PLDT puts in US$15mil, management also invests in this round
Singtel-led rival service Hooq already launched in Philippines
THE Philippines is shaping out to be South-East Asia’s video-on-demand (VOD) battleground with the Catcha Group subsidiary iflix securing US$30 million, in an investment round led by Catcha itself and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT).
The funds raised will be used to continue to roll out the iflix service across South-East Asia, acquire rights to new content, produce original programming, and market to potential customers, iflix said in a statement.
The rival over-the-top (OTT) video service Hooq, a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros Entertainment, has already launched in the Philippines in partnership with Globe Telecom.
Iflix will offer subscribers unlimited access to thousands of hours of entertainment, at what it says would be “a very affordable price.”
With regards to its US$30-million funding, integrated telecommunications company PLDT has invested US$15 million, iflix told Digital News Asia (DNA) in an email, but kept mum on other details.
However DNA has learned from reliable sources that iflix management – including group chief executive officer Mark Britt and newly-appointed group chief operating officer Azran Osman-Rani – also took part in this round.
iflix still has not disclosed its launch date yet, but a spokeswoman told DNA that the first markets will be Malaysia and the Philippines, in close succession, “with other key South-East Asian markets to follow throughout the year.”
“We are excited to join forces with such an outstanding regional partner, who shares our vision,” said iflix chairman and Catcha chief executive officer Patrick Grove (pic).
“The new funds will allow us to execute on our plan to deliver thousands of hours of entertainment for a low monthly price to the 600 million consumers in the region.
“There is a seismic shift taking place in the global entertainment landscape. We believe iflix is perfectly positioned to capitalise on this incredible opportunity,” he said in the official statement.
iflix is a partnership between Catcha Group and Hollywood’s Evolution Media Capital. It is promising over 10,000 hours of entertainment. Each subscription will allow a user to access the service on five devices, as well as download content to their mobile, tablet, computer, or television set, for viewing anywhere, anytime.
“We are very bullish about the prospects of the iflix service which has been designed to address the preferences and demands of the rapidly expanding Asian market,” said PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“PLDT looks forward to working with iflix to grow its business and introduce new media services that will further fuel the demand for broadband and mobile access in the Philippines and across South-East Asia,” he added.
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