How Innovation and Convergence can Drive Success for OTT Video in Indonesia

Indonesia ICT Summit speaker, Desmond Poon, Chief Technology Officer, PT Link Net Tbk. (First Media), shares insights on the OTT market in Indonesia and how innovation and convergence can drive exponential growth

At a time when Indonesia is looking towards a digital revolution as the proliferation of social media, mobile and digital technology sweeps across the country – there is a profound change in the way in which Indonesians share and consume content, with viewing preferences shifting from traditional screens to digitised platforms that deliver quality and seamless content at the tip of their fingers.

Desmond Poon, CTO, PT Link Net Tbk. (First Media), Indonesia’s first provider of integrated telecommunications and multimedia services, shares his insights on building a successful Over-The-Top (OTT) video service.

Investment in technology and a strategy of converged services
Smartphone usage in Indonesia is predicted to skyrocket from 55 million in 2015 to 92 million in 2019, and multi-screen users in the country are registering over 23 per cent more media time than their counterparts in APAC.


While this presents numerous growth opportunities for operators, it is vital for them to take on new and innovative technologies, in order to keep pace with viewers’ changing and growing demand for instant and reliable media and entertainment content on-the-go. Poon believes that the right strategy for operators is to embrace and invest in new OTT and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, making them complementary to the existing TV services.

“As both an Internet and TV service provider, our strength is the ability to offer a suite of converged services for our consumers. As we add more richness into the traditional linear TV by offering Personal Video Recorder (PVR), Video on Demand (VOD), and Catch-Up TV services, we also embrace the OTT services such as android based applications including YouTube, Google applications, games, and even voice searches on the same set-top box. At the same time, we also extend viewing with our First Media X TV Anywhere OTT service that can be consumed on any mobile devices,” says Poon.

He adds, “The bundling of our cable TV, OTT and broadband service is to provide a complete next generation experience for the customer both at home and on the go.”


Challenges amid a promising OTT market

“There is still a very large base of unconnected households, and as the population is spread over several thousand islands, traditional TV and even free-to-air TV is likely to be still prevalent for a long time.”

Competition is also stiff with numerous OTT video services such as Iflix, Netflix, Viu, Orange TV and Tribe populating the landscape in Indonesia. Operators have to be quick to spot current trends, understand and analyse consumers’ viewing habits and device preferences, in order to stay ahead and achieve multi-platform success.

However Poon is optimistic that with the increasing investment in infrastructure and connectivity, take up of OTT video services will soar in time to come. “Indonesia has a population of more than 250 million people and is the fourth most populous country in the world. This naturally presents a lot of opportunities for new OTT entrants, as more fixed broadband network is constructed and mobile operators start offering more flexible packages, the situation will naturally improve over time,” he adds.

Desmond Poon, CTO, PT Link Net Tbk. (First Media), is a panellist at the Indonesia ICT Summit 2016’s Panel Discussion on ‘How Does OTT Bring Key Monetising Opportunities for Operators and Broadcasters’, on Thursday 1st September 2016.