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Netflix strategies in Asia-Pacific; ByteDance in deals with iflix, Tencent Music

In this biweekly Asia video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

Top news

* Netflix Inc. agreed to make revisions to its terms of use that were deemed unfair by South Korea's antitrust regulator. The watchdog found six problematic clauses in Netflix's terms of use, which include changing subscription plans and fees without user approval. The move follows the streaming platform's decision to raise prices in Singapore and Malaysia. The price hike is partly due to the company's heavy investments in content and technology improvements. In Malaysia, the revised prices reflect the country's 6% digital tax on foreign service providers.

* In more Netflix news, the company made a commitment to invest US$1 million for collaboration programs with Indonesia's Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, KrASIA reported. The programs aim to advance the Indonesian film industry.

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.'s video app TikTok is partnering with Southeast Asian video-on-demand service iflix Sdn. Bhd. to bring its short-form content to audiences in 13 countries across Asia. Under the tie-up, iflix customers can access TikTok videos from around the world via a dedicated channel.

* Tencent Music Entertainment Group reached a licensing agreement with ByteDance's short-video app Douyin, the counterpart of TikTok in China, TechNode reported. The deal also involves the joint promotion of music and musicians, with Tencent providing the content and Douyin driving the traffic.

Content and carriage deals

* BEC World PCL, the operator of Thailand's Channel 3, reached a partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeTV. Under the agreement, WeTV will be the exclusive online distributor of Channel 3 programs and will buy the copyrights to three of its TV series, according to Techweb.

* Netflix secured global streaming rights to the family film "Go Karts" from Canada-based Aqute Media. The rights do not cover Australia and New Zealand, where Roadshow Films Pty. Ltd. will release the movie theatrically under the title "GO!"

* Eros Now, a South Asian entertainment platform owned by Eros International PLC, entered into a content partnership with EUROSTAR Group, a UAE-based digital retail company. The tie-up allows users from the Indian sub-continent and locals across Gulf Cooperation Council countries to access Eros Now's content library. The streaming service also partnered with Ooredoo to offer its content library to the latter's subscriber base in Qatar.

* Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. inked a deal with ViacomCBS Inc. to broadcast Comedy Central (US) in Malaysia, C21 Media reported. The channel can also be streamed on Astro's mobile service Astro Go.

Service launches

* Eros Now said it is now live on Wasu Media Holding Co. Ltd., allowing the streaming platform to deliver Bollywood content to Chinese viewers.

Other news

* TikTok is considering launching a curated feed of selected content from creators to attract advertisers, London's Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. With a curated feed, TikTok could seek higher advertising rates from more premium brands.

* Youku Tudou Inc. is looking to boost its short video offerings through self-production, co-production, content buying and a profit-sharing scheme with content providers, 36Kr reported.

* Bilibili Inc. plans to invest 1.8 billion yuan in livestreaming, but the company declined to confirm the news, according to Sina.

* ByteDance rebranded its short video app Huoshan to link it more closely to Douyin ahead of the platforms' combination, TechNode reported. Following the rebranding, the Douyin Huoshan Version will continue to operate independently and receive increased support from ByteDance.

* TikTok updated its guidelines to give users more transparency and clarity on the platform's code of conduct and restrictions. The app said it would remove misinformation that could cause harm to an individual's health or wider public safety, as well as content distributed by disinformation campaigns. According to Reuters, TikTok's previous rules on misleading content appeared to focus mostly on scams, barring users from creating fake identities and posting false information to make money but did not mention misinformation or disinformation campaigns.

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