Qwest TV launches 3 new channels + first original content

Sebastian attended a virtual press conference given by Reza Ackbaraly, CEO & Co-founder of Qwest TV.

The origins of Qwest Tv stem from a Quincy Jones meeting Reza Ackbaraly at the Jazz a Vienne Festival in 2014, and the on-demand video service was launched in September 2017 after a
Kickstarter campaign.

Now, three years after launch, a time in which the technology has been built, the service is announcing the launch of three TV Channels, having previously concentrated on its Video-on-Demand platform and on educational programmes, Qwest’s strapline is “Good music returns to TV”. Detail was given about the shows that will be screened at 9pm CET (8pm GMT) each night. The three channels are

– Jazz and Beyond
– Mix
– Classical

Still from the new Ibrahim Maalouf film (screengrab)

Another landmark announcement is that Qwest is about to launch its first item of original content, this Thursday 5 November 2020. It is a concert Ibrahim Maalouf gave with a 100-strong children’s choir in early September at the Arènes de Nîmes. Maalouf has a new album out on 6 November and 5 November happens to be his 40th birthday.

The press conference also gave an insight into the Qwest’s mission and some numbers as well:

– Qwest refers to an “online community” of 205,000. That not its subscriber base, but essentially the reach of its social media channels.
– Viewers of services can be up to 250,000 at any one time. 50% of these are in the US and 50% in the rest of the world, the largest constituent being Europe.
– “Curation is our thing,” said Ackbaraly. The current offer is 1300 programmes, with an emphasis on quality. “We are not YouTube”
– The emphasis is on a broad musical range “from bebop to laptop… and hiphop”
– Another objective is “not to be an elitist platform”, to have a “welcoming environment” and a “principle of opening doors to non-connoisseurs” (all three direct quotes from the press conference)
– In jazz there are content partnerships with the festivals of Montreal Montreux Vienne, the French INA and the Moods Club in Zurich.
– Qwest has a partnership with Samsung TV. Its customers have free access to Qwest’s content and a similar arrangement is planned to start shortly with Huawei
– The ad-free subscription service is USD 4.99 a month
– Qwest is free for students in 700 educational establishments in 50 countries which are in partnership with it.
– The classical is being led by Marc Welinski – formerly of Mezzo TV who spoke at the press conference
– It also emerged that Quincy Jones was an early-stage investor in Spotify


Slide 1. Prime time at Jazz and Beyond



Slide 2. Prime Time at Qwest Mix

Slide 3. Qwest TV classical. All slides have been reproduced with express permission from Qwest TV

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