As over-the-top continues to transform the way content is consumed among Asian viewers, incumbent telcos and multichannel operators in the Asia-Pacific region have also proactively pursued business innovation with streaming video. As of September 2019, our survey of the region's streaming multichannel providers has tracked 76 services across 18 markets, with 39 TV everywhere, 29 virtual multichannel and 18 telco value-added streaming TV offerings. It is possible for a streaming video service to be of more than one service type. For instance, several TV Everywhere platforms have allowed non-pay TV subscribers to access their content, often for a subscription fee, which essentially makes them virtual multichannel services as well.
We define TV Everywhere as an extension to a traditional multichannel service, offered only to authenticated pay TV subscribers and usually free of additional costs. In contrast, a virtual multichannel service offers subscriptions to streaming linear content packages to all internet users in launched markets. The third type of service, telco value-added streaming TV, is operated by telcos without an IPTV proposition. Instead, they provide streaming channel packs and video on demand to existing mobile or fixed customers. The service can be either free or at an extra charge.
One of the latest streaming multichannel offerings launched in the region is Indian telco Bharti Airtel Services Ltd's converged digital entertainment platform, Airtel Xstream. The service is available to all Airtel customers starting in September 2019. The Airtel Xstream app is a revamped version of the previous Airtel TV app, with an updated user interface focused on better content discovery and recommendations. A strong competitor to Airtel Xstream will be Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which has built its own ecosystem over its LTE and fiber networks.
With fast-growing broadband internet populations, operators in Southeast Asia are expanding monetization opportunities by offering streaming multichannel services along with fixed broadband or mobile packages. In Thailand, TrueID replaced the TrueVisions Anywhere streaming service in October 2018, bundling it with TrueOnline's Super Fiber and TrueMove H's 4G plans. Some operators opt to maintain multiple streaming services with different business models instead of having a single consolidated platform, such as Viettel's Onme and MobiTV and Singtel’s TV Go and CAST.
Established regional OTT platform HOOQ, owned by Hooq Digital PTE. Ltd., has expanded beyond subscription video on demand by offering livestreaming channels, starting with Indonesia. HOOQ also rolled out live freemium channels in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Following Indonesia, we expect HOOQ to also deploy streaming multichannel services to additional markets.
Apart from the current wave of market consolidation in the multichannel industry in South Korea, a merger of streaming services between SK Broadband's oksusu and Pooq — owned by the three major free-to-air broadcasters, KBS, MBC and SBS — was completed in September 2019. The merged platform, branded wavve, aims to form a local platform with a sizeable subscriber base and an extensive content library in order to compete with international platforms such as Netflix. South Korean media and entertainment conglomerate CJ ENM CO. Ltd. entered into a partnership with Hong Kong's commercial broadcaster ATV and launched its tvN Movies channel on the latter's video app in October 2018.
Global Multichannel is a service of Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering. Clients may access the full article, with a comprehensive list of streaming multichannel deployments in the Asia-Pacific region by clicking here.