Philippine TV networks to compete for airtime on smartphones


Which smartphones do Asians have now, and how much will they spend on their next one?

Last December, Philippine television network ABS-CBN announced its foray into mobile. Through ABS-CBNmobile, the new telco has launched a live-streaming app for its customers, following a growing trend among Philippines TV networks.

ABS-CBNmobile is heavily promoting the iWant TV app through commercials on its traditional TV channel. The app lets its users live stream the station’s TV shows to their mobile devices. The new telco doesn’t have postpaid plans as of yet, but it currently offers online access through prepaid plans from Php 15 (US$0.33) at 30 MB for one day up to Php 449 (US$10) for 1200 MB for 30 days.

Before the official launch of ABS-CBNmobile, the iWant TV website generated 36.3 million views in March last year. That success spurred the company to move iWant TV onto mobile devices. While we don’t have access to the telco’s latest figures, it reported releasing 200,000 SIM cards in the market as of December.

More competition

Following this, just shortly after the announcement of ABS-CBN’s telco business, its competitor, TV5, announced that it will launch its own mobile platform this year through telco Smart Communications.

TV5 president Emmanuel Lorenzana also told InterAksyon that the mobile offering will be used to expand its advertising footprint. He says the mobile capability can help to make people enjoy the ads. Both TV5 and Smart Communications are under the PLDT Group, so it looks like it will use the infrastructure of its sister telco company to provide content to its users.

Meanwhile, GMA Network is also in talks with two of the Philippine telcos to move into video streaming through mobile devices. It has also created an app allowing people to watch news videos on their iPhones.

Last year, research firm TNS stated in its Mobile Life 2013 study that video streaming is one of the potential growth areas in the Philippines.

(Editing by Paul Bischoff)

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