Thursday, August 13 2020


Local OTT player vying to raise content competiveness

Update: June, 20/2020 - 11:03

Viet Nam’s Over-The-Top (OTT) market has been growing rapidly, with the novel coronavirus pandemic prompting more consumers to use such services. This has sparked fierce competition between local and foreign players who are vying to raise their competitiveness to win the hearts of local consumers.

International OTT platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Iqiyi and WeTV have already found favour in Viet Nam due to their exclusive content and user-friendly technology. Among them, the US' Netflix has taken the lead in Viet Nam’s OTT market with a strong base of subscribers.

However, there has been criticism in Viet Nam that international platforms feature very little local content and prioritise content with international appeal. This strategy has meant that many Vietnamese viewers have had to look elsewhere for content that reflects their tastes. Moreover, a contentious issue in the debate over OTT platforms in Viet Nam is that many international players face criticism for evading regulations imposed on their Vietnamese counterparts, including issues of content licensing, censorship and taxation.

While the tussle for Vietnamese subscribers between those licensed streaming content providers is intense, they all compete with the large volume of pirated media which is widely available in Viet Nam. In a recent survey done by information and consultancy group Kantar Media Vietnam, 45 per cent of respondents in the cities of Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang and southern Can Tho said they watched video on demand (VOD). Yet pirated content is also estimated to make up about 95 per cent of OTT services in Viet Nam according to media firm BHD, predominantly supplied by unlicensed or illegal websites.

Amid heated contest in video streaming, local OTT players are making efforts to improve their competitiveness. There are some ideas that suggest stopping purchasing foreign content and concentrating on local content. However, it leads to a third problem: interesting content. In an effort to compete with foreign streaming services’ original content, the domestic players have tried to produce original Vietnamese content to attract users.

DatVietVAC, Vietnam's largest privately-owned TV and media company, has launched many successful series and shows, including Sieu Tri Tue and Gao Nep Gao Te, which have gone on to become staples of Vietnamese TV.

Most recently, DatVietVAC has launched its new streaming service VieON following four years of research and development as a strategic move to compete with the international platforms as well as drive a healthier OTT market in Viet Nam.

Born out of a partnership with BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the global corporate venture incubation and investment arm of Boston Consulting Group, the platform has positioned itself as Viet Nam's most popular OTT platform, home to an unrivalled library of high-quality content.

VieON is expected to integrate over 100 traditional TV channels and over 100,000 hours of copyrighted content. Additionally, top new titles will air first on VieON, including the hit series Gao Nep Gao Te (Season 2) and web drama - Hai Duong TrongGio.

With the launch of VieON, DatVietVAC is helping to drive a new standard of streaming in the Vietnamese market, bringing a best-in-class experience across all platforms – mobile, SmartTVs, and on desktop.

Specifically, as a new and local OTT platform, VieON has already stated its intention to become the foremost digital service for Vietnamese audiences. Leveraging its understanding of local tastes, VieON aims to carve out a place for itself by focusing on content that will cater especially to Vietnamese audience and celebrate ruling Vietnamese culture and history.

Furthermore, the platform is also expected to feature a large library of international content, including recent blockbusters and series. VieON has made public its ambition to reach international markets including Southeast Asia, Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China and the US thanks to this diversified content.

A first for Viet Nam, local audiences will be able to access copyrighted international content through VieON. The platform's library is set to include over 100,000 hours of series and shows, thousands of movies and dramas from Hollywood, Korea, China and Viet Nam as well as over a hundred international and local TV channels.

In addition to popular TV Series - Gao Nep Gao Te (Season 2) and web drama - Hai Duong TrongGio, VieON also presents a large, exclusive content library like original mini drama - Khong The Roi Mat with special casting of Jack J-97, along with special releases of Cay Tao No Hoa, Em Uoc Minh Cung Bay by Phan Dang Di and Ca Doi Lam Me by Nguyen Quang Dung, leading Vietnamese directors.

The new version of VieON was launched on the 15th of June 2020. Through its partnership with BCG Digital Ventures and technology firm Akamai (a partner of Netflix), the updated platform promises an optimised user experience with four key commitments like high definition with a massive library of 4K quality content, high speed with smooth playback, no delay, no lag, high relevance with insightful recommendations tailored to each user as well as high accessibility with a convenient and user friendly interface.

The super entertainment platform VieON breaks records with millions of views and downloads within 24 hours of launch, such as Music festival Song VieON which amassed over 1.2 million views, original mini drama Khong The Roi Mat amassed over 1.4 million views, drama series Gao Nep Gao Te 2 garnered over 500,000 views, last but not least action movie Hai Duong Trong Gio also garnered over 500,000 views.

For the first time, a newly-launched app ranks No.1 in the Top Free Apps Charts on the Apple App Store and Google App Store.

As the most complete streaming library curated for Viet Nam, VieON promises to give users easy access to new titles everyday - anytime, anywhere. From the 15th of June, users can upgrade to a VIP account to receive exclusive early access to series, shows and other high-quality content. To celebrate the occasion, VieON is offering exclusive introductory offers to Vietnamese audiences. This includes a four-month subscription for VND66,000 ($2.84).

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