As hinted by top brass at Sky the partnership seems to include the potential for content growth for iflix
One of the largest media networks in the world, the pan-European television network Sky, announced today a strategic partnership with Kuala Lumpur’s iflix to the tune of US$45 million.
To facilitate the deal Sky purchased US$2.5 million of shares from investors. The transaction will be settled with cash.
In a statement from Sky Group Chief Financial Officer Andrew Griffith, the partnership seems to suggest iflix will be getting a boost in content from the London-listed media giant’s library.
“iflix has quickly established itself as Southeast Asia’s most exciting and fastest-growing streaming TV service. There are lots of opportunities for Sky and iflix to work together and share expertise as both companies continue to expand,” Griffith said in an official statement.
iflix is Southeast Asia’s answer to Netflix and operates in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines — and ‘high-growing emerging markets’ was specifically outlined as strategically important in the statement released by Sky.
Last April iflix raised a US$30 million round from Captcha Group and the Philippine telco PLDT. Furthermore, in August e27 reported the company inked an undisclosed investment from Hollywood giant MGM, which iflix Co-founder and CEO Mark Britt said opened a door for content strategy.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sky to the iflix family. As pioneers in the global broadcasting industry and true leaders in television and media, they share our passion for delivering market-leading content and services through innovation,” said Britt about today’s news.
Sky itself is already in the OTT game with NowTV, Sky Online and Sky Go. The iflix library has tens of thousands of digital entertainment content (including notable brands like Disney, Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
The elephant in the room of this deal is Netflix, which earlier January 2016 made a massive global push by expanding to 130 countries globally. But, iflix welcomed the entrance of America’s OTT giant into its territory, saying the entrance of a global player represented market validity for the region.
Plus, while Netflix is certainly the most well-known brand, much of its content is restricted in Southeast Asia which has coincided with a corporate crackdown on the use of VPNs to open-up foreign markets to a viewer.
The other major player in the regional OTT industry is HOOQ, a joint venture between Sony, Warner Brothers and Singtel.
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