Revealed: Indonesia as lucrative (cheaper) market for video streaming? Too many choices already as it is…

*) image courtesy of GettyImages.

Few days ago Netflix made its announcement to include Indonesia as part of its 130 countries market opening during CES 2016. Many locals welcome the VDO giant, majority have never even heard of the brand. Commentaries from “wannabe” experts splattered across printed and digital media asking regulators to step up, government to start protecting local players, blah… blah… blah…

Local players to include pay tv, cable, terrestrials in this part of the region suddenly made headlines. So called experts have been making assumptions on what would happen to them, mostly bearish especially for those that already went public. Associations started to have progressive meetings, content creators start weighing their options, pay tv customers started to ask questions on their steep bills and network operators got ready to improve their service commitments, all in the name of convergence in entertainment medium. Bye bye television? Hell no, I still like watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil on my LED screen from Netflix accessed through VPN connected wirelessly from my notebook and today just took the advantage of first month free.

Then I came across this article, an interesting one on market choice of these streaming services to pick Indonesia (it was mentioned several times as market to enter). In it also stated how Asia’s Netflix alternatives are not shying away from competition and very positive about winning the local market.

Let’s go back to Indonesia as lucrative market for streaming services. What do we already have here? For pay tv we have Indovision, First Media, Nexmedia, OrangeTV, TransVision (previously TelkomVision) and several other local operators including ISP the like of Biznet and CBN. Some are already a triple and even quadruple play (not really), the such of IndieHome owned by state run telecom company that runs pay tv, high speed internet and communication via fibre optic. Then we have First Media group; cable, internet, wireless, mobile streaming and not to mention part of a media and content conglomerate competing with Nexmedia also own by media conglomerate, then MNC group and others soon to follow.

As Indonesian I am pampered with all of these choices, all of them offered premium contents the like of HBO, Fox and many more. They already gave us convenient with broadband internet built-in, many bonuses and abilities to watch English Premier League on my smartphone. The ones who live in rural areas have also been enjoying pay tv through satellite access, often paying collectively. Even MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) are also establishing strategic partnership with tv and video publishers to deliver services of their own leveraging their new LTE (4G) network. As consumer living in Indonesia, suddenly I felt abused, used and manipulated…. I LOVED IT.

Will Netflix disrupt the already established (more or less) pay tv market in Indonesia? Probably. Will it change the game? Maybe a bit. Would it annoys the regulators? No, unless election is coming up 🙂

Would it benefit the consumer? Oh yes, at least I may start receiving new cheaper bills and more discounts from my existing providers very very soon.