Need a Korean fix? PCCW Media launches Viu OTT service in Singapore
By Digital News Asia January 13, 2016
- Signs pan-regional agreement with four Korean broadcasters
- Service to be rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India too
PCCW Media Group has announced the launch of Viu, its over-the-top (OTT) multi-screen video service, in Singapore, the first step in its regional expansion.
The move comes after Netflix rolled out its video-on-demand service to 130 additional countries, having already launched in Singapore, while rivals Hooq and iflix tackle emerging markets in the region.
In a statement, PCCW Media Group said it has clinched a pan-regional deal with the top four Korean broadcasters – SBS, KBS, MBC and CJ E&M – which would give Viu an exclusive window and rights to 95% of their latest telecast dramas, as well as variety shows from South Korea.
“Recent research we conducted on online viewing of drama across multiple Asian markets has shown Korean content to be amongst the most popular content category for Asian viewers,” said PCCW Media Group managing director Janice Lee (pic above).
“53% to 80% of viewers surveyed across Singapore, Malaysia and other markets like Jakarta, watch Korean drama on a regular basis.
“With smartphone penetration exceeding 80% in Singapore – where 66% of users regularly download and/ or stream video content – Viu fulfils their desire to catch the latest Korean content.
“With the support of key content providers and telecommunications companies, we aim to provide the best content delivered on quality networks as we roll out Viu in the region,” she added.
Viu now offers Singapore fans a freemium service with multi-screen access to the widest range of the latest popular Korean dramas and variety shows, as well as other premium Asian content from the region.
Programmes available at launch include popular variety shows Running Man and The Return of Superman, as well as newly released dramas Remember, Moorim School, and the soon-to-be released Descendants of the Sun, Happy Ending Once Again, and Signal.
Fans of Korean pop music will also be able to watch their idols performing the latest hits on popular music shows Music Bank and Inkigayo.
To provide a better experience for Singapore viewers, English and Chinese subtitles will be provided as quickly as eight hours after the initial telecast in Korea for selected titles, PCCW Media Group said in its statement.
Viu also offers user-friendly functions such as download-to-stream capability and personalised multi-device synchronisation for a seamless viewing experience.
Launched in Hong Kong and now in Singapore, Viu will be progressively rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India with an expanding premium Asian content catalogue of Korean, Japanese, Chinese titles and more to suit the different markets, the company said.
Viu’s Premium service in Singapore will be launched in partnership with Singtel, also the company behind Hooq. Details will be announced in due course, PCCW Media Group said.
Viu is an expanded service from PCCW’s investment last year into Vuclip, a mobile video entertaining platform with over eight million subscribers in 10 markets.
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