Hulu and Netflix Challenger Zeewe TV Races to One Million Users

Brazilian company Movile today announced that its recent social video platform venture Zeewe TV has just passed the one million user mark. Zeewe TV is essentially a streaming video sharing service complete with premium paid content and free tiers, and caters especially  to Latino audiences. While the platform has embraced Facebook social graph integration, the key to its growth has been more about its platform-agnostic approach to mobile, which has driven 80 percent of its new registrations.

For the company, which already has a strong following in Latin America, the next challenge to overcome will be expanding its U.S. presence. That task falls to Movile co-founder and head of U.S. operations Eduardo Henrique. In an interview with BetaKit, he shared details of the company’s strategy for growing its U.S. presence, which include targeting the underserved Latino market, and also building relationships with key mobile players that have so far been largely left out of the smartphone media content game.

After some early investment in HTML5, with the launch of an HTML5 app store aimed at smartphone users in Latin America, Henrique said the company started looking for new opportunities. “We started thinking ‘how could we leverage some of this expertise with HTML5 in mature markets?’, and we had agreements with video content providers in Latin America, so we saw a very interesting opportunity to focus on the Hispanic market.”

Henrique said that Movile saw that no one was really addressing that market well with a streaming video product, so Zeewe TV stepped in. Maximizing that opportunity will be challenging, and one of Henrique’s key goals is bringing on U.S. carrier partners. In Latin America, Zeewe TV appeals to consumers because its video content streaming doesn’t count against customer data plans in many cases, thanks to deals arranged with carriers. That’s been a key component in turning free users into paid customers, something Zeewe TV has done well at, with a roughly 25 percent conversion rate.

For Zeewe TV, offering that same kind of value proposition, which also includes convenient carrier billing for its services, to users in the U.S. will help it grow significantly. And it’ll be a boon to carriers, too, since Movile shares revenue with carriers, bringing them back into the content marketplace they’ve been largely kept out of since Apple wrested control of software and non-telephony services from mobile network operators with the original iPhone. If Henrique and his team can convince carriers to come on board, they’ll be in a good place, especially since they’re starting with a cross-platform product that works out of the box on Android, iPhone and any other mobile device that can handle HTML5 on the mobile web.

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