PCCW Media has launched its OTT video service Viu in the Philippines as part of its regional expansion, just as Viu announced that it has racked up four million unique users just one year after its launch.
The Philippines launch – which for now offers the free version of the Viu service, with the premium service to follow “soon” – now puts Viu in six markets, which also include Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Viu recorded over 218 million video views in the third quarter of 2016, doubling that of the preceding three months. Viu says its users have demonstrated high engagement by consuming on average 1.2 hours per day. On average, 12 videos are viewed by each user every week.
“As OTT takes root and continues to develop rapidly in Asia, Viu continues to stride forward with the launch of its service in the Philippines, a vibrant market with over 30 million viewers who regularly watch videos online,” said Janice Lee, managing director of PCCW Media Group. “We are confident that our Philippine launch will replicate the growth and success we have experienced in the region.”
Viu set up shop in the Philippines in no small part because of the popularity of OTT video consumption among local online viewers. A Nielsen Global Video-On-Demand Survey shows 45% of online consumers in the Philippines watch VOD at least once a day. Moreover, 82% of online consumers said they like to catch up on multiple episodes at one time so Viu’s download feature will fulfill this very need, said Lee.
“Apart from online streaming, Viu’s download feature is particularly suited for the Philippine market, enabling users to view content offline by downloading to mobile and connected devices with a convenient and hassle free experience,” she said.
As a freemium video service, Viu is positioning itself as an effective channel for advertisers looking to reach out to consumers in the Philippines as they are the most receptive to online advertisements in Southeast Asia, according to Digital TV Research. The Nielsen Global Video-On-Demand Survey mentioned above also found that 51% of respondents who watched VOD agreed that advertisements in VOD content give them good ideas for new products to try and 66% said they did not mind getting advertisements if they can watch free content. Statista.com forecasts video advertising revenue in the Philippines to grow at a CAGR of 32% from 2016 to 2021.
Meanwhile, Pyramid Research expects video OTT service subscription revenue in emerging markets, including Indonesia, the Philippines, etc, to grow to $19 billion by 2019.