The video-on-demand streaming service business is big in the US and Europe, but what about Thailand? Well, there’s Hollywood Movie HD, created by a startup company called Ploenjit Media which was set up 14 months ago with 100BT million (US$3.1 million) in the bank. Its creator aims to head upwards before the year ends.
The startup announced on The Nation that it plans to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange by early next year and expand beyond its region. The company’s subsidiary Fly Digital Media also aims to reach 1 million subscribers and be listed on NASDAQ by the end of the year.
Right now, Hollywood Movie HD has about 40,000 monthly subscribers, with Ploenjit Media investing 200BT million (US$6.2 million) on technologies and content licensing. The service has over 400 titles from six major studios such as Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros. It plans to feature over 1,000 movies before the year ends.
Company Co-founder and Managing Director Kasidit Kolasastraseni said that the service can support 1 million users concurrently streaming in three minutes. The service has seen more than 120,000 downloads on iOS and Android since early March.
Its secret in screening films of same high quality on different screen sizes, according to Kolasastraseni, is its adaptive bitrate streaming and pixel-rate techniques. For the former, users can adjust the quality to get the best level depending on network conditions. For the latter, it helps adjust a film’s file quality along with the aforementioned bitrate streaming. He said, “We use a six bitrate and pixel rate that help adjust the quality of the movie file according to the stability of the internet connection that users cannot recognise, even the movie’s file quality drops when the internet speed drops.”
He added that unlike other services where one movie has between five to six thousand files no bigger than 60GB, Hollywood HD compresses it to about 1GB per title. “Our service is on the cloud platform. Our challenge is to provide the best quality streaming using the least bandwidth. Our system will recognise the kind of device the user is streaming with and will automatically use the adaptive bitrate technique.”
Kolasastraseni said that Thailand is an interesting market to get into due to its high smartphones and social media usage; conversely, the country has the least TV subscription penetration. He is also confident of how Hollywood Movie HD will pan out in the country due to the service’s uniqueness in the region.
With not that many (or if any at all) online video-on-demand services available in Southeast Asia, there’s a chance that Hollywood Movie HD may reach for the stock exchange stars soon enough.