Viu bullish on Originals; to create 70 titles, 900 episodes of local content in 2018

Viu, a leading pan-regional OTT video service by PCCW Media Group, is set on a course to actively develop its Viu Original initiative this year which will see 70 titles and over 900 episodes of locally produced content by the end of 2018. Produced in Indian, Chinese, Indonesian and Arabic languages, Viu Original spans the full spectrum of TV content genres and has extended its production scope to movies. 

Viu Original is popular among viewers who embrace Viu’s freemium model, which provides free access (ad-supported) content for all viewers while offering enhanced features to premium subscribers. Viu now claims to have over 16 million monthly active users across Asia. 

Janice Lee, Managing Director, PCCW Media Group, commented, “With the evolution of OTT streaming service and consumers adoption, quality content with strong relevance is the key to our continued high engagement with viewers. Viu aims to introduce the refreshing local productions in various markets, including ‘Spotlight 2’ produced by Bollywood director Vikram Bhatt, and ‘Kenapa Harus Bule?’ by award-winning Indonesian director Andri Cune. Our latest Viu Original series development of ‘The Bridge’, a popular international TV series, will be remade with Asia context and filmed in Singapore and Malaysia. By working with top tier local talents and production houses, we fulfil our brand promise to provide Viu-ers with compelling localised entertainment.” 

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Besides working with top award-winning directors and production talent in the markets, Viu employs highly innovative ways to come up with new ideas for Viu Original. For example, in Indonesia, Viu ‘crowd sources’ Viu Original ideas in an event called Viu Pitching Forum, where young filmmakers are encouraged to pitch their ideas before a team of renowned experts, including award-winning producers, directors and scriptwriters. Once shortlisted, Viu will fund these selected ideas and collaborate with professional filmmakers to produce them for airing. 

Back to its home base in Hong Kong, Viu enlists local YouTubers and KOLs to join the production team. Such an initiative maximises engagement with the local creative community to create content relevant and engaging to the Millennials. 

Lee added, “We are encouraged by the overwhelming positive response from viewers for Viu Original and we will continue to create many more fresh and engaging originals tailored to our Millennial Viu-ers. We are especially proud to provide a platform for young talent in local markets to showcase their creativity and gain popularity among our viewers.” 

Viu Original has recently launched a foray of full feature movies. ‘High Jack’, which is co-produced with award-winning Phantom Films in India, is scheduled to be screened in 450 Indian theatres followed by viewing on the Viu platform. ‘Kenapa Harus Bule?’, a Viu Original satirical comedy movie with a deeper message of valuing inner beauty and pride of being Indonesian, was screened in Indonesia recently. 

Working alongside its broadcast partners, Viu aims to bring Viu Original to free-to-air and pay-TV audience around the world. Viu has collaborated with Zoom TV, a Bollywood pay-TV channel and Gemini Tv- Pay TV channel owned by Sun Network, to deliver its original content to free TV and pay-TV audience in India. 

Viu can also connect and engage with millennials and thereby increase its appeal to advertisers targeting them through Viu Original’s content. Drama series and variety shows co-produced with advertisers have been gaining traction with these audiences and advertisers’ response to Viu Original is stellar. 

Welcoming this initiative by Viu, MK Machaiah, Chief Innovation Officer of Mindshare South Asia, said, “We are always discovering and experimenting with novel areas of content via machine learning, creativity and adaptive marketing in order to curate focused and sharp solutions for our brands. Smart content is the need of the hour and this collaboration with Viu has helped us connect with the right audience effectively. Viu continues to support us in the brand journey to engage with the millennial audience through premium and commercially vibrant content and we are confident that together we will set higher benchmarks.”

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