If Netflix wasn’t enough, Malaysians will soon have the option to watch Korean dramas and variety shows a mere eight hours after they are screened in South Korea. This is all thanks to a new service called Viu (pronounced View), which comes from Hong Kong’s largest telecommunications company PCCW.
Viu aims to bring Korean entertainment to the rest of Asia using the media streaming model. Although, unlike Netflix, the company will be using a freemium model. At the moment, users are able to access all content for free; but are subjected to advertisements. PCCW says that it plans to add a subscription service that would do away with ads, but has not revealed when it plans to roll this out. Users also have the option to save the files locally, although we are unsure if there is a limit to how many shows can be downloaded.
The shows on Viu will be screened in their native Korean language, but viewers have the option of turning on either English or Chinese subtitles. Viu’s managing director, Janice Lee, told CNET that the company believes there is a massive market for Korean content in Asia. Lee also said that Viu is planning on adding Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese content in the future.
Viu is now available in Hong Kong and Singapore; although the company plans to expand its reach to Malaysia, India and Indonesia within the first quarter of 2016.