The world’s viewing habits have changed since the rise of the internet thanks to countless innovations and platforms that have come with it. Just think of YouTube and video on demand (VOD) and how they allowed people to watch anytime and anywhere they want.
The same is true in the Philippines especially now with the aggressive thrust of both local and international VOD companies, which began setting up shop in the country some two to three years ago.
Potential is high indeed as proven by the latest player to enter the country—Netflix, which is considered as the world’s largest subscription VOD provider since 2007.
Netflix officially began streaming here in January after a simultaneous launch in over 100 countries. Four months later, the California-based company continues its marketing efforts to reach more connected Filipinos.
On May 4, it held the “Byaheng Netflix” event at Green Sun Hotel in Makati City where The Manila Times had the opportunity to interview Anna Wallin, company senior manager for Public Relations, and Eric Pallotta, director for Social Media.
With regard to the growing competition of VOD providers Pallotta commented, “The way that we look at this is that the more people streaming, the better. We try to encourage people to get on board Internet-based TV. That’s what we’ve been championing since we launched streaming in 2007.”
In the US, their efforts have resulted in established companies like HBO, Amazon, Google joining the VOD industry. Here in the Philippines, Netflix went head to head with previously established VOD players like iFlix and Hooq.
All the same, Pallotta believes viewers are essentially the winners with the growing number of VOD companies because each internet TV provider offer the market a different range of services.
“So we see the entire picture as a positive thing,” he noted.
When asked by The Manila Times why should a Filipino pick Netflix over their competitors, Pallotta quickly came up with two reasons: content and technology.
“The first thing is our exclusive, original programming, which you can only get on Netflix,” he said citing examples like Daredevil, Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, and Orange is the New Black, among others.
“We also produce new programming in forms of movies. Coming up soon is the Adam Sandler-starrer The Do-Over. We announced new projects with the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Will Smith, [and other]huge global superstars,” he added. “So content is definitely one compelling reason.”
As a company with a rich history—Netflix began in 1997 as a DVD-by-mail service—technology has always been at the forefront of its evolution.
“We have 1,000 engineers working out of California at the heart of Silicon Valley. And all they do all day long is try to improve the Netflix viewing experience on whatever type of device you are on,” Pallotta proudly said.
And while the official could not release how many Filipinos are already subscribed to Netflix, Pallotta shared instead that this particular market has continuously topped participation in online discussions over the companies’ shows in the Southeast Asian region.
“This proves that a lot of Filipinos are watching us and love our shows. They love them so much that they want to talk about them with their friends,” he noted.
Also based on word of mouth, Pallotta said that Filipinos have become big fans of Marvel making the second season of Daredevil a hit in these shores.
Overall, he summed up, “I think there is an excellent market opportunity here, in particularly because of your rich film and TV history.”