Hong Kong-based over-the-top (OTT) platform Viu has announced partnerships with Singaporean and Thai broadcasters to grow its content offerings for audiences across Asia.
More than 600 hours of Singapore broadcaster Mediacorp’s content will be available to Viu audiences throughout Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
In Thailand, Viu will expand its three-year partnership with entertainment giant GMM Grammy, to One31 Channel and GMM 25 content on its platform to the region, 30 days ahead of these same programmes being made available on other platforms
Viu’s premium users will also be able to download content within two hours of One31 Channel’s content in Thailand.
Virginia Lim, the chief content officer for Viu tells The Drum she believes Viu audiences will really benefit from the platform’s partnerships with broadcasters and content owners.
“When they click onto the Viu platform, they have thousands of hours and hundreds of titles of premium South Korean, Thai, and Singapore content, made accessible with simulcast and relatable with subtitling in their local language, available to them for them to engage with, any time anywhere,” she explains.
While OTT’s biggest market has been the US, APAC is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 20% over the next five years because OTT’s growth in APAC is centred on mobile consumption, whereas the US sees OTT as part of the home experience.
This represents a huge opportunity in the region, but marketers still need to properly understand where OTT fits and how to measure success at scale across a mixture of subscription, ad-funded and part ad-funded solutions.
Experts previously told The Drum they expect a rise of local regional content production by regional OTT players, driven by the need for storytelling and creating customized offerings for the different market segments.
The partnership comes at a time when governments around the world have advised people to stay at home to practice social distancing and avoid public places to avoid catching the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Lim notes in January, the first markets in Asia to be hit hard by Covid-19 were Hong Kong and Singapore. This resulted in consumption uplifts in Hong Kong and Singapore on the Viu platform.
“We attribute these viewing patterns to more people in these markets staying home due to government guidelines on social distancing and being more socially conscious, and turning to OTT platforms like Viu, to ease the stress brought about by Covid-19,” explains Lim.
Both Netflix and YouTube have downgraded streaming quality on their platforms in Europe as more people increased their usage of the platforms while being cooped at home, putting a strain on the continent’s Internet infrastructure.