Vincent del Rosario is opening 2021 with a bang with the commercial launch of Viva Max in January.
The president and CEO expects Viva’s subscription video on demand streaming service to generate at least 500,000 subscribers in the Philippines in its first year. “We’ve pegged the subscription price at only P149. We need to come in at a lower rate than an admission ticket in a cinema which is at least P250 in Metro Manila and P175 in the provinces, said Vincent in an interview with Bilyonaryo.
He said Viva Max would be offered at several price points that would allow sharing in multiple devices. Viva Max will also offer pre-paid subscriptions from two to seven days.
“Based on our experience airing our films and shows on cable TV, 70 percent of the households in the country prefer prepaid subs, just like for cellphones, “ said Vincent.
The company has opted to eschew the advertising-based models adopted by other streaming platforms such as Hooq and iflix because Vincent and Boss Vic agreed that Netflix’s pure subscription model was the best strategy to take.
“Netflix already has a market cap of $245 billion, not too far from Disney which took nearly a hundred years to reach its current value of $261 billion. Diyan kami nainspire pumasok sa streaming,” said Vincent.
He admired Disney’s digital transformation as it now generates more revenues from its streaming service (Disney+) than its films or theme parks or cable channels (including ESPN).
“Although the crisis brought about this decision to get into streaming, we will really go into digital,” said Vincent.
Viva used to do 30 movies a year before COVID outbreak. Vincent said the firm would produce at least 50 a year, including documentaries and specials (such as concerts and stand-up comedy acts), starting in 2021.
“Most on demand streamers fail because they might have an impressive selection of titles, they lack original movies and shows, so they end up as mere aggregators for different producers. That’s why our commitment is to air at least one original every week,” said Vincent.
Boss Vic has budgeted P6 billion to produce original content over the next five years.
As an entertainment company like Disney, Vincent said Viva has the advantage of owning the bulk of the content on its platform. “We don’t rely on outside contributors. That’s why we can guarantee, our services will not be cut,” said Vincent.
Viva will make at least half of its vast film library available to subscribers at any given time (through favorites and manual search) plus foreign films and TV shows (Viva has the biggest library of K-movies among local streamers).
Vincent said Viva Max also has at least 500 “Tagalized” films that are a big hit among Filipinos, especially in rural areas. “Filipinos prefer to listen rather than read a movie’s subtitles. Most housewives multi-task when they watch movies. It’s easier to cook or wash clothes while watching Tagalized movies because you don’t have to read the subtitles to make sense of the story,” said Vincent.
Watch Vic del Rosario’s Exclusive interview about the future of VIVA here:
He said Viva Max reaching full potential would depend on tapping the million of Filipinos outside the country. “We’re still fine tuning the technical side and ironing out the regional restrictions of foreign titles in our libraries before we we go all out overseas. But that’s a huge market for Viva Max,” he added.
Watch the Bilyonaryo exclusive interview here: