24 May 2019
INDONESIA: OTT RESURRECT
Could Genflix stream the future?
By Lulu M
Indonesia is stoked as it prepares for the dawn of a new era in OTT that goes by the name of Genflix. Intrinsically Indonesian, Genflix has been re-booted, stating that despite having been inactive in the market for quite a while in order to improve and develop more features, this over-the-top streaming application created by an Indonesian entrepreneur way back in 2013, “will start gaining the market back to fulfill their mission as a portal and application” Indonesians will take a shine to, more so than what’s out there today.
Headed by industry veteran, Jimmy Kim, Genflix’s new Managing Director, who led Globecast Asia Pte Ltd before this and MNC Media prior as SVP, the company is being sanctioned as “the people’s OTT”, being the first local commercial over the top (video streaming) service in Indonesia when it broadcasted live matches of Barclays Premier League, the Champions League, and the World Cup in 2014.
Since then, the company has developed partnerships with major telcos and payment gateways in the world’s fourth largest market, population-wise, in addition to being the content partner for Google Chromecast.
“As a local OTT, Genflix understands Indonesians,” Jimmy ruminated, adding that it is building community above all else, “with high engagement using local content, and own-IPs.”
As of March 2019, the service has more than 6 million registered subscribers in Indonesia.
Entertaining subscribers with local Indonesian and Asian content, which, says Jimmy, are more relevant for Indonesians, Genflix’s rebirth has been timely in a market that needed its own pace to develop and mature.
“We didn’t see full potential in the media industry in Indonesia; not only for new media, but also in the traditional landscape as well,” Jimmy observed. “Even the daily life of a local, if you compare 2004, the time when I first came to this country, to 2015, when I moved to work and live here, to 2019, I see huge development, changes I would never have imagined.
“In addition, as with the consolidation that have transpired in traditional media in many developed countries, a similar trend will happen here in 2—3 years in the OTT space. In fact, it’s happening already,” Jimmy expounded, noting the positives of being in the midst of such historical transformations.
One such remarkable revolution is Genflix’s collaboration in the e-sports realm, “to develop the innovative creativity of the millennial generation of the country”.
"Genflix previously known as a service and application which broadcasts live match sports in the past, evolved by collaborating with an e-sport team and community. This is also in line with the government’s decision recently to include e-sports as one of the official sports in the 2019 ASEAN Games,” said Greeny Dewayanti, Head of Marketing / Director of Genflix, citing Aerowolf Pro Team, a well-known Indonesian e-sport community, the first that has been invited to collaborate.
“As of early 2019, out of 66 million online population in Indonesia, 43 million are gamers,” Jimmy detailed. “This number is consistently growing year on year. Our big investment into e-sports, and specifically a popular gaming franchise league in Indonesia (25 million active users every day), includes a majority of teenagers and millennials up to their 40s.”
The company will not only collaborate with the e-sports community, but also the hobby community, skateboarding community, individuals, clubs, and corporations in the antique and vintage motorcycle community, and the young entrepreneurs’ community. By developing communities, Genflix anticipates benefits of both customer, as well as content.
The company has also opened payment options via e-money issued by a number of banks and other digital shopping merchants. In addition, Genflix has also become part of the loyalty points program for Traveloka, Blibli and other e-commerce customers.
“And of course, will also include box office movies as one important aspect of Genflix, which will be added frequently,” Greeny continued, appending that the Pokemon series is also in the pipeline of anime movie content.
Interaction with “Jaman Now” customers, which are equal to digital users, will see Genflix orchestrate roadshows to campuses and schools in Jabodetabek (Greater Jakarta). The goal is to develop engagement of Genflix users, not only as an entertainment portal, but also as a forum for young vloggers to display their creativity and find new market segments. This includes a Genflix Film Festival, planned to be in Jakarta soon.
Looking at the landscape of originals and the new D2C buzzword, how is Genflix going to lead the market (e.g., who will be Genflix’s studio or is there another strategy for content)?
JIMMY KIM: We have had an in-house production team since 2017, but we have also acquired a production house, which we can announce more about at right time. However, we will not copy Netflix’s business model, which everyone is attempting to do. We have our own unique content strategy, which will be revealed in H2 of 2019.
Since Genflix is inherently Indonesian, will this be an advantage in any way?
JIMMY KIM: As described earlier, Genflix is the Indonesia people’s OTT, while others come to this market and try to buy local content to emulate relevance. That is not a sustainable strategy. Genflix has better understanding of our viewers and customers, as we have served them long enough. With new investment from Sinar Mas, the industry will witness an OTT player with staying power.
Will the usual elements apply (e.g., having an original content fund etc)?
JIMMY KIM: Not really. Both target audiences and usual game plans will be different. We have funds, but not for only simple acquisition, which has been the traditional pay TV business model.
Will Genflix’s first order of business be focused on Indonesia alone?
JIMMY KIM: Yes, for the initial 2 years. Nevertheless, regional expansion is in our pipeline.
What does “rebranding” entail? What is Genflix’s current position in Indonesia today?
JIMMY KIM: Our current position is targeting the first jobbers (millennials who are entering the job market). Our new focus will be mass market with a broader reach.
What sort of significant partnerships does Genflix have to leverage on (e.g., telcos, etc)?
JIMMY KIM: We have associations with telcos from our strategic investors, such as Sinar Mas. We will continue working with external partners, including additional telcos. We are exploring many M&As and strategic partnership options as well. Stay tuned!
With strategic investors like Sinar Mas’, what is the bigger picture strategy of Genflix, taking the likes of Netflix, iflix and HOOQ into account, with them already have roots in Indonesia?
JIMMY KIM: We have a 360-degree ecosystem in Sinar Mas, including telco, broadband and infrastructure brands, such as MyRepublic, Smatfren, Balitower, Oxygen, IBS and Moratelindo. Other OTTs may have more subscribers via telco partners. We have strategic associations with telcos, which we have yet to tap into. Time will tell who has deeper roots in Indonesia.