Pushing Back Against Netflix, Iflix Offloads Its Africa Business to Focus on Asia
Iflix, backed by Sky (recently acquired by Comcast), is a Netflix competitor in the emerging-markets.
It is now leaving Africa to double down on its business in Asia. Completion of this deal means that Iflix’s market coverage will be trimmed to 23 countries, including India, markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and more.
The Malaysia-based company announced it has sold the remaining Africa business — Kwesé Iflix — to Econet Group, a telecom firm that is already an investor in its streaming business.
Iflix CEO Mark Britt said the company will double down on Asian markets.
“It has been an incredible journey and learning experience, launching our service and now we’re focusing Iflix’s commitment to our core markets in Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines which continue to grow from strength to strength,” Iflix co-founder and CEO Mark Britt said in a statement.
Iflix has raised nearly $300 million to date from investors that included British broadcaster Sky, U.S. Hearst Communications, broadband and TV provider Liberty Global and Malaysia-based Catcha Group.
Iflix offers a freemium service with a paid tier that costs around $3 per month. It claims an audience of “millions” of users.
Its biggest rival is Netflix, which has begun testing more aggressive pricing in Malaysia — Iflix’s home market — through a mobile-only package that lowers its subscription cost to RM17, or around $4, each month.
Netflix is attempting to put Iflix and other regional players such as HOOQ — which doesn’t operate in Malaysia — under pressure as they press ahead and expand their cheaper subscription model to more markets in Asia.
Both Iflix and HOOQ pivoted to freemium earlier this year, and Iflix, in particular, has doubled down on sourcing its own supply. The Malaysian firm this month initiated a $5 million program to back around 30 independent content makers across Asia as it bids to widen its local programming library to compete with rivals which, in Asia, include traditional TV.