The new over-the-top (OTT) streaming service will include thousands of films, as well as exclusive content

Russia’s largest operator, Mobile TeleSystems, has entered the video streaming market with the launch of their OTT platform called KION. The app will feature thousands of films and hundreds of channels, as well as a range of exclusive content branded as ‘KION Originals’. 

The content library will also be bolstered as a result of the operator’s partnership with Channel One Russia, the country’s most popular TV channel.

In total, the service is expected to have around 11,000–12,000 content items available to watch by the end of the year.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this new app is the introduction of a flexible viewing format called ‘kinostories’, whereby viewers can choose whether to watch a kinostory in a single session or as numerous specially-edited shorter segments.

“Launching an online streaming platform under a new brand is a major milestone for MTS as well as a strategic step forward,” said President & CEO Vyacheslav Nikolayev. “I am confident that KION will provide viewers an exhilarating experience full of excitement and emotion. This provides a great opportunity for us to strengthen brand loyalty across the entire MTS ecosystem. By tying the platform into our other services — as well as leveraging our big data and AI capabilities — KION will be able to provide customers a unique, personalized content offering at an attractive price point.”

MTS’s current video service, MTS TV, currently only has around a 1% share of the roughly $810 million Russian streaming market, with the operator hoping that the rebranded KION will perform much better, aiming to compete with the likes of ivi and Okko to become one of the top three OTT video services in Russia. Nikolayev says that KION will achieve 20 million subscribers by 2023, double the amount previously targeted for MTS TV in the same time period. 

The service will initially be supplied on a subscription basis, with an ad-powered model also planned for adoption by the end of the year. 


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