Viu, an OTT video service from PCCW Media Group, has reaffirmed its commitment to creating content assets with the announcement of a slate of its next eight Viu Original titles in 2019 and its target to release over 80 titles of scripted and non-scripted series this year.
Viu Original will include productions from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, the Philippines and the Middle East. Viu’s further commitment to Viu Original comes after encouraging increases in viewership in 2018, which saw monthly active users nearly doubling to 30 million and video consumption time increasing by close to 120 percent over the previous year.
In line with its commitment to bringing Viu-ers the best of Asian content, Viu has expanded its offering beyond the most current and extensive Korean content which are popular across its markets in Southeast Asia, to include Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Arabic content through partnerships such as with GMM and Workpoint in Thailand, Media Prima in Malaysia and Media 7 in Myanmar, as well as via its own Viu Original.
Following the success of Viu Originals such as The Publicist (Indonesia), The Bridge (Malaysia), the newly launched No Sleep No FOMO (Singapore/pan-Asia) and 4Freaks 4Fam (Thailand), 2019 is expected to be another exciting year. Today, Viu announces eight new Viu Original titles including:
- Till Death Do Us Part (Hong Kong), starring Sheren Tang, award winning actress
- The Gutter (Hong Kong), featuring a cast of film awards winners and nominee: Hanjin Tan, Michelle Wai and Catherine Chau
- Psycho Detective 2 (Hong Kong), reuniting local legendary actor Adam Cheng with famous TV icon Michael Tao after 26 years
- Rewrite (Indonesia), featuring social media star Maxime Bouttier
- Baha Don (Malaysia), directed by award-winning director Kye Syed Fariz
- Kopitiam (Malaysia), based on a television sitcom
- The Grill (India), a series about the mis-adventures of an engineering college fresher
- The Zodiac (Middle East), based on a novel by the renowned author Dr. Ahmed Khalid Tawfiq
Ms. Janice Lee, Managing Director PCCW Media, said, “Viu Original has become an important part of our content offering. Learning from what our 30 million Viu-ers enjoy watching, we have further developed Viu Original portfolios which attracted significant growth of new users to the service. In 2018, 30 percent of Viu Original viewers were new to the platform. We plan to continue investing in original content by working with local talent and the creative industry in the region with an aim to releasing over 80 titles in 2019. The Viu Original series also allows us to experiment with different creative formats and push for more innovation in production and partnerships in the industry.”
A recent example is the travelogue No Sleep No FOMO, in which 10 Asian celebrities and social media influencers compete to finish various missions in popular destinations around the world. Fans participated and helped chart the course of their idols’ adventure via Instagram interactions during shooting and helped co-create segments of the show. Leveraging the stars’ social media fans base, the social media posts of No Sleep No FOMO have generated more than one million social engagement and reached over 14 million users. The success of the show led to a new cooperation with Discovery – a collaboration that will expand the show’s reach to new quality audiences on a leading entertainment network.
Ms. Lee said, “We are delighted with our new collaboration with Discovery proving that our original content is not only made for online consumption, but also having an audience no matter what platform you are on.”
Aside from developing and launching premium long form original productions, the Viu Original initiative also aims to support and develop the local creative eco-system and industry. It does so through development programs such as the Viu Pitching Forum – an annual event aimed at helping upcoming Indonesian film makers find distribution for their work. Since the forum, two web series, Halustik and Knock Out Girl, have already been produced and released to Viu-ers. The recently announced Star Stealer, winner of 2019 Viu Pitching Forum, will be soon in production. The success of the Viu Pitching Forum also led to the launch of ViuShorts!, a young creator development program aiming to foster creativity and diversity. High-school and university students learnt how to tell exceptional stories through film in year-long workshops and competed to win a scholarship at the Jakarta Institute of Art and a professional internship with the Viu Original production team. Seventeen short films made by students and aspiring film makers will be released in 2019.