The OTT Video Market in Asia Pacific with Michael Smith

The OTT Video Market in Asia Pacific with Michael Smith
Michael Smith Jr, CTO of HOOQ, offered an overview and his perspectives on the over the top (OTT) video market in Asia Pacific. 

In the first episode of 2016, Michael Smith Jr, chief technology officer in HOOQ joined us to give us an overview of the over the top (OTT) video streaming market in Asia Pacific. We discussed the major players in the Asia Pacific market and how they will be shaping up against global competitors from the US such as Netflix and Amazon, the industry as a whole and the major challenges in building an OTT video company from dealing with the Apple and Android ecosystems and infrastructure challenges. Last but not least, we have a short conversation on how far the southeast Asia startup ecosystem has come to.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Michael Smith aka “Smithy”(@dreampipe, LinkedIn, main site) – Chief Technology Officer, HOOQ
  • Over The Top (OTT) Video streaming or Video on demand market in Asia Pacific [1:05]

    • An introduction to the OTT video company HOOQ (which raised a total of US$100M), and formed by SingTel, Sony Pictures & Warner Bros Entertainment. (Ref: SingTel, Sony Pictures & Warner Bros Entertainment to establish the over the top (OTT) video to Asia) [1:30]
    • How does a OTT video company work from acquiring content to video streaming to consumers? What is the business model in which this business is built on? [2:53]
    • In the US, we have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon TV, and the cable networks, how is the Asia market like? Who are the major players in Asia? [7:05]
    • The impact of Netflix as they are launching in Asia Pacific. [8:50]
    • Should the video streaming company also built their own studio? The misconception of Netflix as a content producer but they are actually a media buyer. [12:44]
    • An interesting case study: how is Netflix going to enter South Africa where they have licenced their content to Naspers? Naspers is also an investor of Tencent (Wechat) with 40% ownership pre-Tencent IPO. [14:00]
    • Chinese companies buying movie studios, for example, Alibaba buying Lion Gates studio. [15:40]
    • How do consumers gain access to video streaming content in Asia? What’s the go to market strategy for OTT companies to consumers? [17:20]
      • The influence of SingTel across Asia Pacific and how do they help HOOQ to distribute across the other telcos in the region? [18:00]
    • Does the business model change for a OTT company for developed, developing & frontier markets? [19:13]
    • What are the challenges in building a OTT company in Asia Pacific? Do you have to start with a lot of funding (HOOQ) or bootstrap (Spuul)? [21:09]
    • Product management for VOD – what are the challenges for companies in the OTT market?

      • iOS and Android development, monetisation and distribution for OTT – the app monetisation mechanism for iOS is not flexible. [23:09]
      • Not many local CDN services? [28:00] 
  • Reflections on the startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia from the surge of funding, valuation and exits. [29:35]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.