Indonesian tech firm Gojek, which is known principally for its ride-hailing and payment services, is now expanding into video streaming in a move widely seen as a challenge to Netflix and other established players in Southeast Asia.

Having secured the streaming rights to hundreds of recent Indonesian films and shows, the company launched its new mobile-only video streaming platform on Thursday.

Called GoPlay, the service also offers short clips of about three to five minutes in duration and comes with two pricing plans – one at 89,000 rupiah (about US$6) per month, which includes unlimited access, and a second bundle priced at 99,000 rupiah (US$7) per month that also provides users with access to GoFood delivery vouchers.

Edy Sulistyo, CEO of Gojek’s entertainment division, told Reuters in an interview that the company saw a gap in the market where Indonesians want to watch high quality Indonesian content but can only really do so currently by going to the cinema.

“With GoPlay we are here to fill the gap and bridge the millions of Indonesian mobile viewers to the Indonesian film industry,” he said. “Mobile penetration in Indonesia has reached 54%, which is roughly 130-140 million people, so the potential is very big.”

Even though rivals, including Netflix, have produced some Indonesian content, Sulistyo said he expected the breadth and quality of what GoPlay has to offer will give it the edge.

For example, Reuters reported, Gojek launched its own in-house studio in 2018 and has co-financed at least nine original Indonesian language movies and shows, including “Memories of My Body”, which was nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards.

The new GoPlay platform will concentrate on Indonesian content, Sulistyo said, but it also has secured agreement for partial access to the content libraries of some foreign production companies.

However, he added, Gojek has no plans to expand GoPlay beyond Indonesia for the time being. “We want to spend enough to satisfy demand,” he said.

Sourced from Reuters; additional content by WARC staff