Taiwan-based film distributor and producer, Catchplay is launching a video-streaming service that it hopes will take on rival platforms in Asia and reverse piracy. Its Catchplay On Demand service launches initially in Taiwan, with Singapore and Indonesia set to follow in the second quarter of the year.
The company, which through a deal with New Regency, is one of the financiers of “The Revenant,” says the new service has a mix of content that has more new releases than rival platforms and delivers them quicker. It will be available in transactional video on demand and subscription VoD modes.
“In recent years, Catchplay has quietly and purposefully expanded its business from theatrical distribution to film financing and production, aggregating digital content for many leading digital platforms and the operation of our own movie channel,” said Harvey Chang, Catchplay chairman in a statement. “Today we launch our new digital platform that extends the services we provide to movie lovers. With this new platform, we can better contribute to the health and vitality of the region’s content industry.”
The service is to be launched in Singapore in a partnership with cable platform operator StarHub, and in Indonesia with Telkom Indonesia. The company aims to launch in a fourth Asian territory by the end of the year.
Its Hollywood content includes movies from NBC Universal, Warner Bros and Disney.
“We hope that we are not too late to launch,” Catchplay CEO, Daphne Yang told Variety. “The company is founded by movie lovers and has become very experienced in what to buy, and how to distribute. To become a platform operator we have taken on engineers and technicians and seen staff numbers go from 30 three years ago, to 11o today.”
StarHub was quick to find a place on its platform for Netflix when it launched in Asia earlier this year, but CEO Tan Tong Hai said that the two services have substantial differences and are complementary.
“Catchplay has unique content, movies in particular, where we see Netflix more focused on its original TV content,” Tan told Variety. “We see Hollywood and Asian content as the key and the gaps in the current lineup being addressed by Catchplay.”
Tan also said that not all content that works in Taiwan will work in Singapore. He suggested that his company will act as a local partner to guide Catchplay.
“All content providers are aware of piracy. Singapore believes in IP protection. We can monitor, block signals, bring in more content quickly and make it affordable,” Tan said.