Malaysia-headquartered Iflix, which operates in 26 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, today announced a $5 million program to find 30 filmmakers across four of its largest markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. The company, which has raised nearly $300 million from investors that include Sky, offers a freemium service with a paid tier that costs around $3 per month. It claims an audience of ‘millions’ of users.
“There’s ad revenue in some markets but it may not be sufficient enough to enable you to have a full-time career,” Grubbs, who was previously YouTube’s global director of top creator partnerships, told TechCrunch in an interview. “A commitment up front to support creative storytellers is a positive element fo the ecosystem… there are things people want to do without waiting for brand sponsorship.”
In addition to financing, the program will provide mentoring, equipment and other assistance to produce content exclusively for Iflix.
“We do see our pathway to be more local-centric but I do believe some of this content will travel well beyond their territories,” he told TechCrunch.
“For many, the remuneration isn’t quite there yet,” Galvin added. “So for us, it’s allowing them some scope to help reach their full potential.”
The short videos supported by the program won’t be quite as brief as the seconds-long shorts you’ll find on TikTok, the fast-growing video platform, since Galvin and Grubbs are seeking more episodic content. However, they remain open to “exploring experimentation” — potentially series of one-minute shorts — if such proposals are judged to resonate with audiences.
“There’s no definitive number but we’re expecting around 1,500 pieces of content as part of this program,” Galvin said, adding that he hopes to expand the program to cover more, or all, of Iflix’s markets in the future.