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Streaming competition hots up in Asia as Singtel inks deals with Netflix and Viu

The big Netflix CES announcement this year was that it plans to launch the service ‘everywhere’, or as close to, as it kicked off a major push into Asia. It also started a marketing talent drive, specifically looking to partnerships as a route to scale in key markets such as Singapore.

This strategy is starting to come to fruition as the streaming service announced a partnership with Singapore-based mobile operator Singtel. The deal will involve people getting up to nine months of free Netflix access when they sign up to a mobile or TV subscription with Singtel.

Bill Holmes, Netflix's global head of business development, said: "As a Netflix Open Connect partner and the exclusive promotional launch partner, Netflix and Singtel are working together to deliver our diverse library of TV shows and movies and an unparalleled streaming experience through Singtel products."

It’s not the only partnership Singtel is courting, however, as it has signed a deal with Hong Kong-based PCCW to be the launch partner of over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Viu in Singapore.

PCCW has also announced a string of major content deals with Korean broadcasters SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M for the Viu service.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO of consumer Singapore at Singtel, said: “Viu complements our suite of quality entertainment services across various devices. Korean dramas and variety shows have a huge appeal in Singapore.”

According to PCCW, the Viu app has had over 500,000 downloads since its launch in Hong Kong in October 2015. It is hoping to emulate this success in other Asian markets but with Netflix also laying out aggressive growth plans, competition is set to increase for streaming services in the region.