Piracy is the real competition says iflix boss

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2018 02:00 PM

Actress Kris Aquino poses with iflix officials. Aquino is set to make a movie that will debut on the iflix streaming service. Handout photo

MANILA - One of the biggest on-demand video streaming services in Southeast Asia said its main competition isn't really other video subscription services.

Sherwin dela Cruz, country manager for iflix, said that while they are competing against the likes of Netflix, Hooq and Hulu, what the company is really battling against is piracy.

"That is really the big player," dela Cruz said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

"The sooner we get people to pay for our service and watch content in one of the real services, I think that's when we can say that the market is really growing," he said.

Dela Cruz said they are not bothered at iflix over the growth of rival streaming services as there was a lot of room to grow in the Philippines considering the rampant piracy of video content in the country.

"We're bad. Broadly speaking there's a lot of piracy that's happening here."

But instead of simply running after pirates, dela Cruz said companies should be looking at better ways to deliver content.

"If you think of the world back in early 2000s- Napster, Limewire and so on and so forth, music piracy was rampant."

He noted that nowadays, music piracy doesn't make much of a dent in the industry amid the popularity of music streaming services.

"So if you take a look at Spotify for instance, in every market that spotify has gone into, piracy has gone down."

"That's sort of like the aspiration for us--to get more people to have just one, two or three services and just watch what they want to watch on their mobile phones without really looking at pirated content."

Dela Cruz said that they are aiming to triple their subscribers this year by offering more "hyperlocal" content.

Iflix, he said, is looking to produce more local shows for Filipinos and has even tapped Kris Aquino to star in a movie that will debut on the streaming platform.

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