Traditional media in most countries are being seriously challenged by digital platforms, as viewers so often prefer to view video content and breaking news online or on portable devices and they opt for on-demand menus instead of linear schedules. This digital migration has also hit Asia at all cost.
FOX+ the latest streaming service to arrive in Asia is taking the region by storm since its launch in Philippines and Singapore early this year and now in Taiwan. Zubin, said that FOX movies seen in the new platform will be released one year ahead from other subscription services.
Recently, FOX+ collaborated with Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecom company in Taiwan to launch the service in the region. Accessible from any IOS and Android device, including Android TV, at any time any-where, the new service will feature three types of content – entertainment, Live sport and documentaries with more than 10,000 hours of programming and 1,500 programmes.
FOX+ viewers will have access to popular content from global moviestudios and television channels as well as original FOX programming such as National Geographic original series, Diana: In Her Own Words, 綻放 真台灣 (Taiwan to the World) Season 5 and 台灣菁英戰士 (Taiwan’s Elite Warriors). In addition, viewers can enjoy English Hollywood movies such as X-Men: Apocalypse, Trolls and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. What’s more, TV hit series including The Walking Dead Season 8 will be available on the same day as the global premier in the U.S. in October. With The Emmy Awards concluding yesterday, viewers can binge watch every season of nominated and winning shows on FOX+ such as Atlanta, Feud: Bette and Joan, American Horror Story and Homeland.
Fans of Chinese and Asian entertainment can enjoy a series of specially curated shows including Korean dramas such as 鬼怪 (Goblin), 王在相愛 (The King in Love), and 主 君的太陽 (Master’s Sun); Chinese variety shows comprising 奔跑吧 兄弟 (Running Man China) and 奔跑 吧 (Keep Running); in-house variety shows consisting of the brand new 歌神請上車 (Car-aoke Talent) Season 2, 歡樂智多星 (Witty Star), 一袋女王 (Lady Commander Plus), 旅行應 援團 (Travel Cheering Squad), and 瘋神無雙 (Super Funny Show); as well as Japanese dramas like 熟女 正青春 (Lady Girls). Popular Chinese box offi ce hits including 春嬌救志明 (Love off the Cuff), 擺渡人 (See You Tomorrow), S風暴 (S Storm), 使徒行 者 (Line Walker) are all also available on FOX+.
That’s not all! Sports fans in Taiwan will be able to enjoy a range of games either on the go on their mobile devices, or from the comfort of their own homes in front of their Android TV. October features the baseball playoffs with three major league games: CPBL, NPB and MLB.
How has FOX + evolved since its launch early 2017 in terms of subscribers and region? Also, projections of how it will continue to grow in contribution to FNG’s overall business in the entertainment industry?
Zubin: Creating great content is in our DNA and we recognise that there is multi-touch point fragmented consumption across key segments. With various consumer screen sizes, FOX has now extended its play and gone deeper at the individual levelwith FOX+, offering consumers content at their own convenience.
FOX+ is the only video-streaming service in Asia that combines TV series, movies and Live sports, in one place, accessible from any device, at any time and in HD. With a combination of fi rst-run Hollywood blockbusters and hit Chinese series and movies, FOX+ is the ultimate destination for entertainment. Since we launched FOX+ in The Philippines and Singapore, we have seen positive results and rising consumer appetite for the on-demand product. We built on this momentum with our recent Taiwan launch and in the coming weeks we look forward to rolling the product out in Hong Kong.
Beyond market launches, the FOX+ offering has evolved with an increase in superior quality and availability of world-class content. This includes original FOX programming such as National Geographic series, Genius and Mars, and blockbuster movies such as Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse, and popular U.S. drama series such as Homeland and 24 Legacy. We are also one of the first to take on the hyper-local strategy, with the recent creationof specialised local content with National Geographic in Taiwan, Asia’s Next Top Model Season 5 across Asia, and Chinese original production in China and Hong Kong with the highly anticipated Trading Floor and Stained.
While we see the app streaming business as a potential new revenue stream, we also see it complementing the pay-TV business across the region, providing consumers with even more options to consume great entertainment backed by seamless user experience.
FOX + has the breadth and depth in terms of content. How will it compete or not with other providers such as HOOQ, Viu, ifl ix just to name a few?
Zubin: With over 20 years’ experience in Asia, we have the advantageous position of knowing and understanding what our evolving consumer wants and we are well positioned to offer the best entertainment experience to our consumers.
While there are other players in the streaming content space, it is the FOX product and content that differentiates FOX+ in the competitive content streaming business. We are not new in game for content or storytelling – it is in our DNA. On FOX+ we offer consumers the best content, binge watching capability and Live sports, including: – 6 of the top 10 Hollywood movies of the 2016 worldwide box offi ce – 8 of the top 10 Chinese movies of the 2016 Hong Kong box offi ce – 4 of the top 10 Most popular series (USA) – Back catalogue of the most popular TV series – Over 50 genres of programmes from hit dramas, romantic comedy and epic action to lifestyle and inspiring nature documentaries – Vast back catalogue of National Geographic content – Live sports from the biggest global sporting events We consolidate all of these offerings and present them in an on-demand format, so that our consumers can enjoy our shows anytime and anywhere.
How has the three-pronged approach – market partners and reach, features and content has contributed to FOX+ burgeoning success in Asia?
Zubin: There are two main pillars to our approach for FOX+: Content and the consumer experience. On the content side, we offer a variety including movies, Hollywood series, Live sports, Chinese content and documentaries amounting to over 11,000 hours of programming,
The consumer experience is across the entire journey and begins with working with local affi liates to offer a great experience to the end user. When we work with an affi liate, the app is integrated, priced and packaged across customer segments for ease of access.
We also ensure the product is served across platforms with the necessary VOD and Live features, including multi-profi le; resume function across devices; the download feature which completes an anywhere, anytime experience; multi-app language; multiaudio; subtitling across languages and importantly a 24 hour help desk with a customer service response via email / social and bots to respond quickly to customers.
It’s also crucial that our back end technology constantly optimises to serving faster and high quality content at various broadband speeds again toensure that our content is delivered in a manner we’d like our users to experience.
How extensive is the dubbing and subtitling involved? Zubin: Quite extensive dubbing and subtitling is generally involved. In all markets, the product features both dubbed and subtitled content. As we roll out in more markets, additional languages will be added but for now Traditional, Simplifi ed Chinese, Bahasa Malay and Thai Vietnamese are available for a number of assets along with the Taiwan product, which also offers sports in multi audio to suit the audiences.
Is the sports genre your X-factor in your offering? Do subs have to pay more to watch Live sports content?
Zubin: The sports offering on FOX+ is defi nitely one of our X-Factors and it comes at no extra cost to our subscribers. We offer an unrivalled selection of sports content from football and tennis to Formula 1 and fighting sports. What’s more, we offer this Live. Sports fans across Asia need not worry about missing their favourite team playing, they can access thematches and games on-the-go.
We are so committed to our sports offerings, that in September, we were the only content provider to make the Singapore Grand Prix available in 4K resolution, to enhance the sports viewing experience for our consumers.
What is the strategy – to flood FOX content across the region, forecast as a possible revenue stream or simply to be pertinent in today’s disruptive environment?
Zubin: At the end of the day, we are in the business of storytelling and our strategy boils down to our content. Fox+ is essentially an app but it is a multi-genre product that includes a variety of content – movies, Hollywood series, Live sports, Chinese content and documentary. With over 11,000 hours of programming, our content drives the momentum for our upcoming launches across markets.
With today’s disrupted environment, it makes absolute sense for us to embrace new technology and to provide consumers with a more convenient method to consume content – and that is what we plan on doing as we continue to roll FOX+ out across Asia.