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Globe Studios head talks potential Netflix deal, partnerships

Netflix Inc. is close to acquiring the rights for "Birdshot," which would be the first Filipino production to be included in the U.S. streaming service's content offering, Globe Studios head Quark Henares told Digicon attendees Oct. 11 in Manila, Philippines.

"Birdshot," the Philippines' official entry for Best Foreign Language category in the 90th Academy Awards, was made by Filipino production company TBA Studios, with Globe Telecom's entertainment arm Globe Studios as marketing partner. The critically acclaimed film won Best Picture at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival, under the Asian Future Film category.

SNL ImageGlobe Studios head Quark Henares
Source: Globe Studios

Henares also told the audience to "watch out" for the long-delayed "OTJ" series, which was reported to premiere on the Asian video-on-demand service HOOQ in the first quarter of 2017. However, Henares said they are still "playing around with ideas on how to release it."

Separating the telco side of Globe from Globe Studios' entertainment focus continues to be a challenge, he admitted, pointing out that some telco subscribers complain about their mobile phone plans in the comment section of a post featuring a Globe Studios production.

Asked about the role of Globe in terms of digital transformation in the coming years, he said that "it's all about data" and that monetizing mobile video will be one of the main challenges.

A range of partnerships has boosted Globe Telecom's reach and content offering.

Globe Telecom signed a deal with HOOQ Digital Pte. Ltd. to launch the VOD platform in 2015 in the Philippines, its initial market. The telco also collaborated with Twitter Inc. on National Basketball Association content in December 2016. HOOQ is a joint venture between Singtel, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television Inc. and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.

Earlier this year, the telco partnered with Netflix to provide the streaming platform through its mobile and broadband service. Globe also produced a digital reality web series in February, partnering with Walt Disney Co.'s The Walt Disney Company Southeast Asia and Maker Studios to launch "Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream."

Other notable partnerships include Astro, Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Smule Inc., Sports Illustrated and Spotify AB.

Singtel owns a majority stake in Globe Telecom.