Iflix hopes celebrity ‘favorite’ content lists will help engage viewers in APAC

By Jim O'Neill on Aug 23 2016 at 7:15 AM
Iflix hopes celebrity ‘favorite’ content lists will help engage viewers in APAC

Discovery and recommendation is a crucial part of the OTT mix, increasing the amount of time viewers spend on a website and the amount of content they consume, both of which are important to publishers and broadcasters.

Netflix-alternative iflix, which has made a name for itself going up against the streaming giant in several Asian countries, this week launched a new curated playlist feature it hopes will enhance their customers’ viewing experience.

The new feature allows users to search two buckets of content, people or collections, and also include celebrity-curated options by using “follow” buttons, which show your their favorite titles.

The SVOD service has gained some ground in Asia but, so far, isn’t a significant threat, even with Netflix’s relatively slow start in the region.

The service recently added a trio of execs with an eye toward accelerating its international expansion, and is in the process of raising cash to help that effort.

Earlier this summer it also closed a multi-year content deal with NBCUniersal International that delivers hundreds of hours of content to iflix, including Mr. Robot, Difficult People, Hunters, and The Magicians.

iflix has launched in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, and plans further deployments in additional Southeast Asian markets. In May, it also pushed into Indonesia, signing a deal with mobile phone service provider Indosat Ooredoo, to deliver unlimited access to TV shows and movies to Indosat Ooredoo customers.

Nevertheless, it’s facing stiff competition from other regionally based free and premium OTT providers like Astro, TonTon, Viu and more, including, of course, Netflix.

Increasingly, those providers are focusing on local content.

Can local celebrity recommendations make a difference? Or, will viewers see the new “recommendation” play as just a gimmick?

Stay tuned.                                                             

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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