Iflix Sees Piracy as Main Competitor, Not Netflix

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With millions of subscribers throughout Asia and Africa, iflix is one of the leading video streaming services in emerging markets. While the company is up against streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon, it sees piracy as its main adversary.

While Netflix is without a doubt the most used paid video streaming service worldwide, there are dozens of smaller players fighting for a piece of the pie.

Iflix is one of these companies. The service is available in 25 countries across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, streaming movies and TV-shows to 6.5 million subscribers.

In the coming years, the streaming service hopes to expand its reach by offering a better product than its competition. This includes the likes of Netflix and Amazon, but iflix sees piracy as its main adversary.

“That is really the big player,” Sherwin dela Cruz, iflix’s country manager, says in an interview with ANC’s The Boss.

“The sooner we get people to pay for our service and watch content in one of the real services, I think that’s when we can say that the market is really growing.”

Dela Cruz sees the music industry as a good example, where services such as Spotify offer a relatively complete alternative to piracy. As a result, illegal downloading has decreased in countries where it became available.

“That’s sort of like the aspiration for us – to get more people to have just one, two or three services and just watch what they want to watch on their mobile phones without really looking at pirated content,” dela Cruz says.

Interestingly, iflix doesn’t only see piracy as a problem that needs to be quashed. At the moment, they also use it as market intelligence to find out what content local audiences are interested in.

Iflix uses the German company TECXIPIO, which is known to actively monitor BitTorrent traffic, to track local piracy trends. In addition, they also buy pirated DVDs from street vendors to find out what people want.

This information is used to license the content people are most interested in, so it can offer the best possible alternative to piracy.

The company previously informed us that they believe that piracy is a signal from the public that they can’t get what they want through legal options. Going forward, Iflix hopes to grow its user base by directly competing with piracy.

“We believe that people in emerging markets do not actively want to steal content, they do so because there is no better alternative,” iflix concludes.

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