Some of you may have heard of Catcha Group’s latest venture into the over-the-top content (OTT) streaming service industry. In the words of Catcha Group CEO Patrick Grove, the move will be “on the verge, leading an entertainment revolution in Southeast Asia”.
We’re talking about iflix — or what is currently known as the Netflix of Asia. Here’s what we know about this upcoming subscription-based video-on-demand platform.
1. It was inspired by Netflix, but aims to put mobility first.
iflix’s greatest selling point is its focus on delivering amazing content to our mobile phones. This means users can watch high resolution videos and movies anywhere, anytime on their smart phones, tablets or iPads. Grove explained, “We saw that Netflix had pioneered a great Internet TV business model, and wondered if that would work in Asia with a focus on mobile.”
2. The subscription price hasn’t been officially released, but it promises a low price point
Despite some rumours that the iflix subscription service will be available at US$3 (RM10.86) a month, Grove — in an interview with Tech in Asia — declined to reveal the monthly fee. He did promise, though, that it will come at “as low a price point that will be impossible to say no to”.
It will also allow streaming on up to 5 devices per account, with 2 simultaneous streams. This means you will be able to share your account with family and friends: more fun to go around, less money spent.
3. The former CEO of AirAsia X has been hired by iflix as CEO of its Malaysian operations
Azran Osman-Rani has officially joined iflix as CEO of the Malaysian operations team, and he will also hold the post of COO of iflix group. Who is he, you may ask. Before Azran was CEO of AirAsia X in 2007, he was involved in the launch of Astro All Asia Networks Plc’s international investments in Southeast Asia, India, and China. He has also served on the board of Tourism Malaysia as a director.
With his vast experience, we are expecting him to bring iflix to greater heights — but only after he comes back from his Mt. Everest base camp expedition which takes place at the end of April. He will officially join the iflix team on the 1st of June.
4. iflix will offer diverse content for a diverse Malaysia.
The Southeast Asian region is probably the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the world. Our television screens are filled not only with Hollywood movies, but shows from Korea, Japan, Bollywood, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, and etc. iFlix understands the need for multi-racial, multi-cultural content.
Other than international shows, Malaysian movies and shows will also be made available on iflix. Azran told The Edge Financial Daily that it’s all about “building a home-grown consumer brand from the ground up” and that iflix will be “an additional platform to support the local Malaysian content production industry”.
5. They want to change the way we consume entertainment.
‘Being entertained should be as easy as pressing a button’ the iflix webpage tells us. iflix requires no contract. The fact that it is an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service like YouTube and Hulu means that users have more freedom, convenience and empowerment to seek content whenever and wherever, without having to subscribe to a network that might not be available in our country.
6. iflix might actually stand a chance against piracy.
“People don’t necessarily want to be pirates, they just want a cost-effective amazing proposition,” said Grove in a CNN interview. “And that is what iFlix brings to the market.” With so much torrenting, illegal downloads and pirated material still in the market, iflix offers a legal and safe way to get the content you want — all for less than the price of a pirated DVD.
7. The release date of iflix has yet to be announced.
There’s a lot of positive hype about iflix going about, but unfortunately, its exact launch date has not been announced yet. However, we are expecting it to be around mid 2015.
8. They’re not stingy with compliments.
Upon pre-registering on their website, iflix will send you an email to thank you — and it’s always nice to be called a trendsetter.
So far, iflix is gearing up to be a fantastic idea, and may very well be the revolutionary platform that will change how we access our favourite movies and shows on the Internet. But will it deliver everything it promises to? We will just have to wait and see.