Cecilia Marino has been hired to launch Lionsgate Play, the South Asia-focused platform of Lionsgate’s premium subscription service Starz, in The Philippines. She will become GM of Lionsgate Play Philippines and report to Rohit Jain, MD South Asia, and networks – emerging markets Asia.

The service recently launched in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, after a successful rollout in India last year. The Philippines launch will increase Starz’ footprint to over 60 countries and territories. No timetable for the launch was revealed.

Starz says that conditions in The Philippines represent a significant opportunity. With a population of 109 million, some 36 million consumers stream two billion hours of OTT content per month in the Philippines, according to researcher The Trade Desk. “The growing dominance of Hollywood films and soaring OTT viewership in the Philippines, coupled with only a few premium services to meet demand, creates a great market opportunity for Lionsgate Play to thrive in the country,” the company said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to expand into the Philippines where over a third of the population uses OTT services, a trend that has accelerated in the past two years as Filipinos become avid streaming consumers. We see this as a great opportunity to reach and engage with them,” said Jain. “As part of this process, we are building a strong leadership team beginning with the appointment of Cecilia Marino to lead our growth there.”

Marino has over 25 years of experience in business strategy and development, brand marketing and partnerships, notably in telecoms and consumer industries. Most recently, she headed the integrated sales group of KidZania Manila, one of the fastest growing global learning and entertainment brands in the world.

“I am delighted to join the team at Lionsgate and bring my expertise and a fresh perspective to the table. The Philippines is an indispensable market for the South Asian business,” Marino said.