PCCW’s OTT international media and entertainment business brings in Hony, Foxconn and Temasek as investors
PCCW Media is introducing Hony Capital (Hony), Foxconn Ventures (Foxconn) and Temasek as investors of PCCW International OTT (Cayman Islands) Holdings Limited (PCCW OTT).
This strategic investment will strengthen PCCW OTT’s ability to enhance its core value proposition of relevant content including distinctive original productions, and to continue to deploy the latest technologies and leverage its patents in video streaming and encoding to offer the best customer experience. As a rapidly expanding business, PCCW OTT aims to increase its penetration within the existing markets where it has made significant inroads as well as to expand its footprint in other high-growth markets.
PCCW OTT engages in the provision of OTT (over-the-top) Internet media and entertainment services in 24 markets globally, including video streaming services under the “Viu” and “Vuclip” brands as well as a music streaming service under the “MOOV” brand. Hony, Foxconn and Temasek will own approximately 18% of the enlarged issued share capital of PCCW OTT for a total consideration of US$110 million. PCCW Media will remain as the controlling shareholder of PCCW OTT.
Ms. Janice Lee, Managing Director of PCCW Media Group, said, “Our focus on content, pricing and technology that are locally relevant in various markets, together with our fast tracked rollout across the region, has enabled Viu to become a leading OTT video service in Asia. We are very excited to have Hony, Foxconn and Temasek join us as strategic shareholders. Bringing these reputable partners in the business will support our current plans and strengthen our leading position in the market with the introduction of more locally relevant and original content, and technology to support innovative product development – all of which are beneficial to our ecosystem comprised of users, advertisers and business partners.”
Mr. John Zhao, Chairman and CEO of Hony Capital, said, “Hong Kong is the forefront of international collaboration responding to the Belt and Road Initiatives, and Viu at present has laid out effective business map in Southeast Asian countries along the Belt and Road, which will no doubt play an essential and unique role to help the culture, content as well as creative ideas to travel abroad. We are glad that we can join hands with Viu led by Ms. Janice Lee, and we hope Hony Capital can bring in not only the capital support, but also other value-added services and resources. In the meanwhile, Hony Capital can incorporate the business into our existing endeavors in the cultural and creative industry, to eventually offer even better Chinese contents to the world.”
Mr. Fang Ming Lu, Executive Vice President of Foxconn, said, “Foxconn is transforming to be a Technology Service Provider from content creation to network transmission. We will work with PCCW to deliver advanced OTT service to the market. We believe the collaboration will enhance the customer experience in entertainment life and accelerate the development of the OTT ecosystem.”
Launched in October 2015, Viu has over 12 million monthly active users as of June 2017. The service operates on a dual-model of an ad-supported tier of service and a premium subscription tier of service with more features. Viu delivers premium Asian content in different genres from top content providers with express delivery of local language subtitles as fast as four hours after original telecas It also offers original production series under the “Viu Original” initiative. Viu is available in 15 markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and the Middle East countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Vuclip joined the PCCW family in May 2015. It provides web-based and short-form content video services under the “Vuclip” brand in 19 markets including India, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and other emerging markets. With multiple patents in video streaming and encoding technologies, both Viu and Vuclip users can enjoy smooth and unbuffered viewing experience regardless of device or network conditions.
MOOV is Hong Kong’s first and largest multi-platform digital streaming music service and ranked number one on brand awareness and user satisfaction in Hong Kong*. It is also available in Vietnam.
For further details of the transaction, please refer to the announcement that has been uploaded to the website of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.