New IPTV service soon
Emagine aims to capture 300,000 customers in 2012 after mid-year launch
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 12:02
The service, branded Emagine, aims to tap into changing viewing habits as more consumers now desire on-demand content at their time of choice, said Select TV Solutions Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Goh Chung Swen.
“People are no longer watching TV at prime time but at whatever time of the day that is most convenient to them.”
The company aims to reach 300,000 customers by end of the year. Select TV's on-demand content is mainly from Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Korea and most recently, India.
Goh explained: “We have partnered with an Indian content provider, UF Group, and we will add the latest North Indian and South Indian films to our offering including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and content from five other Indian dialects.
“Hindi movies were very popular in the 80s and 90s among locals. However, in recent years, their popularity had dropped. With good subtitles and dubbing for all races to enjoy, we believe the genre can do well again.”
Select TV has also partnered with GMM Grammy Public Company Ltd from Thailand and local online TV platform TonTon.com.my.
The company is not keen on offering Hollywood content because of the high rate of piracy and a high price for copyright licences.
“We will have to price Hollywood movies at a minimum of RM15 per movie while we are looking at pricing all our offerings at RM5 or less each,” Goh said.
Asked how they would compete in a market dominated by one satellite TV provider and Internet enabled TVs, Goh said Emagine would be complimenting current paid TV channels. Also, a smart TV would cost an additional RM1,200 compared to regular TV sets.
“Satellite TV, such as Astro, is a linear broadcast where viewers cannot choose their viewing content. Our focus is on-demand content.
"In addition, we are more interactive in nature where viewers can participate in reality shows and game shows at no cost. The current system requires viewers to communicate via short messaging system and can be very costly. The Internet feature of our service provides connectivity at a very minimal cost.”
While many IPTV companies in the country have failed to gain traction, Goh is confident Select TV is taking a more successful route.
“Many of the previous IPTV initiatives wanted to compete head-on with Astro and other linear programming. Astro has an advantage as they possess exclusive rights for many of their channels.
“Another mistake is not leveraging on the existing Internet infrastructure but building their own lines because they want to offer linear services which needs a new network configuration. They were transferring the cost to customers, thus increasing the price of the service.
“Emagine leverages on the existing Internet network and provides on-demand content taking a very different strategic approach from existing providers.”
Select TV is also looking to take this service to North America, Canada and other Southeast Asian countries.
To date, the company has launched the service in South India India earlier this month and has already received an encouraging response.
Emagine’s offerings for RM9.90
SELECT TV Solutions Sdn Bhd will offer an array of content from movies on-demand to media player, personalised services, applications, social networking, video conferencing, online shopping and e-learning when the Emagine service is launched.
A basic content package will be available for RM9.90 a month and includes Net TV - a selection of TV series, dramas, cooking shows and movies, though not latest releases. The package also includes a variety of games and music.
Emagine's content offering is vast - their 80,000 karaoke song selection comprises Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean songs.
“We will be introducing the various services in stages starting with the basic package. We are already talking to a number of agencies such as Groupon and DealMates to offer the latest promotions and offerings on our channels. We are even looking at promoting food delivery services,” said Goh.
Other than paid on-demand content, the end-to-end technology provider enables access to a range of free content from the Internet such as YouTube streaming.
Customers just need to be equipped with Emagine's settop box, powered with Internet connection and plugged into their TV sets.
The system can be integrated with other platforms such as iPhones and tablets, using these gadgets as a remote control or to transfer content to the settop box.
Customers can also purchase content online with via credit card or using a point system, just like purchasing mobile phone reload cards. These point cards can be purchased from settop box distributors and later one, made available at convenience stores.
Content can be purchased in varying packages depending on the access time to the content – 24 hours, 72 hours or three months but cannot be stored, recorded or transferred to other devices due to copyright issues.
“While many would like to store the content they purchase especially songs, we do not provide that privilege due to copyright issues. However we do offer a monthly music package giving customers access to millions of songs, including latest tracks,” said Goh.
The settop box will be sold via telecommunication providers, selected retails outlets and also online at www.selectv.com.my. The device price has yet to be finalised but Goh said it should not cost more than a couple of hundred ringgit.