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A streaming content provider to be reckoned with

Malaysians who feel Amazon and Netflix simply aren’t meeting their streaming content needs, might be pleased to know Astro Maiaysia Holdings (Astro) intends to take on these two streaming service providers.

Astro plans to do this by leveraging its understanding of the market and its ability to fund local content production that meet market needs in this region.

Less than a month after announcing a robust net profit growth, the CEO of Astro, Malaysia’s largest pay TV operator, Henry Tan shared Astro’s intention to launch a streaming service next year. According to Nikkei Asia, Henry said this service which would not carry the Astro brand, would be at a different price point and would cater to a separate group with ‘different psychologies.’

Astro also offers on-demand content via a personal video recorder (PVR) box that is connected to the broadband Internet. There is also a pay-per-view option which features more recent content, usually movies.

What else is in store?

Observers may notice Astro’s trajectory to becoming a super aggregator of international digital content, having so far partnered with United State’s HBO Go and China’s IQIYI.

HBO Go is video streaming on-demand offered by premium cable network HBO. HBO subscribers can stream selections of HBO content either through HBO’s website or via its app on a very wide range of devices like video game consoles and digital media players.

Last May, what seems to be an enhanced and comprehensive version of HBO Go called HBO Max, was launched in the United States, and Warner Media announced the HBO Go platform would be decommissioned in the US in July.

iQIYI is a Chinese online video platform founded by search engine company, Baidu. iQIYI boasts being one of the largest online video sites in the world. In August 2019, it launched a globally available app with multilingual capabilities to address markets in English, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian languages.

Since being created in 2010, iQIYI has created 81 original programs.

Enough to keep the viewers happy?

Tan told Nikkei Asia that Astro is a natural partner for companies wanting to enter the Malaysian market, given its customer base and marketing and sales network.