Astro and iQIYI partner to roll out first streaming app outside of China

Astro Malaysia has come on board as the first app partner outside of China for?Chinese?online entertainment service?iQIYI Inc, a few months after both parties inked a partnership?to exclusively deliver iQIYI content on TV, on-demand and OTT in Malaysia.

As part of the partnership, Astro will take the lead in marketing, customer acquisition and media sales. The latest move will also see the first content collaboration between Astro and?iQIYI for three of Astro originals -?Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant, Call Me Handsome and a web drama Why So Famous, which will be featured on the iQIYI app. According to Astro, the collaborations will enable Malaysian talents and content to be featured on a global stage and enjoyed by a wider audience.

The iQIYI app offers content including dramas, variety shows, movies, and anime. The tie-up between Astro and?iQIYI began in 2017 with?Chinese reality street dance variety show?Hot Blood Dance Crew. Astro also hosted the audition for iQIYI's show?The Rap of China.

Astro CEO Henry Tan said the company believes that this is the start of many more? initiatives with iQIYI. "The partnership is timely as we are seeing growing streaming services and interest as consumers are able to enjoy the rich content choices in a convenient and personalised manner. In addition, we look forward to benefit from iQIYI in data analytics and AI," he said.

President of membership and overseas business group of iQIYI,?Yang Xianghua, said?with "strong marketing capabilities, outstanding content creation and distribution strength", Astro has been a close partner of iQIYI. According to Yang, both partners share the same belief of offering users with high-quality entertainment experiences through?technological innovation and content creativity.

"The exchanges and communications of global content?have become more accessible with the help of wireless technology, data storage technology and big-data analytics.?We are confident that this close partnership will continue to fully synergise through the creativity and capabilities of both parties to provide users in Malaysia with better services," Yang said.

Astro witnessed an 8% year-on-year jump in its TV adex during the?second quarter of the financial year ended 31 January 2020 (Q2 2020), supported by strong TV viewership share. Meanwhile,?digital adex stood at RM12 million, underpinned by average monthly unique viewers of 10.1 million across its digital brands such as Astro Awani, Gempak, Xuan, Ulagam and Stadium Astro.

Among the list of key initiatives rolled out by the company was the launch of a new user interface in July by Astro GO for easier navigation, better content discoverability, enhanced search and recommendations based on viewing behaviour.