Broadband ISP Frontier Communications has been trying to find new ways to provide value to its subscribers, and to do so it is rolling out one of the most comprehensive video portals online. With the launch of TumTiki, Frontier is bringing together more than 700,000 video assets from a combination of traditional broadcast TV and online sources.
Frontier’s EVP of Revenue Development, Melinda White, told us in an interview last week that “tum” means “all” and “tiki” means “idol.” Essentially, the site seeks to bring as many stars from movies and TV series together as possible. In terms of its breadth of content, the site accomplishes that, with hundreds of thousands of videos to choose from.
White said that about 90 percent of all videos on the site are free and ad-supported, with others available for purchase. Content includes TV episodes from networks like ABC, Fox, NBC, Bravo, FX, AMC, Comedy Central and TBS. Hulu and Amazon are primary content partners, but unlike other sites that link to their content, their video players are embedded on the site, meaning that TumTiki users never have to leave to watch the content they want.
In addition to network content, TumTiki also has a large selection of local content, targeted at viewers throughout its footprint. The company serves more than 27 states, and it has videos focused on sports, news and other local subjects. TumTiki also has a sizable selection of web original videos through a partnership with providers like Yahoo.
In addition to its content, TumTiki is also hoping to entice viewers with social features, like allowing its users to create and share video playlists with their friends on social networks. This allows their friends to modify and collaborate on playlists. There’s also a gamification aspect to the site, with users able to earn badges and virtual rewards.
Frontier is primarily a telco and broadband ISP, but it has been trying to enter into the video space: It has 3.2 million subscribers, with 556,000 video subscribers. TumTiki is part of its effort to provide more value to broadband customers and to grab more revenues through advertising and video sales.
At the same time, building a video aggregation site — even one with as many videos as TumTiki — seems a little archaic in this day and age. After all, while Frontier is focused on building a free-to-all, ad-based video site, other service providers are busy building authenticated websites in which you must show you’re a subscriber before you get access to certain bits of content.