Viral short-video app TikTok has teamed with Malaysia-based video streaming service provider iflix to bring its short-form video content to around 13 countries across Southeast Asia, aiming to entrench its market-leading position in the region.
The newly forged cooperation will allow ByteDance’s TikTok to tap iflix’s self-claimed 17 million users, who are mainly Malaysian, Indonesian, and Filipinos, via a dedicated channel.
“With short-form content rising in demand, today’s partnership with iflix couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as we look forward to serving millions of users with content that they desire and enjoy,” TikTok Malaysian operation head Cheah Sheau Mei said in the press release.
Some already available video compilations include “Outfit of the day,” “New year, new me,” and “How to plan a holiday trip.” More content will be added regularly in categories including travel, comedy, pets, sports, and lifestyle, according to a press release obtained by KrASIA.
Leveraging the popularity of TikTok, iflix hopes to deliver more contemporary content to its subscribers and also capture more users, especially the millennials and the Gen-z demographics. Unlike Netflix, which only has paid subscribers, Iflix has adopted a freemium business model, where some of its content can be streamed at no cost.
In July 2019, the Sky-backed company raised over USD 50 million in a round of investment led by global asset manager Fidelity International, with the participation of regional media companies such as Indonesia’s MNC, Japan’s Yoshimoto Kogyo, and South Korea’s JTBC, ahead of a potential initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange, KrASIA wrote.
TikTok has experienced a rapid rise in the Southeast Asian markets through localized marketing strategies. In November 2019, it held a talent-discovery contest in some Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
However, it also encountered regulatory hurdles from regional authorities. In 2019, the Indian government ordered TikTok to take down the application from the Google Play and the Apple App Store, for reasons reportedly linked to pornography. Indonesian authorities also banned the app in July 2018 for containing “inappropriate content,” according to Reuters. TikTok is currently available again in both countries.