Viu, a pan-regional OTT video streaming service from PCCW Media Group, has announced eight Viu Original titles in 2019 and its target to release over 80 titles of scripted and non-scripted series this year. This is to reaffirm its commitment to creating content assets.
Viu Original will include productions from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, the Philippines and the Middle East. Viu witnessed an encouraging increase in viewership in 2018, which saw monthly active users nearly doubling to 30 million and video consumption time increasing by nearly 120% over the previous year.
Viu has expanded its offering beyond the most current and extensive Korean content, which are popular across its markets in Southeast Asia, to include Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Arabic content through partnerships such as with GMM and Workpoint in Thailand, Media Prima in Malaysia and Media 7 in Myanmar, as well as via its own Viu Original.
Janice Lee, Managing Director of PCCW Media Group, announced ViuâsÂ programme line-up for 2019 at APOS in Bali.
Following the success of Viu Originals such as The Publicist (Indonesia), The Bridge (Malaysia), the newly launched No Sleep No FOMO (Singapore/pan-Asia) and 4Freaks 4Fam (Thailand), 2019 is expected to be another exciting year. Viu has announced eight new Viu Original titles including: Till Death Do Us Part (Hong Kong); The Gutter (Hong Kong); Psycho Detective 2 (Hong Kong); Rewrite (Indonesia); Baha Don (Malaysia); Kopitiam (Malaysia); The Grill (India); The Zodiac (Middle East).
Viu Original 2019 line-up highlights include: Available now are â Devoted (Malaysia); Love, Lust & Confusion 2 (India); Ana Sherry Dot Com (Middle East); Doon (Middle East).
Lee said, âViu Original has become an important part of our content offering. Learning from what our 30 million Viu-ers enjoy watching, we have further developed Viu Original portfolios, which attracted significant growth of new users to the service. In 2018, 30% of Viu Original viewers were new to the platform. We plan to continue investing in original content by working with local talent and the creative industry in the region with an aim to releasing over 80 titles in 2019. The Viu Original series also allows us to experiment with different creative formats and push for more innovation in production and partnerships in the industry.âÂ
A recent example is the travelogue No Sleep No FOMO, in which 10 Asian celebrities and social media influencers compete to finish various missions in popular destinations around the world. Fans participated and helped chart the course of their idolsâ adventure via Instagram interactions during shooting and helped co-create segments of the show. Leveraging the starsâ social media fans base, the social media posts of No Sleep No FOMO have generated more than one million social engagements and reached over 14 million users. The success of the show led to a new cooperation with Discovery â a collaboration that will expand the showâs reach to new quality audiences on a leading entertainment network.
Lee added, âWe are delighted with our new collaboration with Discovery, proving that our original content is not only made for online consumption, but also having an audience no matter what platform you are on.â
The Viu Original initiative also aims to support and develop the local creative eco-system and industry. It does so through development programmes such as the Viu Pitching Forum â an annual event aimed at helping upcoming Indonesian film makers find distribution for their work. Since the forum, two web series, Halustik and Knock Out Girl, have already been produced and released to Viu-ers. The recently announced Star Stealer will be soon in production. The success of the Viu Pitching Forum also led to the launch of ViuShorts!, a young creator development programme aiming to foster creativity and diversity. High-school and university students learnt how to tell exceptional stories through film in year-long workshops and competed to win a scholarship at the Jakarta Institute of Art and a professional internship with the Viu Original production team. Seventeen short films made by students and aspiring film makers will be released in 2019.