The Indian and Indonesian paid subscribers market across streamers is poised for explosive growth according to Rohit Jain, MD, South Asia and networks – emerging markets Asia, Lionsgate.
Starz launched streamer Lionsgate Play in India in December, and Indonesia on Wednesday, both after soft launches. Speaking at the Asia Pacific focused APOS conference on Wednesday, Jain said that there are some 15-20 million unique paying subscribers in India, a number that he estimates will go up to 50 million by 2025. In Indonesia, Jain reckons that there are around 4-5 million paid subscribers and says, “I wouldn’t be surprised if that starts hitting like 25 million subscribers by 2025.”
Both India and Indonesia are mobile-first markets, meaning that they have deep penetration of smart phones and the typical customer is more likely to engage with streaming content on a mobile device, rather than on a conventional television set. The Lionsgate Play strategy is to become part of this ecosystem.
The streamer is therefore working closely with telecoms companies, device manufacturers and app stores. Lionsgate Play is also aggressively priced in both markets with the service costing INR699 ($9.27) annually or INR99 ($1.31) a month in India, and IDR35,000 ($2.40) per month and IDR179,000 ($12.31) annually in Indonesia.
The content in both markets is Hollywood-focused with titles from Lionsgate and other studio acquisitions. In India, Lionsgate has launched two originals, a remake of comedy drama “Casual,” and campus romance “U-Special.” The upcoming India slate comprises edgy drama, comedy and slice of life content, says Jain.
In Indonesia, the content on Lionsgate Play is largely Hollywood, with a layering of Indian programming. “We see a little bit of difference in terms of customer taste [compared to India] and likes and dislikes. Clearly the market is tilted towards more family content, romance and comedy.”
Jeffrey A. Hirsch, president and CEO, STARZ, said at the Indonesia launch: “Indonesia is an exciting market for us. The large and diverse population, increased data usage in urban and rural markets, and adoption of OTT across all demographics created an exciting opportunity for us to launch Lionsgate Play. We’re confident that our unique, exclusive and exceptionally curated content will generate a great response from Indonesian audiences.”
Titles available at launch in Indonesia include film franchises including The Hunger Games and Twilight, box office hit “Now You See Me,” Oscar-winning films from other studios like “The Aviator” and “Babel,” and television series “Weeds,” “Power,” Mad Men,” and “The Spanish Princess.”