Toggle TV - Teething Troubles?
With its bright-eyed, effervescent purple mascot, it is not hard to imagine Toggle TV as a welcome new addition to the MediaCorp family. However much like any newborn, it is facing its fair share of growing pains even as MediaCorp throws the full weight of its advertising juggernaut behind the service.
Having used over $10.6 million of ad space on OOH, print, television and radio since early 2012 (albeit mostly on their own platforms, obviously), there has been a concerted effort by MediaCorp to both promote Toggle TV, as well as produce original content for it.
With its offering of free content such as catch-up TV, local channels and even some K Dramas, Toggle TV hopes to entice viewers to experience the platform. From there, the lure is for viewers to be sufficiently taken with the ability to watch across different devices to sign up for a premium plan, starting at just over $8 a month, that entitles subscribers to access both local as well as foreign shows and movies. Early signs seem promising according to MediaCorp, with 70,000 signups so far, however they are unable to share how many of those were to the paid subscription as yet.
Our CCS study shows that that 51% of Singaporeans regularly watch videos or TV shows on their mobile or tablet device, so it is clear that the market exists for well executed cross-media publishers. However accessibility on its own is no draw, as with any media channel, content is still king.
These first steps into paid content seem slightly shaky for MediaCorp, especially with regards to its foreign content, though there are some undeniably strong local shows both current and retro. There may be a market for viewers looking to indulge in a little nostalgia with the Samsui Women and The Unbeatables, with Comscore reporting the mean age of Toggle TV viewers in their late-30s. Does it have enough though, to draw them away from other Pay TV services or even avoid cannibalisation from MediaCorp’s own xinmsn?
Perhaps even more threatening to Toggle TV’s success though, is the difficulty in delivering its promise of seamless viewing across various devices from your PC to your mobile to your tablet and back, with mobile content paltry at best on Android. If reviews of the mobile app on iTunes and Play Store are any indication, consumers are rapidly running out of patience with this lack of functionality. It is particularly damning that Toggle’s own FAQ admits that the portal has yet to be optimised for viewing other than on PCs, a big boo-boo for its own key value proposition.
With total unique visitors fluctuating between 5,000 to 9,000 in the months since launch, even with such a heavyweight advertising campaign behind it, Toggle needs to recover quickly from its early stumble.
Technical issues, content problems or otherwise, Toggle TV has the potential to fit into Singaporeans’ programme watching habits as seamlessly as it promises integration across the various platforms. It just has to grow up a lot faster before it hits those terrible twos.
Nielsen AQX 2012
CCS Survey, Aegis Media 2012