Music VOD service i-concerts
, and France’s broadband ISP operator Free
have finalised a strategic 2-part partnership deal, to launch one of the first ever TV channels via ADSL to offer around the clock High Definition concerts and create the largest European IPTV VOD concert platforms.
The new channel i-concerts HD will launch on Wednesday 21st of June on Free’s Freebox, and will broadcast 24/7. This marks the first French and hence European channel to offer its subscriber’s non-stop HD concert programming.
i-concerts HD will cover all genres of music including Pop, Rock, Jazz, Soul, Classical, Rap and much more. Viewers will be able to enjoy stunning performances from some of the world’s greatest artists such as Robbie Williams, U2, James Blunt, Dire Straits, Beyoncé, Seal, Radiohead, James Brown, and Gorillaz, to mention just a few.
Further to the channel launch, i-concerts and Free have also created i-concerts Jukebox, the largest European IPTV VOD platform dedicated exclusively to concerts. This unique service will allow Freebox subscribers to select from a multitude of quality concerts of their choice, featuring performances from Eminem, Usher, Rod Stewart, Coldplay, Andrea Bocelli, REM, Eros Ramazotti, Lou Reed, Katie Melua and more. The service will also provide access to some of the world’s greatest music festivals, including extra backstage footage.
Michaël Boukobza, CEO, Free, said: “The launch of this comprehensive VOD and HD Broadcast service into the French market is the first of its kind, and i-concert’s reputation as being one of the largest content providers of music programming for broadband platforms makes them a perfect partner.”
Natalia Tsarkova, President, i-concerts added: “Free’s highly advanced technical platform has enabled us to launch a true state-of–the-art concert channel, and create the most advanced live music experience out there. For the first time in Europe, the HDTV and VOD environment will complement each other in bringing music fans the splendour and variety of music shows by their favourite artists.”
Free is a subsidiary of the Iliad Group. The lliad Group is a major player in the Internet and telecommunications markets in France through its subsidiaries Free (the Leading alternative broadband operator with 1,783,000 broadband subscribers as of March 2006.), Onetel and lliad Telecom (fixed telephony operators) and Kertel (pre-paid phone cards), as well as IFW (wireless local loop). The lliad Group was established in 1991 and currently has more than 1,000 employees. The lliad Group is listed on the Euronext Paris Eurolist under the mnemonic code ILD.
Founded in June 2005, i-concerts™ is a pioneering concept in video-on-demand programming and has been created as a TV style channel designed for broadband networks, providing at launch over 250 hours of music programming. Unlike most existing music platforms, the new service is available exclusively on a syndication basis to broadband and wireless networks looking to bring premium on-demand content to their subscribers. To date, i-concerts™ is carried by Club Internet (T-Online France) as a broadband PC VOD service only, and by Belgian cable operator Telenet on their IDTV and PC VOD platforms. i-concerts™ has also signed partnership programming deals with New Morning Vision (audiovisual arm to legendary Paris based Jazz Club, ‘New Morning’), and most recently signed a VOD partnership agreement with BT Vision, set to launch in the UK later this year.