iflix gets aggressive with original content commissioning in 2019

iflix has aggressively increased its commissioning slate for 2019, on the back of what it claims to be an “exceptional performance of its existing iflix Originals”.  Iflix Originals aims to fulfil the increasing demands for original content from local consumers by quadrupling its Originals slate by year end 2019, adding at least 12 original television series and 30 movies, as well as exciting new programs centred around sports and music, including Malaysian football.

Studio 2:15, iflix’s dedicated short-form production studio is on track to produce a total of 2,500 individual episodes to be available on iflix’s newly launched iflixFREE service by the end of 2019, with an average 50 new videos uploaded weekly. iflix is also collaborating with local celebrities and YouTube creators to produce a comprehensive collection of short-form Originals, branded iflix SNACKS.

The video streaming service said that 2017 marked the launch of original programming at iflix, with a diverse range of offerings from local scripted drama to raw and edgy stand-up comedy. Through its original productions, the company aimed to “set new standards for local content, elevating the production values of local dramas to cinematic levels and giving creatives an uncensored platform for expression”.

Meanwhile, 2018 has seen the acceleration of this strategy, with the premieres of pan-regional alternative culture docu-series, Coconuts TV on iflix, more original comedy specials, and straight-from-cinema feature films, Susah Sinyal  and KL Special Force. iflix said its originals are selected on the basis of deep data analysis, derived from audience behaviours and preferences, as well as data from popular piracy and social media sites. Applying user and audience insights to commissioning strategies, each published iflix Originals has achieved Top 5 watched status in its week of release on the platform, it said.

Indonesian iflix Original, Magic Hour: The Series, spun-off from the original film, set new engagement and completion records on iflix when the show launched in December 2017 outperforming top International series The Flash, and top Korean drama Goblin, with an even higher “binge index”.

Malaysian iflix Original, KL Gangster: Underworld, a high octane action-crime series also based on the successful local film franchise, saw a completion rate of 70% during the first week of its release and cornered an unparalleled 24% audience share on iflix Malaysia.

As previously announced, the company’s production plans additionally include dozens of new OTT/FTA movies through its collaboration with global multi-platform entertainment giant, Wattpad, which will highlight a broad spectrum of local stories in Indonesia.

Global director of original programming, Mark Francis, said: “Pushing boundaries both through the creative process and challenging the status quo in local programming, is at the heart of our Originals strategy. The 2019 slate will tackle new challenges, including scaling success in markets where the talent pool is still shallow. We will continue to explore new genres, capitalise on unpredictability and take (calculated) risks. This game is part witchcraft, part chemistry.”

“We see combining outstanding local formats, top local talent, and leveraging on local knowledge and creativity as the key to creating truly unique content in each market,” added Francis.