iflix, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Name of Organization / Company: iflix, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Category: Award for Innovation in Entertainment Websites
Entry Title: iflix.com
Iflix is the world’s leading Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service for emerging markets.
Founded by the CEO of Catcha Group, Patrick Grove, investment banking firm Evolution Media Capital, and CEO Mark Britt, iflix was first launched in Malaysia and the Philippines in May 2015. The service is officially available in nine countries in Asia and parts of the Middle East and Africa.
Iflix offers unlimited viewing of 20,000 hours’ worth of movies and TV content from the US, UK and other Asian countries. iflix also has over 2,000 episodes of kids’ content.
Dubbed the “Netflix of Asia”, iflix may sound similar but is different from Netflix in many significant ways. While Netflix has pioneered the Internet TV business model, iflix focuses on delivering high quality content for its users via mobile devices. Iflix’s goal is to be the lower cost local market player in developing markets around the world, where paid-television penetration is low and internet connectivity is leapfrogging straight to mobile 4G.
And Netflix isn’t the main competitor. Piracy is. Throughout Southeast Asia, pirated DVD’s and illegal streaming is a big business. Iflix charges about a third of Netflix’s monthly fee, which may help in the transition to legal viewing.
In many markets, iflix is open to and partners with local telecom and internet companies as well as various content providers eager for the market expansion. The company can piggyback on existing telco payment systems, saving costs. iflix currently partners with more than 170 leading studios and content distributors worldwide, including Warner Bros., Disney, Fox, Sky, and Media Prima. Iflix is available in the Middle East and Africa via ‘iflix Arabia,’ a joint venture with Zain, the telco for seven countries across both regions.
Focused on local markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Iflix customizes for each market. The company works with government regulators and censors before launching in a new market to manage content , payment processing, and internet issues . Aware of the limitations of emerging market internet speeds, iflix , from the start , has been a downloading service not a streaming service. Its content is available in SD quality, with plans underway to introduce HD quality content in time.
The company also engages local market celebrities to provide playlists and social media integrations to help build a community and help viewers find new content to watch.
Since 2015, Iflix has raised close to $200 million to help it expand and add new content. The company has reached over 2 million subscribers across markets it is currently operating and has an ambitious goal of reaching 1 billion subscribers by the year 2020. Iflix has a plan to make iflix more interactive so people can like, comment and share the videos. iflix is also working on its own original content as it evolves from challenger into an established broadcast medium. The company hopes to be in 30 markets by the end of this year.
Catcha Group Co-founder and Group CEO, Patrick Grove commented: “When we founded iflix, we set out to create an entertainment revolution. In less than two years since launching our service, we have established the leading online entertainment brand in Asia, and are seeing exceptional demand for the service throughout MENA and Africa. With an estimated 880 million connected mobile devices in Africa and the Middle East by 2020, the opportunity in the regions is immense.”
“There are currently more than 2.5 billion people with smartphones in emerging markets who have a passion for cultural influences from around the globe and want access to the best entertainment content available easily and reliably. It is our aim to make iflix available to each and every one of them,” Said CEO Mark Britt
Mark Britt, CoFounder and CEO Mark is an experienced leader of technology, content and marketing led businesses. Prior to joining iflix, he served as CEO of Nine Entertainment Co’s digital arm Mi9, where he was responsible for the company’s SVOD investments and portfolio of start up ventures. Previous to that, Mark was the General Manager of Microsoft’s Consumer and Online business for Asia Pacific. During his tenure with the company, Mark was instrumental in expanding Microsoft’s consumer and Internet businesses into Southeast Asia India, China, Japan and Korea. Mark holds a diploma in Law from LPAB.
Patrick Grove, Co-founder/CEO at Catcha Group | Co-founder at iflix Group CEO, Chairman and major shareholder of Catcha Group, Patrick Grove is recognised as one of the leading entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region. Over the last twelve years he founded and took five companies from start-up to IPO, recently selling one of those companies, iProperty Group in a transaction valued in excess of US$534m. The iProperty Group sale was one of the largest Internet exits in ASEAN history. He is co-founder and Chairman of Catcha Group's newest business, iflix, Southeast Asia's leading Internet TV service.