After almost five years in existence, Astro’s streaming service – Astro On The Go (AOTG) – will soon have a new name. Starting from today onwards, the service will be known as Astro Go (AG).
To celebrate the occasion, all Astro subscribers (not inclusive of NJOI) regardless of their package types will be able to access everything that AG has to offer including all of its 71 channels, on-demand contents, and live sports from 1 April to 31 May for free. Only Pay Per View and premium ala carte sports contents are excluded from this promotion.
Within AG’s 71 channels are three channels that are exclusive to the service which included Aniplus, Comedy Central Asia, and K-PLUS. These three channels will eventually make their way to subscribers’ TV screen although the company didn’t reveal the actual date for it to happen.
Not enough with that, subscribers will also able to enjoy the award-winning musical La La Land through AG for free from 25 April to 31 May. The launch of AG also marked the official debut of a new user interface for the service although frankly speaking, it not exactly new as the UI has actually been part of the AOTG app since earlier this year for beta testing.
While the UI made AG simpler to navigate as compared to its predecessors, what made things more interesting is Astro has also implemented deep machine learning into AG in order to provide better and personalized content recommendation to users based on their viewing habits. During her presentation at AG’s launch event today, Astro’s Chief Commercial Officer, Liew Swee Lin stated that the company believes the future of TV lies on the idea of personal screens regardless of whether traditional televisions or connected devices.
That might sound nothing out of ordinary but somehow, we do feel that the company seems to have given more thoughts on its digital reach especially with several upcoming features that it has planned for AG. One such feature is the ability to have up to four concurrent users to utilize AG under one single Astro account.
This way, Astro’s contents could be simultaneously enjoyed by multiple users in the same household even though there is only one physical decoder. This could a highly viable alternative to Astro’s existing Multiroom scheme although with AG, the multi-user experience could take place outside of user’s home too.
Not only that, the company is also planning to add casting capability to AG app which again allows users to enjoy Astro’s contents on TV or display that are beamed directly from their smart devices instead of the usual Astro decoder. We have also learned that Astro also has on-going discussion with unnamed TV manufacturers to have AG on smart TVs although there is no confirmed roll out schedule at the moment.
For sports fan, Astro is working to provide interactive features including multiple camera angles, instant replays, video highlights, statistics, and many more. The company is also planning to add social and e-commerce elements into AG in the near future.
While AG might be positioned as a digital extension to one’s Astro subscription for the time being, all the upcoming features we mentioned above might not only able to improve AG’s experience but also increased its capability to become the primary way to watch Astro for some customers out there. Additionally, they might also able to help Astro to stay relevant in the market that have begun to warm up to online content distribution.
Meanwhile, there are still free contents that NJOI and non-Astro customers able to enjoy through AG app and website although they are nowhere near the amount that Astro customers able to enjoy. That being said, Swee Lin has stated in its response to our enquiry during Q&A session at yesterday’s launch event that the company will have special announcement for NJOI customers later in May.