MHz Adapts to Viewers’ Choice

Since 2015, MHz Choice has been active in the SVOD space, providing U.S. and Canadian viewers with titles from MHz Networks’ vast international catalog subtitled in English. As the VOD space has continued to expand in the past several years, so too has MHz Choice’s offering, always with viewers’ needs at the forefront of its strategy.

“We have some very vocal viewers, and we listen to them,” says Lance Schwulst, senior VP of content strategy at MHz Networks. “We take what they have to say to heart, and we try to respond accordingly.”

The service is currently operating with a weekly refresh rate. “Every Tuesday, we either add a new series, a new season to a preexisting series or additional episodes to an ongoing season,” Schwulst explains. “Our website is refreshed every week with new content.”

This content comes from MHz Networks’ catalog, as well as a large stable of licensors that bring him what they know the platform wants.

While the service does have titles spanning a wide range of genres, it is the crime space that particularly stands out. “We’re pretty focused on crime, but we do venture out into some very popular dramas and comedies as well,” he says. “If you look at the crime genre, there are different subgenres. We focus on the lighter side of crime, if you will.”

Instead of focusing on the crime itself, MHz Choice’s crime offerings usually center on the resolution of cases and feature less violence. As the platform continues to grow its stable of programs in the genre, Schwulst notes that he would like the representation of victim demographics to be more equitable. “We want more male victims” to be shown, he says. “There’s a disproportionate amount of crime series where the victims are all young females. Yes, that’s real life—females are sadly more prone to become victims than males—but this is television. Let’s make it a bit more equitable and less misogynistic.”

An investment from Kino Lorber late last year has opened up a slew of new titles that may just fill Schwulst’s wish list. With the partnership, “we have a huge library that we can draw on of films, and we certainly intend to exploit that when appropriate.”

This summer alone has already seen a steady influx of new programs, with a total of 15 series and nine returning shows set to land throughout the season. The French period mystery Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games: The ’70s bowed on the SVOD last month, and the French anthology crime travelogue Murder In… debuted earlier this month. August will offer viewers even more choice: the Italian police drama Don’t Leave Me, the South African series Lioness and the Australian doomsday show Preppers. Returning titles include Inspector RexMaigretCaptain Marleau and Alice Nevers.

“We run a very steady ship,” Schwulst says. “We serve our viewers very well. We’re just going to continue on that course, and try and refine what we do and do it better, more frequently and rely upon a shared knowledge base with Kino Lorber.”