iflix opens up more ad opportunities for brands, ditches Western model

iflix advertisers now have the opportunity to engage users on the platform through brand and product integration within original local and regional content, and premium video placements including pre-roll. The integration is also available on native video content cards in its app, and contextually targeted presenting partnerships.

This opportunity comes as the company gears up for the launch of iflix 3.0, which introduces a free tier named iflix FREE, showcasing unique new features and content. The free tier allows users to preview, explore and discover new content, including movie of the day, premium short form content comprising originals and programmes from around the world, as well as iflix snacks designed for the mobile-first audience. iflix FREE is the company's effort to move away from the traditional Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) model.

All content will be produced and managed through iflix's recently launched short-form content studio, Studio2:15, helmed by global director Craig Galvin who reports to iflix chief content officer Sean Carey. Studio2:15 is expected to produce approximately 2,000 pieces of original short form content by the end of the year, with 50 new pieces of content added to the site daily by June 2018.

According to group co-founder and CEO Mark Britt, the company will work with over 300 content distribution partners for iflix 3.0, to offer content owners and creators a rich, dynamic platform to reach customers and monetise their content, whilst driving user growth and daily viewing habits with a huge selection of new, original, exclusive and highly addictive content.

iflix initially believed that the Western entertainment model could easily succeed in emerging markets, and that price would be the primary customer pain point, Britt said. However, the company now has a "much deeper understanding" of the localisation requirements, as well as infrastructure, payments and authentication issues within the territories it serves.

"The data and learnings we’ve acquired from solving these challenges, today enables us to build a product exclusively for emerging market customers and challenge many of the traditional metaphors that exist within our industry," he added.

The news comes shortly after iflix appointed Ooredoo’s former chief commercial officer Johan Buse to head the centralised operations as CMO. It also shut down its digital team in Singapore to centralise its marketing operations in Kuala Lumpur. The digital team comprises five individuals and iflix is currently in talks with them on the possibility of relocating to Kuala Lumpur.