10 October 2014
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Flemish broadcasters join forces to create second screen app Stievie


This week’s egtabite looks at a familiar concept, that of bringing TV content to the second screen and ensuring viewers can always be connected to their favourite shows. What separates it from other initiatives that we have already shared with you is that this initiative is the result of a cooperation between the Belgian Flemish public broadcaster VRT, and private broadcasters Medialaan and SBS Belgium. These everyday competitors came to the conclusion that working together could allow them to reach new audiences and generate greater interest in their programmes. While Medialaan took the lead and owns the Stievie app, content is provided by all three broadcasters.


Launched in December 2013, for a monthly fee of €9.99, the Stievie app is available for Android and iOS and allows viewers to watch programmes from 10 Flemish television channels on their tablets/smartphones.

The programmes are available to watch both online, offline, live, time-shifted and up to six days after the original broadcast. Viewers also have the ability to rewind, pause and fast forward programmes. The specificity of this app is that regardless of it being based on a monthly subscription, it still carries the original linear advertising. However, these commercial breaks can also be fast forwarded. In the future, new models of advertising could be developed and easily tested on the existing audience. Statistics have already shown that only 50% of Stievie users skip the commercial breaks, in comparison to 80% of digital television users.

As with most second screen apps, social media plays a significant role and viewers can select and store clips in a library and share them on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

An updated version of the app will be launched during the course of October and will allow users to watch Stievie on TV screens thanks to Chromecast. Broadcasters want to make sure that they constantly drive innovation within the app, so as to make sure that users stay “hooked”. For example they launched two “pop-up” channels with special content made available for a specific time period.


Nine months after the launch of Stievie, the app has been downloaded 250,000 times and is regularly used by more than 30,000 consumers.  The key to this success can be attributed to the user-friendly interface of the app, which has led to 64% of the subscribers using Stievie on a daily basis. Catch up TV has proven to be exceptionally popular with 75% of all viewing on the app being time shifted; the rest of the content is being viewed live (20%) and only 5% is recorded.

As expected, the average Stievie subscriber is younger than the average linear TV viewer. The typical profile is a young male who watches TV content for about one hour per day through the app.

Why does this matter for egta members?

At a time when broadcasters have to fight on two fronts:  positioning themselves against their TV competitors but also against new OTT entrants (such as Netflix etc.), many hesitate between developing a strong platform for their own offers or rather joining forces with their fellow broadcasters. Other egta members can therefore learn from this joint broadcaster initiative which has enabled viewers to have a true “TV everywhere” experience while maintaining the reflex to turn to TV channels for quality content. A key challenge of course also lies in the legal constraints to such initiatives, as other markets (such as Germany) have been forbidden to develop similar platforms. Finally, it has also been shown that for some specific thematic channels, the app may actually be a more effective platform as it has been shown to generate better market shares, amongst specific target groups, than on linear television.

Target: TV
What they said

» Stephan Desmit - Stievie

Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Stievie website (please click here)

» Stievie demo (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

Next events

» egta IT Users Fair
10 December (WED), Brussels


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