Speaking in a wide-ranging presentation at the TV CON 2018 conference in Prague, Hizam Sahibudeen, head of engineering, Czech Republic iflix, said that the service, which was launched three years ago and targets only emerging markets – initially South East Asia but now also the Middle East and Africa – had 11 million active users as of the March.
He added that it was at first an SVOD service but then radically changed its business model and is now essentially free (FVOD) and exploring other business models (AVOD). While it is still not profitable and funded by investors, it will in due course be driven by advertising and subscribers.
Sahibudeen said that iflix is much more focused on local markets than Netflix. For instance, in markets where censorship applies it will comply. It currently has over 32,000 hours of content, over 1,700 TV series and 4,000 movies, and offers personalisation and recommendations.
Although iflix has one of its four engineering centres located in Prague, it has no plans to launch in the Czech Republic or indeed anywhere in Europe.
It is currently present in 25 countries in developing markets and sees itself as a complementary service, rather than a competitor of, Netflix.