Indonesia’s Gojek Rivals Netflix with New Streaming Service GoPlay

Indonesia’s leading mobile payment platform and tech unicorn Gojek launched its video-on-demand (VOD) service on 26 September. This comes shortly after its extension into the gaming industry with its gaming platform GoGames. Founded in 2010 as a ride hailing service, Southeast Asia’s leading tech company Gojek has since evolved to provide more than 20 services ranging from transportation, food delivery, massages, e-money, and loyalty programs, making entertainment its latest addition. Research conducted by the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Economics and Business revealed Gojek contributed around Rp44.2 trillion ($3 billion) to the Indonesian economy in 2018.

GoPlay’s competitive pricing

GoPlay is a mobile-only streaming platform with a content focus on local TV series and movies. Since its launch two weeks ago, GoPlay has had over 10,000 Android downloads. Most Asian streaming services in Indonesia average around IDR40,000 ($2.83) but GoPlay seems to be positioning itself alongside Netflix. The basic plan is priced at IDR89,000 ($6.30) and IDR99,000 ($7.01) for the full HD catalogue. Netflix’s subscription plans are priced at IDR109,000 ($7.72) upwards. Another key similarity to Netflix is that there will be no ads in GoPlay.

The competitive advantage Gojek has against other streaming competitors lies in its existing e-wallet service GoPay, allowing for frictionless adoption among a mobile-first Indonesian consumer base. The Jakarta Post reported that GoPay’s usage transactions reached $6.3 billion in 2018. In emerging markets where credit card ownership is still scarce, practical payment options are crucial to growing service adoption amid the escalating streaming wars. When Netflix launched in Southeast Asia in 2016, service take-up was partially hindered by its credit card-only payment method – leaving Netflix to forge partnerships with local telcos to provide mobile phone billing.

GoPlay’s content strategy

GoPlay’s content slate focuses on local movies and TV shows, as well as exclusive access to its original content such as The Haha Club and Buffalo Boys. Gojek Entertainment Group Chief Executive Edy Sulistyo told Reuters in an interview, “We see that there’s a gap where people want to watch Indonesian high-quality content, but where the only choice to see it is to go to the cinema”.

Users will also be served horror, comedy and Korean shows on GoPlay. GoJek flexes its knowledge and understanding of its local audience by highlighting Indonesia’s love for horror and all things Korean pop culture. In recent months, Mastercard launched an ad campaign tapping into the Indonesian consumer’s love of horror movies – featuring local celebrities in a horror-like trailer. On all things K-pop, Gojek has partnered with South Korean entertainment giants CJ E&M and SM Entertainment to ensure the ever-growing demand for Korean shows is met.

With its localised exclusive content and mobile wallet payment integration, Gojek is poised to give Netflix and other international streaming players significant local competition. If the imminent launch of Apple TV+ and Disney’s ban on Netflix’s ads on its platform has not already ruffled Netflix’s feathers, Gojek could potentially cause a few ripples in Indonesia –the third largest Asian market by consumers with a current GDP growth rate of 5.2%.

Did I also mention GoPlay’s top subscription tier comes with GoFood delivery vouchers worth IDR600,000 ($42.49)? For ecosystem-led services such as Amazon Prime and for growth-challenged companies such as Netflix, there could be a lot to learn from the latest contender to enter the streaming market in Indonesia.


Tagged in: Apple Tv, Disney, GoGames, Gojek, GoPay, GoPlay, Indonesia, K-pop, Korean, Netflix Originals, SM Entertainment, Subscription Video On Demand, Svod