Indonesia's Gojek launches video-streaming platform

September 26, 2019 12:25
Ride-hailing startup Gojek is venturing into video-streaming amid growing demand for original Indonesian entertainment content. Photo: Reuters

Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek on Thursday launched a video streaming service, named ‘Goplay’, that features original movies and TV shows, Reuters reports.

“We see that there’s a gap where people want to watch Indonesian high-quality content, but where the only choice to see it is to go to the cinema,” Edy Sulistyo, CEO of Gojek Entertainment Group, was quoted as saying in an interview.

“With ‘Goplay’, we are here to fill the gap and bridge the millions of Indonesian mobile viewers to the Indonesian film industry,” Sulistyo added.

With the launch of the video platform, Gojek, which was valued at US$10 billion in a fundraising round in July, will compete with entities such as US streaming giant Netflix, Malaysian upstart Iflix, and Singaporean firm HOOQ in a fight for eyeballs in the Indonesian market, the report noted.

“Mobile penetration in Indonesia has reached 54 percent, which is roughly 130-140 million people, so the potential is very big,” Sulistyo said in the interview to Reuters.

The expansion into video streaming comes on the heels of Gojek launching in September a gaming platform in Indonesia, in collaboration with strategic investors Google and  Tencent, that offers gaming credit top-ups and e-sports tips.

Gojek also invested in a digital media start-up late last year as it strengthens its expansion into online content.

Indonesia’s internet economy is forecast to grow to US$100 billion by 2025, according to a 2018 study by Google and Singapore state investor Temasek, as more consumers use smartphones to go online.

Subscriptions to the ‘GoPlay’ mobile-only video streaming platform will start at 89,000 rupiah (US$6) a month.

While some of its rivals, including Netflix, have produced Indonesian content, Sulistyo believes the breadth and “quality” of the Indonesian movies and TV series Gojek is offering will give it the edge, including a 3-5 minutes short films section.

Gojek has secured the streaming rights to hundreds of recent Indonesian films and shows.

It launched its own in-house studio in 2018 in anticipation of the platform, co-financing at least nine different original Indonesian movies and series, including Indonesia’s 2019 Academy Awards nominee “Memories of My Body”.

The executive declined to say how big an overall budget Gojek has allocated to the initiative, but revealed that the company is working with a wide range of production houses for its programing.

While focused on Indonesian content, Sulistyo said Gojek had also inked some tie-ups with foreign production firms for partial access to their libraries, including with South Korean entertainment powerhouses CJ E&M and SM Entertainment for TV shows.

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