Exactly one year (to the day) after it began offering music content, global video streaming site Viki has announced a deal with Universal Music that will see it offer the label’s entire worldwide music video collection in South Korea and nine markets in Southeast Asia.
Viki made its debut streaming movie and TV shows from a diverse range of countries and global broadcasters, including NBCU. It makes the content accessible to global audiences thanks to its unique, crowdsourced translations, which are managed and translated entirely by its community.
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Last year, the Singapore-based company landed deals to stream music videos from Warner Music, SEED Music Group of Taiwan and Korea’s LOEN worldwide. Now, users in South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will gain access to 7,500 music videos from Universal Music’s global roster. That includes US artists like Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Lady Gaga, as well as those from Korea, other parts of Asia and worldwide.
Razmig Hovaghimian, CEO and co-founder of Viki, tells TNW that the move to expand its music catalogue makes perfect sense since it “cross-pollinated” its TV and movie content in many markets, such as Korea, where a number of music artists also act or appear in TV shows. Not to mention that it will bring music videos from truly global stars in a number of markets in Asia that are not served by streaming services.
Hovaghimian says Viki in the process of introducing new content to its global markets after it took time to review and analyse how its content was being consumed. Interestingly, he says that there are some unusual patterns emerging, for example Korean dramas are particularly popular in Saudi Arabia — thanks to the subtitles — while Bollywood is popular worldwide.
That opportunity to search new audience segments that, without Viki’s subtitles, would struggle to consume content in their native language is attractive for music companies, which can broaden their reach using the service.
That’s the message from Loo Yew Ming, VP of Digital & Business Development in Southeast Asia for Universal Music Group International, who comments thusly:
We see a lot of potential in Asia and Viki offers an interesting and innovative way for our artists to engage fans who don’t speak their language. At the same time, translations help fans discover new music from artists they’ve never connected with before.
Hovaghimian also reveals that mobile is becoming a prominent platform for Viki, with video consumption from phones and tablets overtaking that of desktops in a number if markets, including Singapore.
That is, he says, in part due to a deal that sees the Viki service bundle on the Samsung Galaxy S4. For now, that deal is operative in Singapore only, but Viki is in talks to expand it to other “significant markets”, Hovaghimian explains.
Viki fans in the selected countries can access the following initial 10 channels as of now, the remainder of Universal Music’s collection will follow very soon:
Headline image via piitaaraq / Flickr