The demand for video on demand has seen a rapid increase, and iflix, is just one of the Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets.
The SVoD service focuses on new localized content plans with huge local content tent poles focusing on first-run local movies direct from cinema and a bold slate of original programming. The Drum spoke to iflix co-founder Mark Britt on how he plans to expand the brand in a market which is currently dominated by Netflix.
What prompted you to start iflix?
At iflix, we are passionate about two things; emerging markets and world-class entertainment. There are currently over 4.6 billion people in emerging markets today. For many of them, their only option for accessing their favourite entertainment programs till now has been piracy. We founded iflix with the aim of offering consumers an alternative that is better than piracy. We envisioned bringing together the world's best content, with thousands of first run exclusive titles, hit and award-winning TV series, blockbuster movies, exceptionally popular local and regional content, children's programs, and more, to create a world-class service where users can both stream and download programs, all for the price of a pirated DVD.
Do you consider Netflix as your rivals? / Both Netflix and iflix sound quite similar. Has it been an advantage or a disadvantage?
We don’t consider Netflix rivals as we focus on very different market segments. We created iflix for the more than 4 billion people in emerging markets who want to enjoy their favourite shows whilst being respectful to their cultural standards and preferences; who may not have consistent access to Internet and/or a credit card; who probably can’t afford pay TV or other premium TV services, but do have access to a mobile phone and want the best entertainment content available, from local and regional producers in addition to Hollywood. Through localisation, via content, subtitling, marketing, pricing, etc, we have created a unique service that our local customers appreciate and can relate to.
We further view all SVOD usage as a positive, as it is helps to educate the market on the service model which tends to be relatively new in our markets .
Tell us how you managed to raise $90mn from investors in March.
We are very fortunate to have exceptional partners who both share our vision and recognise this huge opportunity to redefine entertainment in emerging markets. As the SVOD industry continues to rapidly grow, we continue to see growing interest from the investment community globally to be a part of dynamic, innovative digital businesses like iflix, that are driving shifts in consumer behaviors and content consumption.
What is your marketing strategy for iflix? How do you plan to compete with humongous presence of Netflix?
Localisation is key. We are 100% customer focused and again, deeply passionate about each of our local markets. We have local teams on the ground with significant expertise in working with local community, governments and organisations. We partner with leading, trusted local brands to deliver the best and most compelling customer offerings possible. We bring a unique approach to market, combining a world class service and content combined with an inherently localised go to market approach, deeply integrated in the local ecosystem.
You have recently launched your new original content series. Tell us more about that and how relevant it is to your audience?
The company recently signed a first-look multi-year output deal with Skop ProductionsGroup (Skop) and Viper Studios Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s leading independent studio and creator of some of the country’s most iconic and successful box office hits, including Munafik, KL Gangster and Villa Nabila.
The company is pleased to announce, that in partnership with Screenplay Productions, the studio behind iflix exclusive hit movies, I Love You from 38,000 feet and Promise, it has commissioned its first major original drama series, Magic Hour.