Apigate Tackles the Biggest Problem Facing the Video Industry - Monetizing Content
The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) hosted over 150 delegates at its Malaysia in View conference which was held on September 3rd in Kuala Lumpur.
Both local and international major players discussed the state of the Malaysian video industry - as it enters the era of digital convergence.
Malaysia has witnessed immense growth in the streaming of online content. This is best illustrated by one of the leading integrated media companies in the country - Media Prime, which effectively engages millennial audiences via its streaming and on-demand service with YouTube.
Cross-Industry Synergies Can Fight Parasitic Piracy
The main topic on everyone’s mind was the issue of piracy and ways to combat it.
While local content and the original intellectual property enjoy the most engagement among Malaysian consumers across all platforms, piracy still remains a widespread issue in the country. According to the latest study commissioned by Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), 23% of Malaysian online consumers use tools that allow them to stream pirated television and video content. What’s more, 64% of these consumers have reported that they had canceled all or some of their subscriptions to view content legally.
Over 30% claimed that they canceled their local pay-television subscriptions, and another 20% admitted to canceling international subscription services including pan-Asia-only offerings. An astounding 50% of all Malaysian online consumers have accessed piracy streaming websites to view premium content.
This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that most consumers of pirated content are young people. Namely, 76% of consumers abandoning legitimate subscriptions fall in the 18-24 age range.
Therefore, this is a long term predicament that needs to be solved by introducing strategies to recover and retain consumers, especially younger ones.
At the conference, Apigate’s Senior Vice President, Raja Mansukhani laid out novel and creative solutions designed to reverse these trends by effectively fighting the distribution of pirated content.
Among the models typically offered to video, content consumers are the Ad-supported VOD (AVOD) and SubscriptIon VOD (SVOD). Mansukhani believes that the solution will have to be more geo-specific and driven by factors including local volumes, affordability, etc. Then, there are hybrids that we can classify as Freemiums, where certain content is free with AVOD and then there is a subscription for premium content.
However, the options shouldn’t be limited to AVOD/SVOD, but instead, the trend is toward cross-industry synergies, i.e, telcos are using content bundling into their price plans for retention and loyalty.
Content - Bundling and Pre-bundling
Content-bundling refers to the inclusion of popular and highly demanded mobile apps, websites, video, and music services. Under this service, the Mobile Operators or Service Provider offers subscribers access to these forms of content for free or at discounted rates.
Pre-content bundling going into TVs/Handsets is also happening, both are riding on attracting customers using the content as a differentiator and bearing the content cost or subsidizing it.
There is no reason why this can’t become more creative and synergies with other industries start happening with a sharp focus on customer loyalty.
Telcos are the Trailblazers of the Digital Economy
According to a 2018 report by Google & Temasek, Online Media GMV in Malaysia will double from $1.5B in 2018 to $3B by 2025. To understand this development we need to also look at the advancement of technology within Telecommunications, which started with voice, followed by data which had 2G, 3G, 4G, 4G+ & now 5G which provides a great viewing experience wherever a customer finds themselves.
As a result, this is leading the demand across all types of consumer segments to grow significantly, which is also supported by various business models popping up, AVOD, SVOD, Freemium, Bundling, Mobile-only plans, etc.
These innovations are driving more & more consumers to get easier and affordable access which in turn is driving higher volumes & will continue to do so.
Partnerships - Telcos and Video Content Makers
For B2B brands with video/content players as partners, the key ingredient in securing customer loyalty is focusing on building global reach and ease of doing business via innovative products, a stable platform, and mature operational processes.
In fact, Apigate adopted an approach of "solving problems" for our partners. Specifically for content partners, we realized that getting global access to multiple markets and various partners on them to finally reach the end consumer would be a big challenge considering contracts to be set up, local legalities/regulations, tech integrations, payments/settlements, etc.
Therefore, we built a platform that requires a single integration, single central contract and centralized operations to reach out to over 40+ countries. Apigate also enables multiple payment APIs like Telco Operator Billing, Wallets, and supports innovative products.
Apigate is currently working with customers in the sciences of fraud protection and improved FinTech offerings such as telco-based mobile microfinancing to subscribers in order to prevent disruption of high-quality mobile experiences.
Video content makers and distributors should look to join forces with Telcos by offering content bundling plans that will make legally consuming original content affordable to average Malaysian consumers.
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