SeeSaw has now arrived, having left its short beta and launched fully for anyone resident in the U.K. to use. More content is promised, and Arqiva is already talking about pay-per-view and subscription options in the near future.
SeeSaw is the one-stop shop for online television that Arqiva built from the ashes of Project Kangaroo. SeeSaw entered an invite-only beta last month, but has now launched fully, with any British resident now able to use the service as they wish.
SeeSaw is a free, advertising-based site which draws video offerings from a number of different sources. It then serves them up in a very user-friendly environment with good quality video playback and a minimum of adverts.
From Beta To Public
Having used SeeSaw during the beta period, I reviewed how the site was progressing a few weeks ago. I really like the design and layout, but the content and how the site is going to offer anything above and beyond the sources its using remain sticking points to a wholehearted recommendation.
The good thing is that the site is now open for all to use and make their own minds up. The beta was very short and nothing has changed as far as I can see. Unfortunately that also means there are no new sources, with the BBC, 4oD, and Five still the only content providers listed.
Arqiva launched the site fully on Wednesday, with SeeSaw controller John Keeling telling the Daily Mail:
“It’s like having an enormous buffet… you can either just snack on it and catch up on what you’ve missed or gorge yourself with an entire season – it’s absolutely at your fingertips and your control.”
This is the tip of the iceberg, it feels to me like it did 20 years ago when I was at Sky and multi-channel TV was just beginning and you saw satellite dishes sprouting on people’s homes like mushrooms.”
While SeeSaw is currently free to watch, with revenue being gained from 2 minutes of adverts for each video, this will change later in the year. Arqiva hopes to double its content over the next few months, including premium U.S. content.
At this point, planned for around June, Arqiva will begin to explore pay options. Users will then be able to rent shows and possibly TV movies as well. These will be streams rather than downloads, with a 48-hour window to watch the bought content without ads.
SeeSaw is also thought to be investigating the possibilities of a subscription package for the premium service. Which isn’t surprising as it’s a route also being explored by Hulu, YouTube, and Apple for iTunes.
The SeeSaw story is only just beginning, and it’s started well. Arqiva’s willingness to forge deals with content providers, that Hulu hasn’t been able to do in its race to go international, means more content is sure to arrive. And that will be key in persuading people that SeeSaw is an essential service.
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