Asia-Pacific News

Why one streaming service is looking to take a local approach

Ashley Tan
Discussing the potential for digital advertising

Rapid developments in streaming services have led to fierce competition in recent years.

Many companies, including Netflix, have looked to content production to differentiate themselves, but simply putting out well-received movies and shows is not enough.

That is, companies have to actively work to maintain their position in the industry given the low barriers of entry into the market.

Speaking to CNBC's Oriel Morrison at the APOS convention in Bali on Wednesday, Janice Lee, the managing director at Hong Kong's PCCW Media, discussed how her company plans to not only retain, but also appeal to other audiences within the Asian Pacific region.

PCCW is a conglomerate with interests spanning the telecommunications industry, and its media group says it operates the top pay-TV service in Hong Kong with both originally produced and licensed content. PCCW Media also runs Viu, which is an over-the-top streaming service.

The company had previously emphasized Korean content due to its high popularity, but it's now intending to focus on local content within the region, Lee said.

"We're producing in Indian languages, in Indonesian Bahasa. This year, we're starting a Malaysian production of 'The Bridge,' trying to go deeper in each of the markets we operate in, as we believe we should be locally and market relevant," she said.

Lee added that companies could create an edge by looking into expanding their revenue stream through advertising.

The company's Viu service allows for free streaming with built-in advertisements. The company operates on a "freemium" model, and uses a dual revenue stream of advertising-supported and premium subscription services.

Over-the-top streaming services in Asia Pacific has been successful so far with the industry expected to reach $10 billion and gain about 200 million subscribers by 2021.