A week after rival Hooq announced its own freemium offering, Iflix is rolling out a free component of its subscription-based video streaming service.
26 Apr, 2018TECHINASIA.COM
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Southeast Asian video streaming service Iflix announced today it will offer its users free video streaming that will be supported by advertising. The free tier will be offered alongside current subscription options.
The move comes after the company realized that a purely subscription-based model wouldn’t work in the region.
“When we began Iflix, we naively believed that the Western entertainment model could easily succeed in emerging markets, and that price would be the primary customer pain point,” said Iflix group co-founder and CEO Mark Britt. “Looking back now, we realize how superficial that view was.”
Users subscribing to the free tier will have access to selected pieces of content from the catalog, including Iflix original productions, local and international TV shows, selected episodes and pilots from shows like Dexter, Descendants of the Sun, and short-form videos produced by internal content team Studio 215.
Linear and live broadcasts like free-to-air and pay TV channels and live sports events will be available on both free and paid tiers. Iflix says there will be 5,000 pieces of content available for free on the service, and the firm is aiming for 10,000 by the end of the year.
Iflix is currently available to users throughout Southeast Asia (except Singapore), the Middle East, and Africa.
Last week, rival Hooq announced a freemium offering of its own, albeit taking a slightly different path.
The streaming video company – co-owned by Singtel, Sony, and Warner – announced it would start streaming free-to-air TV for all its subscribers over its mobile app, partnering with Indonesian channels like Kompas TV, RTV, Metro TV, and more. Its free tier also includes the first episode of all local and Hollywood TV shows on Hooq’s platform.
Hooq also introduced a flexible payment system for users: for US$0.15 to 0.25, users can buy a “sachet” of unlimited access to the service’s paid tier for one day. This single-use option was modeled after a regular consumer practice in markets like Indonesia and the Philippines: buying things like shampoo in cheaper, single-use sachets rather than full bottles.
“From the day we started Ηοοq, we knew the traditional ‘monthly subscription’ model was not well suited to the markets of Southeast Asia. People don’t always have money to spare, but still want entertainment,” said Hooq CEO Peter Bithos.
Hooq is currently rolling out its freemium component in Indonesia, but will eventually expand it to other parts of the region.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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