Netflix probably won't be coming any time soon
If you've been waiting for Netflix to come to South-East Asia (Malaysia specifically), you're going to be waiting for a long time. At the moment, Netflix is heavily invested in western markets like the Americas and parts of Europe, and will only expand to Asia at the end of 2015 when it enters Japan. How much longer until it expands to other Asian nations? Which Asian nations will be on the list? Will Malaysia be on the list at all? Who knows. You can either keep waiting (and hoping), or try out iflix which is available now.
|Netflix has no presence in Asia at all|
The first obstacle for many streaming services is convincing consumers that their money will be well spent. If you are going to be spending a fixed amount of money each month, you'll want that reassurance wouldn't you? And I feel like iflix delivers excellently in terms of value-for-money. For just RM10/month (or RM8/month for a year-long subscription) you will have unlimited access to the entire iflix catalogue with the freedom to use up to 5 different devices under your account. So you could spend the same amount of money as you would on a single basic meal and watch as many hours of video as you want on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet for an entire month. That's great value right there.
|iflix's rates are really affordable|
But what good is a video streaming service if it doesn't have videos you want to watch? Luckily, iflix understands that different people have different interests, and so the company is doing its best to try to cater to all types of preferences. We have comedy favourites like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and even newer series like The Big Bang Theory. Then we have series for comic book fans like Arrow and Agents of SHIELD. There are crime-based shows like CSI, NCIS, and Elementary. Even some reality TV shows like Pickers, Pawn Stars, and My Kitchen Rules. Not to mention a whole lot of movies like the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix, Batman Begins, Grease, Harry Potter, Transformers, Star Trek, Rush Hour, The Notebook, I am Legend, Iron Man, and a whole lot more. There's also a dedicated kids section, with lots of cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Johnny Bravo, and animated movies like Kung Fu Panda, How to Train your Dragon, and Shrek. Did I mention that there's also a pretty decent Asian selection as well (both series and movies), including Malaysian, Korean, and Bollywood titles? iflix may be a new service, but its catalogue is pretty diverse if you ask me.
|Some great cartoons for the little ones|
I've only used iflix for about two weeks but even in that short window a lot of new content was added. I've noticed new content being added on at least three separate occasions, and as I'm writing this even more content had been added - with the Korean variety show Running Man headlining the new batch of content. As the service gains more funding from subscriptions and investments, I'm confident the amount of content will keep growing and growing to the point where you feel the RM10 monthly fee is too good to be true for the amount of content available (if you don't already).
|With new content being added every few days, iflix's catalogue will grow in no time|
For what iflix is already, I feel the RM10 monthly subscription is great value for money. But iflix isn't content with what they have. They wan't to do more. In addition to growing its catalogue, the company is also looking to add new features as well. Content will soon be available in HD, perfect for all the high resolution displays on phones being sold today. Chromecast support is coming too, a great addition considering content has been streamed to TV's via Google's dongle more than a billion times thus far. And lastly, iflix will soon allow users to download content for offline viewing, something that will be greatly appreciated in a country like Malaysia where high-speed internet isn't available everywhere.
Some people might argue that iflix's current selection of content isn't good enough, especially compared to Netflix. This is of course true, but people need to take two important factors into consideration. The first is that you are comparing a brand new service to one that has been in business for about 15 years. There's bound to be a huge content gap. Secondly, iflix is only charging RM10/month, while Netflix (if it were offered in Malaysia) would probably cost consumers around RM30-RM50, depending on the plan you subscribe to. So while iflix may not be able to compete with Netflix in terms of catalogue size, the sheer value-for-money the service offers is, to me at least, well worth it. You can choose of course to wait for the service to improve its offerings, but the only way that can happen is with more funding. Which is why I'm willing to subscribe now, so that I can enjoy more content in the future.