Analysis & Opinion

Survival of the fittest: how Asia’s telcos are adapting to Netflix threat

Netflix expands across all of Asia… except China and North Korea

Netflix expands across all of Asia… except China and North Korea

Guest post from Emma Hosgood

Netflix announced at CES last week that its online subscription service has been switched on in 130 new markets, which now brings their total reach to a whopping 190 markets across the world. It has already demonstrated its power in its home market of the US, as well as Western Europe and Latin America. Could Asia be next?

Most telcos in Asia-Pacific are already preparing their strategies to rival OTT players like Netflix. In order to survive in markets driven by such freely-available online content, telcos have the choice to either launch local, competitive services (and quickly!) or be ready to partner with popular content providers. Failure to do either of these will ensure telcos miss out on the revenue potential of the online video boom.

As a result, more and more service providers have been seen to expand their offerings and enter the quad-play market to capitalise on TV and video demand.  One of the most successful and well known in the region, HOOQ, was a joint venture between Singtel, Sony and Warner. HOOQ now boasts a population footprint of over 160 million people (over Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Thailand) and plans to extend its service further across the region.

At Broadband TV Connect Asia, Krishnan Rajagopalan, Co-founder and Chief Content Distribution Officer at HOOQwill be providing an overview for the last 12 months for the company, illustrating how they have successfully introduced paid-for OTT services and the impact on the media ecosystem and telcos. He will also be sharing excusive insight into how they plan to ensure differentiated and high value content as Netflix enters the Asian market.

As already mentioned, rival services are just one example of telcos’ reactions to Netflix and OTTs. The alternative solution is partnering in a way which is mutually beneficial. Take Hong Kong Broadband Network for instance. Gary McLaren, HKBN’s CTO, wants to share some insights on forming profitable strategic partnerships with OTT players to deliver content, seeing them as an opportunity rather than a threat. Perhaps this stance is driven by the opportunity for them to partner with LeTV for the delivery of English Premier League content in Hong Kong.

It’s not just telcos that are at risk of losing out in the battle for survival. Recently Australia’s national broadcaster Foxtel lost their EPL rights to telco giant Optus. Clearly wanting a piece of the premium content action, Optus decided that this was worth an immense $50m-plus bid. And although not clear how Optus will make the content available, a new online/OTT platform or subscription service could well be a viable option for them. Perhaps Matthew Brown, Head of Broadband Products and Technology at Foxtel may be able to shed some light on this at the show.

Broadband TV Connect Asia (11-13 April, Jakarta) will be providing exclusive insights into operators’ media and technology strategies. On this topic, our keynote panel discussion will be focused on “How Can Telcos win in an Increasingly Competitive Market? With speakers including: Francisco Claravall (VP for Product Development & Management, Globe Telecom), Joddy Hernady (Project Director TV-Video Business, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia) and Krishnan Rajagopalan, Co-founder and Chief Content Distribution Officer, HOOQ

Download brochure for full details. Early-bird discount ends this Friday 15th January. Limited number of FREE operator passes available.

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