While other streaming services in the Philippines are dead set on building their subscriber base by producing original local content, Lionsgate Play is taking on a different strategy.
Lionsgate Play, a streaming service that launched locally in June 2022, said it will neither produce nor carry Filipino content on its platform—at least for now.
Executive Vice President Amit Dhanuka of Lionsgate Play, the official streaming platform of Lionsgate Films to audiences in Asia, told reporters that they have no plans to partner with local studios and artists to produce original local content.
In an interview on August 16, Dhanuka was asked if the company is looking into adding Filipino originals with local production houses.
“Not at the moment,” Dhanuka said.
“I think we first want to stabilize a subscriber base. We want to own the space that we operate, which is adrenaline, action, edgy, thrilling, suspense,” he added.
Dhanuka, however, is not closing his doors to local partnerships in the future.
“The only time we will do it [carry Filipino titles] is once we have a strategy,” he said, noting that he does not want only a handful of local content that is also available elsewhere.
“We first want to get our English content right. And really get consumers consuming that effectively before we look at anything else,” Dhanuka said.
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Rival streaming service Netflix Philippines started carrying local content in 2018. Meanwhile, Prime Video Philippines released its first original film, “Ten Little Mistresses,” on February 2023.
Play more, browse less
Meanwhile, Lionsgate Play wants to focus on its current catalog of English movies and television shows.
Its parent organization Lionsgate Entertainment has been in the industry since 1997.
The company has produced and distributed popular and critically acclaimed movies and shows throughout the years. Among the notable films it has produced include the “John Wick” franchise, the “Saw” series, and the “Hunger Games” trilogy.
Lionsgate has also produced popular television shows for other streaming services, including “Orange Is the New Black.” for Netflix and “Minx” for HBO Max.
To create its own platform, the brand acquired subsidiary streaming entities for different audiences.
Aside from films and shows its parent organization has produced, Lionsgate Play also boasts of original English content such as the political series”Gaslit,” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn, and the sci-fi thriller “Apex.”
Lionsgate Play is available in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It currently has 20 million subscribers.
The app’s ethos is “play more, browse less” as it focuses on content that centers on the “bold, action, adrenaline, provocative, edgy, thriller.”
Dhanuka explained that the movies and TV shows on their platform are curated within these genres, making it easier for the viewer to spend less time searching for what to watch and more time actually watching.
To emphasize this, the Lionsgate Play app upgraded its look. From its black-and-white look, the app now sports a colorful yet minimalistic design.
Dhanuka explained that this design was based on a prism concept to reflect the variety of content that they have.
Dhanuka also referred to Lionsgate Play’s slogan, which reads: “Relentlessly brave, innately inclusive, purposely provocative, creatively empowering, and authentically engaging.”
“You have all of those pieces put in there because we wanted to do that. If you look at our service, it really shouts out the premium-ness that it brings to the table,” the representative said.
Lionsgate Play is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.