Astro to invest more in local content, streaming services — group COO

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12): Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd is set to further invest in global streaming services on its platform, and provide more local content via Astro Originals.

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Astro group chief operating officer and chief executive officer of TV Euan Smith said the company is building its growing online presence and continuing to look for opportunities to strengthen its digital, broadband and commerce businesses.

“We will leverage digital, data and technology to reimagine our business models,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview here. “Astro will continue to invest in its transformation plans, in particular content, broadband, streaming, customer experience, data, addressable advertising and technology infrastructure, to simplify our processes.”

Smith said the company aims to make Astro an “incredibly effective machine”, offering the best content via the right products and platforms that resonate with customers.

“Our goal has not changed. We will continue to bring our customers the best entertainment experience, and to do that, we will further enhance the all-new Astro experience by focusing on four touchpoints,” he added.

Smith highlighted that Malaysia is transitioning to over-the-top (OTT) services in a streaming world, with more consumers looking for convenient ways to fulfil their entertainment needs, paving the way for streaming platforms.

“However, the growing number of OTT services means that there is increasing saturation in the marketplace. With the proliferation of apps, the OTT space is getting more fragmented and expensive.

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“Customers are not willing to pay for multiple streaming service subscriptions individually, as the costs really start to spiral, and it is complex to maintain all these subscriptions, and finding what you want to watch is an increasing challenge.

“It is why Astro welcomed partnerships with global OTT players like Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, iQIYI, TVBAnywhere+ and HBO GO, as it aims to aggregate more global streaming services onto its platform.

“We will continue to aggregate more global streaming services onto our platform, with beIN Sports content, BBC iPlayer and ZEE5 already in the pipeline,” Smith continued.

Smith highlighted that Astro is continuously innovating and launching new products and services that are exciting for customers and relevant to today’s needs.

“We introduced the connected Ultra and Ulti boxes, so that customers enjoy a seamless and uninterrupted viewing experience,” he added. “No matter rain or shine, the Ultra and Ulti hybrid boxes continue to stream, as we know rain fade was a concern for many customers, and we are pleased to have resolved it.”

At present, the company has over 600,000 installations of the connected Ultra and Ulti boxes, with access to over 90,000 titles on demand.-BERNAMA