It’s here to stay

By Hassan Radwan

The internet age is seeing some major overhauls to the entertainment industry as people now have more convenient ways to access entertainment than the traditional television format. Tech giants such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have launched their own platforms in the hope of keeping up with the incessant barrage of options that illegal file sharing has allowed people to consume. Despite this harsh and unwelcoming marketplace, one Asian company reckons it is up to the challenge, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) happens to be Malaysian.

CEO Azran Osman-Rani has his mind set on tackling these challenges head on. Within just four months of its launch, Iflix is already providing a mind-boggling variety of entertainment shows through deals made with FOX, BBC, Warner Bros, Paramount Picture and several other major content producers.

At a talk he recently gave at the National Leadership Symposium at IIUM, Azran claimed that now is the best time for such a service to be launched, with people relying far more on their smartphones and tablets for consuming media than their immobile, inconvenient televisions.

Most online media services make revenue through advertisements. Azran expressed understanding of the frustration consumers feel when watching such advertisements, and managed to create a business model that abrogates them entirely. He is also aware that services such as Hulu and Netflix fail to take the slow internet speeds that Southeast Asian countries have to endure, and reckons his service will be far more appropriate for people in such places. He believes that people should be able to consume seamless High Definition content despite only having third generation internet connections, thus addressing the main problem that consumers in Southeast Asia face.

The company will soon be producing its own content and hosting that alongside 10,000 hours of international and local shows, providing customers with unprecedented variety. They plan to expand from countries such as Indonesia, Japan and Australia to countries like Nigeria, South Africa and even Europe.

Iflix also has the advantage of being able to circumvent Malaysian censorship laws, as it is an internet based company with servers in Singapore.

Iflix’s real strength, though, lies in how consumers access the content. They can consume media across multiple platforms such as laptops, smart TVs and even smartphones on the go, and at incredibly low prices. However, the company has found that with piracy being so commonplace, consumers are unwilling to pay for content, no matter how low the price.

Therefore, they are now working on providing content to consumers without the need for payment. As such, a platform is legal and has reliable and high quality content, the success of such a model could very well spell the end of the entire illegal software industry.***
<pre>Photo courtesy of Gadgets Magazine</pre>

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