Pet Age recently spoke with Beke Lubeach, general manager at DOGTV, to learn more about the how the 24/7 channel fits into the pet industry.
When did you join DOGTV and how would you describe it?
On Jan. 1, 2019 I was brought on as the company’s general manager. However, I started with the company in December 2011 as a consultant tasked with launching and testing a new, unique product called DOGTV. The first time we premiered was on Feb. 13, 2012, in San Diego. We launched the channel just to see if we could get pet parents’ buy-in and interest – and we did!
DOGTV is the only technology created specifically for dogs to help relax and entertain them when home alone or in anxious situations. The sights and sounds that DOGTV provides enriches the dogs’ environment and allows them to experience happy stimulation and relaxation. Over a million happy dogs love and trust DOGTV every day.
Since its launch, DOGTV programming has been embraced by pet parents — and their dogs. DOGTV has been gaining subscribers and distribution ever since. We’ve taken DOGTV from distribution in the United States into international distribution and we continue to get into new countries and onto new platforms for viewing.
DOGTV is currently available in the U.S. on DIRECTV, Dish, Sling, Comcast Xfinity, Cox and RCN. Pet parents can also access the programming on an app and stream through Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast or they can view on their phones, laptops, computers or mobile iOS and Android devices. Internationally, DOGTV can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and South Korea.
How can brick-and-mortar retailers benefit from DOGTV?
DOGTV launched a retail program at Global Pet Expo, then almost immediately after, COVID-19 hit and it put the launch a bit behind. The DOGTV Retail Program offers retailers the opportunity to sell subscription gift cards at their store or on-line. The retail value of a one month subscription is $9.99. Currently, we are providing 25 (twenty five) one month gift cards gift per store location to retailers at no cost to the retailer. Once the customer purchases the subscription and stays on the channel for a second month, we reward the retailer with another $10 per subscriber.
What kind of programming does DOGTV broadcast?
At DOGTV we know that dogs have different needs. Because of that we have organized our content into three categories so you, the pet parent, can choose what best suits your unique dog.
The Relaxation portion of DOGTV is designed to calm your dog. Dogs typically spend fourteen hours a day sleeping or napping. When they are left alone, though, they can become anxious. Anxiety in your dog can lead to him exhibiting hyperactive and/or destructive behaviors. With the Relaxation portion of DOGTV, your dog will be exposed to calming videos and soothing sounds that will help relax him and make him feel more at ease when you’re away.
The Stimulation segment offers more engaging videos and sounds from dogs and other animals. The Stimulation videos are designed to be playful and keep your dog from getting bored. When your dog watches the Stimulation programming she is receiving mental and physical stimulation.
The Exposure segment of DOGTV utilizes a variety of videos on subjects that typically make dogs nervous. Those subjects include: Vacuum cleaners, car rides, busy street noise, and more. With Exposure programming your dog will be gradually introduced to sounds which frighten her. The videos provide limited exposure to the sounds and this will help your dog become accustomed to those noises and events that make them anxious. If your dog becomes acclimated and accustomed to these noises in a limited fashion, the noises lose their power to produce anxiety in your dog.
In June we launched myDOGTV our direct-to-consumer channel. This is free content for pet parents. It will offer some user-generated content from our show DOGSTAR; the Dog Chef, and others. We want to help pet parents keep their dogs happy and healthy and enriched as well as our canine viewers.
We’ve also been hosting DOGTV Live Chats on Facebook and have brought more than 40 experts in the pet community onto the live shows to discuss topics relevant to pet parents during the COVID-19 outbreak.
What is the science behind DOGTV that makes it unique?
DOGTV is based on over 60 scientific studies. In those studies we looked at how visual stimuli can impact a dogs’ behavior, ways in which exposure to sounds can help dogs become acclimated to that sound and reduce their anxiety and how dogs are positively impacted by listening to classical music versus other auditory stimulation.
DOGTV currently has five patents on its production process. Part of what makes our programming unique from other programming on television is the way the color is edited to enhance the viewing experience for the dogs, how the music is composed and other sound frequencies that appeal to the dogs’ senses. Much of the programming is shot from the dog’s perspective — the pet parent gets to see the world the way their dogs see the world.
What does the future of DOGTV hold for the pet industry?
DOGTV will continue growing our direct-to-consumer channel as a way to reach canines and their pet parents. We will be launching into more international markets and will continue building new partnerships with pet-focused businesses looking for new and unique ways to provide enrichment for their dogs.
More and more, pet parents are educating themselves and researching the importance of enriching the lives of their dogs. These pet parents are finding that along with dog puzzle food toys, the best leashes and collars, training methods, comfortable beds and healthy foods, DOGTV can also add to the quality of their life.
As the country opens up and we start to leave our dogs home alone again, many of them will develop separation anxiety. You don’t need to leave your dog alone and lonely when headed back to work, DOGTV’s the scientifically designed content will be there to help relax and entertain them. If you haven’t already tried DOGTV, visit www.dogtv.com/wecare for a free 30-day trial subscription.