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iflix’s Galvin warns over quality ‘prejudices’

The global content industry needs to drop its preconceived ideas about TV production quality in emerging or youth-skewing markets, according to the content head at Asian streamer iflix.

Craig Galvin

Craig Galvin, iflix’s global director of content and content strategy, made the comments as the Malaysia-based SVoD service launched a creators’ hub to accelerate shortform video production.

“Quality’s a weird thing. Quality for me is completely different to quality for a 15-year-old. We come in with a whole bunch of prejudices about the determination of quality and we’ve just got to leave those prejudices at the door,” he told C21.

“If you allow producers enough latitude, they will find a really good rhythm of creating those stories, videos and moments which attract an audience. That’s what they want as well – they want great exposure and certainty of income.”

Iflix has teamed up with US investment group Next 10 Ventures for the 12-month creators’ hub programme, which will see iflix commit up to US$5m to 30 content creators across Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Philippines to improve their storytelling and filmmaking.

Galvin said iflix was also eyeing shortform because of the heavily millennial-skewing audiences on its platform and also in the general populations where it operates.

“If you think about that dynamic and how they consume content and what content they’re consuming, shortform is really high,” he said. “Not to go into shortform seems to be a disservice when we want to reach as large an audience as possible in each of those territories. Some of those shortforms may eventually evolve into traditional formats.”

Galvin said prejudices about quality were not restricted to on-demand services and broadcasters in the US. He added that although leading global streamers had not embraced shortform fully yet, they were better positioned to experiment with it.

“There’s a lot of organisations that are open and experimenting now and realising that, if you look at the audience they’ve already gathered on their social platform – be it Instagram or YouTube – there’s something there, there’s something meaningful,” he said.

“If you try to squeeze something into it, it loses its vibrancy. I don’t think it’s across the board, we just want to be at the forefront in our regions.”

Galvin also said it was unlikely Asian SVoD services would consolidate in the near future to ensure the likes of Netflix, which has grown rapidly in the region, do not dominate the market.

“We’re nowhere near that stage – there’s still a bit of runway to go in terms of this marketplace and getting the model right. You can’t worry about what Netflix or Hooq are doing,” he said. “And there’s huge audience upside too. In Indonesia, we’re only just scratching the surface.”


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