Enter sooka, a M'sian streaming service centred on sports, local content
By Digital News Asia June 8, 2021
- Focused on aggregating live global sporting events and Malaysian entertainment
- Working with industry creators, production houses to produce original content
Editor's note: An earlier version of this report lacked the mention of Astro as the company behind sooka. The new information has been added to reflect this.
A NEW streaming service, sooka, has arrived in Malaysia amidst a increasingly crowded field of video streaming services in Malaysia.
Launched by pay-TV company Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, the service is said to offer both free and paid content is inspired by the Malay word 'suka', which means 'like,' focuses on aggregating and curating live global sporting events and Malaysian drama and entertainment, on top of its own exclusives and originals, Astro said in a statement.
It added that the service positions itself as bridging the gap in the availability and accessibility of local content, and claims to be on the path to create more hyper-local, relevant content, and making them more accessible to a mobile-first entertainment audience.
“sooka comes at a time where users today embrace a mobile-first lifestyle and as such are attuned to consuming content online.
“The shift in viewing trends had consumers rapidly embracing the ‘new normal’ digital lifestyle, and great content has become a vital digital asset,” said Emarina Mohd Kamal, head of programming at sooka
She added that it is of no surprise that consumers are reliant on their smartphones and active on social media, and are constantly in search for great content that they can consume on-the-go immediately from their mobile devices.
“sooka’s content is curated for this immediate consumption, at affordable price points and simple plans,” she claimed.
The service works on a freemium" model, offering a free tier as well as two paid options – VIP+Sports, which is priced at US$10 (RM41.90) per month and provides unlimited access to live sports content.
The second package comprises the VIP Entertainment Plan, which goes for US$3.85 (RM15.90) monthly for Malaysian entertainment content, variety shows, movies and the service’s own exclusive content.
[RM1 = US$0.242]
What's the differentiator?
The video streaming landscape seriously began hitting the market in early 2016 with the arrival of industry leader Netflix to Malaysia.
Since then, local player Astro has also pivoting away from being exclusively a satellite TV player with the launch of its streaming services called Astro GO, and now with sooka.
In the past five years, other players such as iFlix, Viu and Star Media's dimsum Entertainment service began their services in the country. However, iFlix has since been sold to Tencent in June 2020, while the these players' subscriber growth has not be stellar, according to industry observers.
Also in June 2020, Astro signed a partnership with The Walt Disney Co to bring Disney+ Hotstars to Malaysia, in a bid to challenge Netflix.
Meanwhile, sports seems to be sooka's largest differntiator. In conjunction with UEFA Euro 2020, Sooka is launching a special promotion for its VIP+Sports plan at an introductory price of RM15.90 per month starting 8 June 2021
This gives audiences access to all 51 UEFA Euro 2020 live matches, besides other live sporting events the likes of the BWF World Championships, English Premier League, Moto GP, F1 Championships, Wimbledon Grand Slam and more, the company said.
Alternatively, users who are interested in only watching their favourite teams can purchase single UEFA Euro 2020 passes at only RM7.90 per match, it added.
VIP+Sports also gives users access to Malaysian entertainment and local exclusives/ original, including Projek: Anchor SPM, Rindu Awak Separuh Nyawa, Jebat, Scammer and The Maid.
“Sooka’s main differentiator is our ability to deliver live sports streaming for passionate fans to enjoy on their mobile devices, enabling them to get their sports ‘fix’ anytime, anywhere.
“We have strong sports content line up until year-end and will continue to strengthen our sports proposition, so we can continue to bring the best to Malaysian sports fans,” said Emarina.
She added that sooka plans to offer a deep, current and curated library of premium Malay day-date drama series, movies, live variety and entertainment plus Chinese and Indian shows to satisfy local viewing preferences.
She said sooka is also working with industry creators and production houses to produce original content specifically targeted at millennials.
These exclusives and upcoming originals include Hantu Bonceng 2.0, Hawa, and PHD Muzik, she noted.
The sooka app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Playstore. More info can be found at sooka.my
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