Netflix revealed plans to expand into Singapore next year, but the journey might not be easy for the video streaming giant as several ambitious video streaming services are already mushrooming in Southeast Asia. And they all share a common aim of dethroning the U.S. firm even before its arrival in the region, says a report from TechCrunch.
Ambitious growth plan
iFlix is one such upstart that’s already present in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. The service intends to raise up to $150 million in fresh funding to support a major global expansion, for which it is in talks with investors currently.
TechCrunch has obtained a pitch deck put together for investors dated November 2015. The document says that Malaysia-based group Catcha Media is the owner of iFlix. It raised $30 million in April and is once again looking to expand actively into other ASEAN markets and high-potential areas outside of the ASEAN market as well, such as the Middle East, Africa, and CIS (Eastern Europe). As of now, there has been no comment from iFlix. According to iFlix’s pitch, it is in “ongoing distribution agreement dialogue” with operators across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Should Netflix worry?
iFlix’s growth plan appears very ambitious if we consider that this service has been commercially available for just five months. Recently, this Netflix rival claimed that it surpassed 1 million members, but according to TechCrunch, this data does not represent the current number of subscribers to the service.
Rather, it represents the number of activations or all the registrations on the service to date. iFlix offers users month-long free trials, and considering this fact, the given metric is fairly misleading. iFlix has not provided any information regarding the number of paying users out of those million-plus registrations, but it can be assumed that the number isn’t amazing as subscription-based models in Southeast Asia are still in their early days.
Therefore, Netflix does not have to worry much about iFlix. At 9:50 a.m. Eastern, Netflix shares were down 0.14% at $118.51. Year to date, the stock is up by almost 144%, while in the last one month, it is up by almost 7%.