While many still turn to Hollywood for entertainment, Asian content is beginning to make its mark. As such, streaming giant iQiyi will be cementing its platform in Malaysia with key Malaysian players.
iQiyi will be teaming up with two local powerhouses, Primeworks Studio, the content production and distribution arm of media and entertainment giant, Media Prima, and Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), one of the nation’s largest telecom companies.
Dinesh Ratnam, iQiyi International’s Country Manager for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei said the collaborations with iQiyi will be able to “leapfrog” iQiyi towards their goals. “We are a relative newcomer to the streaming space in Malaysia with big ambitions that go beyond just expanding our audience base and amassing content catalogues that showcase the best of Asian entertainment,” he explained. “We are already the fastest-growing streaming service in the country over the last 12 months, but we want to be a mainstay driver of the local content ecosystem and build deep, long-lasting relationships with our users and partners.”
The collaboration with Primeworks Studio allows iQiyi exclusive broadcasting rights to TV3’s local primetime dramas. Aside from known local titles, iQiyi will also be premiering their new drama “Shah Alam 40000” to cater to their growing “streaming-first” audience. “Shah Alam 40000” tells a story about three rich and prominent women facing deep secrets buried in their fictitious, affluent neighbourhood in Shah Alam. The series will be premiered exclusively on 29th March on iQiyi before its broadcast on TV3 later in the year. A local tab in the iQiyi app hosting TV3 titles is expected to house more than 1000 hours of premium local content by the end of 2021.
iQiyi’s partnership with Celcom brings Celcom aboard as the official telco partner for iQiyi’s flagship variety production “Youth With You 3”. The show, highly anticipated in both China and Malaysia, offers trainees a chance to debut as part of a new boy band after facing down renowned mentors like BLACKPINKS’s LISA, Li Ronghao and Will Pan. In the latest season, Seremban-born trainee Jun Liu (23) won Malaysian viewers’ hearts with his amazing dance skills.
Nini Yusof, Chief Content Officer for Media Prima Television Networks and Primeworks Studios stated they hope their partnership will reach a wider audience, both on a national and global scale. “We are delighted for local audiences to enjoy highly anticipated dramas and specials made exclusively available on-demand just one hour after its broadcast via iQiyi’s streaming platform,” she said. “The collaboration with one of the top global OTTs underpins Primeworks Studio’s commitment and reputation for top-tier programming and high-quality productions that appeal to a broad audience.”
Their collaboration couldn’t come at a better time, especially with the ongoing pandemic leaving many to stream their favourite shows from their home. According to research house Nielsen, Malaysia has registered close to one million new OTT or streaming subscribers last year to 14.1 million users, while iQiyi has observed a total of 68 million hours on its platform in 2020 alone.
T.Kugan K. Thirunavakarasu, Chief Emerging Business Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad added that they will be formulating tailored exclusive packages on local, Korean and International content for users. “We are mindful that customers are looking for products and content that add value to their lifestyle and keep them connected at all times,” he said. As such, viewers can enjoy content like the Korean drama “My Roommate is a Gumiho”, and an adaptation of a popular Chinese web series localised with a Singaporean and Malaysian backdrop, “The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang”, which also happens to be a Chinese-language Southeast Asian original.
“We are committed to delivering the best in Asian entertainment and have seen our Korean and Chinese content resonate with audiences not only in Malaysia but across Southeast Asia,” Dinesh stated. “Conversely, what we are also seeing is a growing appetite for Southeast Asian stories in China.” iQiyi hopes that with this platform, local content can be exported globally to reach an international audience.
So, if you’re looking for a place to comfortably watch your Korean or Chinese dramas and local shows, why not try iQiyi?