24 Jun – mm2 Asia is launching a new movie streaming platform in Singapore sometime in the third quarter of 2020.
Called Cathay CineHomes, it allows viewers access to movies immediately after the theatrical window.
"With Cathay CineHOME, mm2 intends to develop a complementary platform to the cinema exhibition business. Many people want to watch the latest movies but maybe unable to find the time to go to the cinema. They used to be able to rent DVDs from the neighbourhood video shop, but the majority of those shops are no longer around.
"If you miss a film at the cinema, Cathay CineHOME will offer movie lovers an invaluable and flexible option to enjoy their favourite films at their own personal preferred timing. This service will not replace the experience of going out to the cinemas," Melvin Ang, Executive Chairman of mm2 Asia, stated.
"We have always wanted a complementary platform to our cinemas to address the needs of movie lovers to achieve our long-announced OTT ambitions," he added. "The coronavirus situation has simply accelerated the group's total digital strategy."
The platform, which will allow consumers greater opportunity to watch movies with limited theatrical run or "online movies" (a growing trend in China), will sit alongside the Cathay Cineplexes brand of cinemas that have been a household name in the Asian entertainment industry for more than 80 years.
Acquired by mm2 Asia in 2017, Cathay Cineplexes attracts millions of moviegoers yearly to its eight outlets islandwide.
Both Cathay Cineplexes and Cathay CineHOME will be well aligned to take advantage of the multi-platform release window opportunity.
The standard release routine for a movie is guided by "release windows", which prevents different release formats from competing with each other and allows the movie to take advantage of different format markets such as cinema, airlines, digital VOD and television, at different times in order to optimise the movie's commercial value.
As Cathay CineHOME will be using the Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) model, this allows viewers to watch the movies that they want on a pay-per-view basis. Pricing plan has yet to be finalised by mm2.
While it will only be launched in Singapore first, there are plans to expand into regional markets.
Aside from Cathay CineHOME, mm2 is also planning to launch another video streaming platform, mPlay Asia, in the third quarter of this year. It will be free-to-use and features short-form content from Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and subsequently, China.