Remote-controlled subscription entertainment
Voyo is an online video rental service offering not only many foreign series and films, but also a rich selection of domestically-produced content.
The other day I was perplexed by a friend who was willing to take a 30 kg bag of books on his holiday, in the 21st century. While he was wheezing up the stairs to the holiday apartment, I laughingly asked if he wouldn’t prefer to try one of the well-known e-readers, to which he replied: »Perhaps. As soon as there is a decent selection of books available in Slovenian.«
Until recently, fans of Slovenian video content production were met with a similar dilemma. While you used to be able to access Slovenian films in most video rental stores, the same was not true for foreign digital streaming libraries. It could not be done simply, or at the very least, not legally.
This is all changing with Voyo, a Pro Plus version of Netflix, which in many ways offers Slovenian users a lot more than the American on-demand video streaming giant. One of the advantages is the direct streaming of Champions League football matches, other sporting events, and current affairs programmes, which Pro Plus is broadcasting on its own TV channels, Pop TV and Kanal A. Additionally, it provides content for martial arts fans, as it is the only one in Slovenia broadcasting major boxing matches.
Even though it offers plenty of foreign films and series, the most popular products on Voyo are Slovenian, with the series Reka ljubezni (A River of Love) at the helm.
More importantly, Voyo’s library is growing each month, increasing its selection of not only American, British, Scandinavian, Spanish and other well-known video content, but also films and series in which the actors speak Slovenian, Serbian, or Croatian. With its original content, Pro Plus hit the bullseye.
Instead of Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, or Narcos, which won over Netflix’s global audience, by far the most popular content on Voyo are the domestic series. Even though there is no lack of screaming teenagers on roller-skates chasing after I am Luna, the popularity of the Slovenian soap opera »A River of Love« is without parallel.
Episodes of the new Slovenian black comedy, Truplo (Corpse), are also racking up views. It’s a series about three friends, eternal students, who end up in the middle of a mysterious death investigation by mistake. Audiences also used to be glued to their screens by the comedy series, V dvoje (For Two), in the evening hours, they roared with laughter at Skečoholiki (Sketchoholics), while Naša mala klinika (Our Little Clinic) was always the best in evoking nostalgia. All these series are available to users at any place, any time, as long as they have online access.
Voyo, unlike Netflix, does not (yet) offer different subscription packages. It offers its users high-resolution content – from its library or streamed live – for seven euros a month, which is a euro cheaper than Netflix’s basic package, and about 50 cents cheaper than subscribing to Amazon Prime, which offers access to the Amazon Video content library.
When deciding between Netflix and Voyo, many Slovenian viewers will prefer the latter. Not only because of the Slovenian series, but also because of live broadcasts of sporting events.
So is it worth it? When weighing up the pros and cons of Voyo, we cannot ignore the fact that as a platform, it is not only intended to entertain Slovenians; it is also extremely important for the Slovenian film industry, which for too long was fuelled only by assets from various funds.
Subscribing to Voyo does not only mean all the fun is at your fingertips – it also means supporting Slovenian actors, screenwriters, and directors, who until now, did not have a platform on which to present themselves to the general public, and grow alongside it.