Expected to be rolled out in the third quarter, iflix Free is part of the company’s strategy to move away from the traditional Subscription Video on Demand service.
“When we began iflix, we naively believed that the Western entertainment model could easily succeed in emerging markets, and that price would be the primary customer pain point. Looking back now, we realise how superficial that view was,” said iflix Group co-founder and CEO Mark Britt in a statement.
iflix Free will be partially supported by advertising revenues. For viewers, this means that ads will play before the content in the form of pop ups, at least in the initial stages.
The free tier reportedly gives viewers selected Hollywood TV series such as Dexter, Good Behaviour, Man Vs Wild and Spongebob Squarepants, and South Korean smash-hit sensations Goblin and Descendants Of The Sun but only the promotional and pilot episodes.
In addition, they will also get to view the “Movie of the Day”.
Britt added that the company’s research discovered that of the 12 million customers in 30 markets, Malaysians in particular preferred more local content.
“The data and learning we’ve acquired from solving these challenges enables us to build a product exclusively for emerging market customers and challenge many of the traditional metaphors that exist within our industry,” he said.
Viewers will also get programmes made locally from around the region and original iflix content, plus a line up of premium short-form content from Qyou and Complex Media. All content will be produced and managed through the company’s recently announced short-form content studio, Studio2:15.
The studio claimed it will produce an estimated 2,000 pieces of original short-form content by the end of the year, with 50 added to the site daily by June.
The free tier also includes a Live Hub that lets viewers watch sporting competitions such as the Malaysian football, and local and regional concerts and competitions.
iflix said paying subscribers will be promoted to a higher tier but did not reveal any additional info.
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