The new platform will be launched in collaboration with US tech provider, OTTera, and will offer Star Media’s most popular content, subtitled and dubbed in 8 languages, under a monthly subscription or free with advertising.

Star Media has entered into a partnership agreement with American specialist in development and adaptation of cutting-edge technologies, OTTera. The partnership envisages an extension of opportunities to view Star Media content for the global audience thanks to the launch of the proprietary streaming service LAVA designed for Smart TV, mobile phones and tablets.

At the initial stage, the streaming service will offer the company’s most popular content with the further extension to the whole library, which accounts for over 7.5 thousand hours of ready-made content. Most of the projects will be available both dubbed and subtitled in 6-8 languages including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and others.

At the second stage, the company will offer cooperation opportunities to all its partners whose content is already successfully aggregated by the company’s multi-channel network on YouTube and protected against pirates by ContentScan, a service working with the use of artificial intelligence technology.

LAVA will rely on a combined business model. Content will be publicly available via the advertising and subscription models with the latter providing access to all projects presented on the platform with no ads.

Vlad Riashyn, President of Star Media Group, said: “Launching our own streaming service LAVA, we are not planning to compete with global platforms and local streaming services that entered the market long ago. On the contrary, we want to cooperate. Our target audience are descendants from the former Soviet Union, members of their families and friends living all over the world. Key markets are North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Israel and a part of Asia. We have reached out to some part of the Russian-speaking audience with YouTube and want to increase the segment consistently with the additional service. New original projects will enter the scene soon, including the ones we are planning to co-produce with other partners with possible division of territories. By the way, LAVA is one of the few words that has the same meaning in the majority of languages.”

Stephen Hodge, Chairman and Co-CEO of OTTera, added: “Star Media is actively strengthening its presence in the international market working with many well-known foreign companies. We are glad to collaborate with such an ambitious company. Together, we will be working on drawing attention to their multi-language content from the side of new audiences worldwide thanks to the universal and simple app available in any place of the world. Seeing how successful our partners are in the field of paid channels, promotion of content on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, we believe that Star Media will manage to become a powerful player in the OTT industry.”

Maria Grechishnikova, CEO of Star Media Group, said: “Star Media is constantly expanding monetization opportunities for its main asset – content. Development of our own streaming service LAVA is an ambitious and unbelievably promising business area. Seeing the interest in the Russian-language content outside the CIS, we stake on the foreign market where the Russian-speaking audience, by various estimates, accounts for around 35 million people, and taking into account their family members and friends, this figure can be freely doubled. Seeing the success of our historical and other projects on the leading foreign VOD platforms and YouTube, we understand that other audiences are also interested in our products. I believe that the partnership with OTTera will allow making our new business successful.”

The new streaming service LAVA will be available to users in autumn of 2021.

Beta Film Acquires Star Media’s Land of Legends

Star Media also announced it has expanded its partnership with Beta Film, which has acquired its new 15th-century epic history drama series Land of Legends and the feature film of the same name.

Produced by Star Media, PROFIT and the TV Сhannel Russia 1, the visually stunning series is based on the critically acclaimed novel by one of the most popular Russian authors, Alexei Ivanov, combining historical drama with mystery and fantasy.

Directed by Anton Megerdichev (Going Vertical, Metro) the cast of Land of Legends is led by Aleksandr Kuznetsov (Gold Diggers, Better Than Us) as Prince Mikhail, along with the up-and-coming Elena Erbakova, Fyodor Bondarchuk (Sputnik, Filatov) and Evgeniy Mironov (The Lenin Factor, Cosmoball). Land of Legends is created with the support of the Cinema Foundation of Russia.

Land of Legends (6×60′) tells the story of Mikhail, a Russian prince who is raised to stay true to his roots and human values of love and faith. But after his father dies in battle by the hand of the pagan lord Asyka, Mikhail fulfills his father’s dream and establishes peace in the ancient lands of Perm. But young Prince Mikhail is torn between his love and the will of the mighty as he faces an epic fight that will decide not only his fate, but the fate of the whole of Rus. Married to the incarnation of a pagan goddess, his love, too, becomes the focus of those who seek to climb the throne of Perm.