Malaysian streaming services radiate optimism

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysian streaming services are still confident about business prospects due to their unique models and growing number of local users despite the grim situation of their international counterparts, including the loss of Netflix subscribers and the drop in the share price. the action, CNN+ shutting down weeks after launch, and Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros taking a hit.

According to iQiyi Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Country Manager Dinesh Ratnam (picture) who oversees the growth and overall development of local operations, the iQiyi freemium model gives him an edge in the business.

“iQiyi has been operating on the freemium model since day one of our international and Malaysian operations,” he said. SunBiz.

It offers both subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) and ad-based video-on-demand models to allow audiences to choose how much to pay to watch shows on a streaming platform.

“We believe the freemium model can really put our audience in the center, giving them full control back.

“Currently, our members pay the full subscription price to enjoy shows without interrupting commercials, while other users can opt-in to viewing certain commercials in exchange for free shows on our platform.”

Dinesh said the dual model succeeded in making iQiyi the number one OTT (freemium over-the-top) platform in Malaysia in terms of growth in monthly active users and total downloads. applications in fiscal year 21 to 10 million.

Meanwhile, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd is striving to become Malaysia’s leading streaming service aggregator with Astro Go, Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, TVBAnywhere+, HBO Go and iQiyi now available on its platform, with plans to integrate six of them. others in fiscal year 23.

An Astro spokesperson said these complement its local and regional Asian vernacular lineup, in addition to its global sports offerings ranging from the English Premier League to the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games and the FIFA World Cup. , Qatar 2022.

“Customers on the ultra boxes can seamlessly switch between popular local hits on Astro and content from Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix, all without ever needing to leave their Astro interface.

“In addition, customers can bundle our new simplified TV packages with streaming apps, as well as our new Astro Fiber (broadband), offering convenience and value.”

A recent survey by Accenture found that 60% of consumers globally find the process of browsing different streaming services frustrating, with around a third of respondents looking to spend less on independent SVOD subscriptions.

According to a research report by RHB, Astro’s long list of OTT players knocking on its doors addresses the “rabbit hole” problem with aggregation. The results resonate well with Astro’s OTT aggregation model because it removes the complexity of finding relevant content across platforms, he said.

Bigo Live Vice President Mike Ong said Malaysia is seeing a growing and vibrant community of users and broadcasters and is positive about the prospects for live streaming growth in the market.

Ong said the live streaming industry will continue to grow not only in Malaysia, but also globally. Factors that will drive growth include growing interest in the creator economy, increased digitization in populations and the growing appeal of live e-commerce, online social gatherings and games, he said. Explain.

“Live streaming offers a new way to broadcast memorable life moments and experiences, showcase passion and talent, and connect with the global community in real time. It’s a virtual community where users can come together to form “families”, create online communities and provide support as they grow. »

Ong said the optimism is also partly due to his efforts resonating with local communities.

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