Digital News Asia — GOOGLE Inc has announced the addition of movies to Google Play in Malaysia, which would allow users to watch high-definition, full-length feature films from major Hollywood studios, including blockbusters like Kingsman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Interstellar and oldies like Ghostbusters.
Variety — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has created a music division that could eventually match its ambitions in film and video. The Ali Music Group will be headed by singer-songwriter and TV host Gao Xiaosong as chairman, and by Song Ke, a former Warner Music executive, as CEO. The two veterans of the Chinese music industry previously worked together to establish Taihe Rye Music.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Netflix added nearly a third more subscribers than expected in the second quarter, sending its shares up 9.4% as the video streaming service said its investment in original television programs and movies was paying off. Net subscriber additions rose about 94% year over year to about 3.3 million in the second quarter, beating the company’s forecast of 2.5 million.
IT News — iiNet is now “over the hump” of the capacity issues it faced with the introduction of Netflix, with further network improvements to fix remaining issues to be rolled out over the next two months, according to chief technical officer Mark Dioguardi. Dioguardi cited Netflix’s Australian ISP speed index figures as an example how much progress iiNet has made in resolving its capacity issues, especially given the company offers its customers unmetered use of the streaming video service.
Want China Times — Chinese internet video site Leshi TV (LeTV), one of the newer entrants to China’s smartphone sector, has purchased an 18% stake in domestic phone maker Coolpad through a Hong Kong subsidiary. The shares reportedly cost LeTV 2.19 billion yuan (US$353 million), making it the second-largest shareholder in Coolpad, reports Sina’s tech new portal.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: After Singapore-based on-demand internet video provider Hooq launched operations here, the pioneer of internet TV, US-based Netflix, has firmed up plans to enter India by 2016, according to people familiar with the matter. This has sent domestic DTH players into a tizzy with some of the major ones chalking out strategies to diversify beyond television. On the cards are iconic shows including Buniyaad, Nukkad and Malgudi Days on various mobile devices across iOS and Android.
Dominant South Korean chat app KakaoTalk is getting a new feature in which users can view streaming videos together, including live sports broadcasts. KakaoTV is a bit like a virtual TV in a virtual living room. It lets users view and share videos in KakoTalk chat rooms while they comment on what’s being watched. The videos appear above users’ conversations.
ALIBABA plans to launch an online video service that mimics that of US streaming giant Netflix, a report said yesterday, marking the e-commerce giant’s latest move to expand its business scope. Alibaba will offer Tmall Box Office via its own set-top box and smart televisions that use its operating system in about two months, said Liu Chunning, president of Alibaba’s digital entertainment business, according to Bloomberg News. Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chinese online video streaming company Letv has teamed up with Nasdaq-listed haptic technology solution provider Immersion to allow viewers to watch four-dimensional (4D) videos on their smartphones. The 4D technology has been featured in selected cinemas to simulate effects such as rain, wind, lights and vibrations. When shown on smartphones, 4D videos seek to create an experience where viewers can feel bullets passing, racing cars coming to a grinding halt, a high-rise collapse, heart pounding, among other effects, by touching the screen.
Chinese tech company Xiaomi on Wednesday announced investment of US$1 billion to build up business in online video. The move comes as tech giants around the globe scramble to expand their video business, seen as a vital driving force in cyber connectivity. Lei Jun, CEO of the smartphone manufacturer, said Xiaomi would form an association with video-sharing websites and film makers, but the company would not make content itself.
AMSTERDAM-headquartered Irdeto has announced that PT Mega Media Indonesia Group, owner of satellite pay TV service Orange TV, has selected its end-to-end Multiscreen services to support the launch of Genflix. Genflix, also under PT Mega Media Indonesia Group, was established in September 2013 as Indonesia’s first-ever commercial over-the-top (OTT) content delivery service, Irdeto said in a statement.
Late last week, news broke that American subscription-based streaming video service Netflix is in talks with Jack Ma-backed Wasu Media Holding Company to bring Netflix to China. Netflix, the maker of popular original shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, has aspirations of being a global power, and it can hardly realize those without China’s billion-plus internet users. Netflix spokeswoman Anne Marie Squeo told reporters Netflix plans “to be nearly global by the end of 2016,” which implies a China launch could be coming soon.
Lenovo Group’s television unit will likely cooperate with Alibaba Group to jointly set up a joint-venture firm with other investors, and will introduce a brand-new smart television brand “17” beginning on May 20, our sister paper Want Daily reports, citing Chinese online media outlet Jiemian.com. Via the cooperation, Lenovo aims to transform itself in terms of internet operations, while keeping its existing supply chains and reputation as a renowned hardware manufacturer, according to an unnamed Lenovo executive.
HONG KONG, May 06, 2015 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) — Letv Cloud Computing Co. Ltd., known as the No.1 video cloud computing brand and a neutral service provider, announced the launch of the worldwide VaaS (Video-as-a-Service) model in TV Connect event in London. In this Letv Cloud’s first global debut, it shows an upgraded and globalized version of VaaS model since it was invented in China in 2014. TV Connect, the world-leading event in the fields of OTT and IPTV, was held in London during April 28-30, 2015. Over 500 telecom operators, 200 exhibitors and about 8,500 professionals joined the event.
Japan’s online video market is expected to grow significantly starting the second half of 2015 when Netflix begins to offer its services, NTT DoCoMo launches its dTV Terminal program and the local top-five cable TV operators start offering free online video services, according to Digitimes Research. Wireless TV operators Nippon, Asahi, Tokyo, Fuji and TBS have been offering quality TV programs free of charge, making it difficult for cable TV operators to promote online paid video services.
Alibaba Group entered the film industry last year, having acquired ChinaVision Media Group and renamed it Alibaba Pictures Group and other related companies. On April 21, Alibaba Pictures announced it was acquiring Guangdong Yueke Software Engineering Company, a supplier of a cinema-ticketing system, through an open bidding for 830 million yuan (US$134 million), Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald reports.
Access to a whole new range of streaming movie and TV content is one step closer to viewers in Southeast Asia, as internet media startup iFlix has successfully completed a US$30 million funding round. iFlix’s parent company Catcha Group and telco Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company led the round. The funds will be used towards the continued rollout of the service throughout Southeast Asian territories, as well as acquiring the rights to more content and producing original content.
Remember earlier this week when the venture arm of Japan’s DeNA made its premiere investment in Indonesia in the form of a US$1 million seed round for live-streaming entertainment site Zeemi.tv? 500 Startups participated in the investment also, and Zeemi founder Tom Damek now has the bragging right of grabbing one of the largest seed rounds on public record in the archipelago. Tech in Asia caught up with the principal of DeNA’s venture arm James Riney this morning in Jakarta.
Chinese video streaming site LeTV branched out into smartphones today with the launch of three models based at the high end of the market. At an event in Beijing, LeTV CEO Jia Yueting slammed phone makers as “arrogant” for charging consumers more than double what their phones cost to make. Apple came under fire in particular for offering what Jia called a “closed” software ecosystem allied with a business model that charges people well beyond what the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus cost in production.
China’s LeTV is best known for its popular online streaming platform, but in the past year the company has really been branching out. Within that timeframe it has moved into smartphones, film production, and electric cars. Now it’s moving into the music business too, having on Thursday announced the establishment of the LeTV Music Company in Hong Kong. LeTV Music, which will be headed by former LeTV entertainment boss Yin Liang, is aiming for China’s music market by way of vertical integration, since it already has the technology and internet platforms to distribute smoothly to most of the country.