Richard Liu’s Viu is currently Southeast Asia’s second-biggest streaming platform backed by 7 million paid subscribers, following Disney Plus, as per research firm Media Partners Asia. In one of Asia’s most competitive markets, the Hong Kong-based platform mulled potential and emerged victorious after beating Netflix in paid subscriptions.
Viu – one of the most popular OTT media businesses in Southeast Asia
Billionaire Richard Li’s conglomerate, PCCW Ltd., is now the flag bearer of the most popular OTT media business. The success of Viu initiated a plunge in the conglomerate’s revenue to 29% in the first half of 2021. The Hong Kong-based business, which also houses a music streaming platform, is predicted to boom in profits as early as the second half of 2021. With this kind of revenue growth, the conglomerate of PCCW is considering strategizing more partners or even a listing for divisions.
The ascent of Viu in Southeast Asia has stood apart from the world’s goliath streaming platforms like Walt Disney Co, Netflix, China’s Baidu Inc, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. This streaming service got to the quickly developing working-class populace before greater rivals, by perceiving consumer patterns and trends more rapidly. Viu has quenched the consumer’s thirst for Korean dramas across the myriad dialects used in the area and addressed the demand for a free membership.
Viu’s initial coup d’état was to present an amalgamation model, which served some content for free and some only accessible to the paid subscribers. At the time, competitors were only focusing on the latter. Given the growing piracy in the region owing to reduced spending power, free content served as bait for end-users, and Viu’s advertising revenue surged 54% in the first half of 2021. Subscription revenue was roaring at 40%. By and large, the platform’s income became 47% to $62 million in the preceding half of the year.
The platform’s contribution to PCCW’s general prosperity is close to minimal. Nevertheless, it has cemented Li’s position as a media and technology entrepreneur, which is uncommon among Hong Kong’s moguls whose organizations principally work in customary areas like land, ports, utilities, and retail.