MORE FROM KrASIA

Battle of the video streaming platforms in Indonesia

The competition among video streaming platforms in Indonesia could trigger M&As, price wars, and an increase in local original content.

There are many video streaming service platforms in Indonesia, whether local, regional, or global. Although it is considered a niche targeting the young generation, they are becoming steadily entrenched in the market.

Netflix, a pioneer of this service, might be the most premium player among the rest, and it has started acquiring local content creators to lead the Indonesian market. What happened with Netflix, can be the blueprint for similar services.

Streaming platforms in Indonesia

The regional players with a long history in Indonesia are Hooq and Iflix. Both have local affiliations to help address this growing market.

From the beginning, Hooq has been focused on providing content from Hollywood, Asia, and Indonesia. It has undergone some transformations, including the additional linear channel [cable TV], a local listing, and offering Indonesian original content. A similar strategy has been applied by Iflix. Although they have similar business models, both platforms are apparently distinct from each other.

“Since its debut to this day, Iflix has been through some transformations. It started from offering exclusive content, to Indonesian old movies. We’re now focused on providing Indonesian original content as well from other countries in Asia. It’s no longer focused on Hollywood products, this concept is expected to acquire a broader segment from the middle to lower class,” said Iflix executive director Cam Walker.

Commenting on the free linear channel and local listing of the platform, Walker thinks the strategy is effective to create an alternative entertainment avenue for users. The free streaming option is said to possess a certain charm for the target market.

“By providing free streaming, we can directly increase the number of new users who are eventually willing to pay. This concept is quite effective,” Walked added.

Hooq on the other hand, which used to have the most Indonesian movies and series, has started adding categories from their linear channels. They partner with several cable TV channels and broadcast them on the platform due to high demand.

Hooq Indonesia country head Guntur Siboro said that Hooq still aims to provide Indonesian original content and is open to partnerships with related parties to expand and acquire users.

Similar to Hooq and Iflix, Vidio, a streaming platform under Emtek Group, has started offering Indonesian original content. The main distinction is in the premium sports content that is currently in demand.

However, because of the fact that it’s seasonal, Vidio is not focusing on sports alone.

“We also have more benefits under the Emtek Group ecosystem, which also includes two of Indonesia’s biggest TV stations [SCTV and Indosiar]. Thus, we can show what’s dear to the Indonesian population through the platform. Not only TV series, but also variety shows and music programs,” said Vidio’s chief of content Tina Arwin.

Trends and the future

The market that is yet to mature makes it difficult to determine the leading platform in Indonesia. Not only Hooq and Iflix, even Vidio has to compete with many platforms that offer competitive prices or affordable subscriptions.

In the future, Tina Arwin expects there will be more Indonesian original content shown on various platforms. Meanwhile, Hollywood content will still be monopolized by US-based platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

A similar answer was given by Cam Walker. As he observed from the Iflix point of view that is focused on providing Indonesian original content, this is an effective way to gain more users who are mostly in the middle-to-low income group. As for the premium segment, they will still go with Netflix subscriptions or cable TV.

Another development that is predicted to happen in the next few years is the M&As of some platforms. Recently, Iflix secured funding from MNC Group, while in August MNC Group also launched its own streaming platform. When the competition gets ugly, the M&A potential will be huge.

Eventually, everything depends on marketing strategy, partnerships, and high-quality original content to acquire more users. Although this segment is still open to fresh ideas, the complex industry dynamics make it hard for new local players to compete.

This article was first published on Daily Social. It is republished as part of a partnership with KrASIA.