Frontier's TumTiki OTT Play Aims to Build Customer Involvement

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Frontier Communications (NYS: FTR) has launched an aggressive over-the-top video play designed to help it reduce customer churn and to take advantage of burgeoning demand for OTT video.

TumTiki features content from Hulu and Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) , as well as a healthy dose of local content, including news and sports.

"There are 700,000 titles in the library, and the Hulu piece of that is only about 20 percent," Melinda White, EVP for revenue development at Frontier, told FierceOnlineVideo. There are about 100,000 titles available from Amazon.com, and 300,000 items of locally oriented content, including high school sports and other news, available. More than 85 percent of the content is free.

White said all content sites are embedded on the TumTiki site, so users who click on Hulu content remain on the Frontier website.

"This is a value to our customers, it's designed to bring attention to our site," said White. "When you click on a title on Hulu, for example, you stay on our site. That's a value to our advertisers; but it's also a value to partners like Hulu, because we still bring them more eyeballs."

Frontier is looking to grow the product beyond its 27-state footprint, making it available to subscribers nationwide as well as non-subscribers. The company has about 556,000 pay-TV subscribers and 1.75 million high-speed Internet subscribers.

Currently, TumTiki is available only on computer browsers.

"Our current focus is on perfecting the web-based experience for laptops and desktops," White said. "We'll look to expand out to other devices," at a later time.

White said one of the company's focuses was on adding value to its high-speed Internet service.

"Everybody wants to be the line in the house," White said. "And when you think beyond the network, you have to deliver value to the customer, apps, OTT video, services that everyone should have. We think OTT is an important component of that profile. We think it's an important place to be."

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