M17 Entertainment (“M17”)—created by the merger of Singapore-based dating platform Paktor and Taiwanese video streaming platform 17 Media—has launched livestreaming in Malaysia and Thailand and is aggressively recruiting talented artists to join the platform. These two countries bring to six the primary markets for M17 livestreaming, joining Taiwan, Indonesia (January 2017), Hong Kong (July 2017) and Japan (August 2017).
Following the announcement of the merger between Paktor and 17 Media in April 2017, 90 per cent of M17’s revenue is claimed to be derived from livestreaming.
Explaining his Southeast Asia strategy, M17 CEO Joseph Phua (pictured) said, “Malaysia and Thailand are exciting markets for M17 as we already generate significant revenue through our operations in North Asia and growing overseas content. With a proven business model and our representative Tashi Media’s help, we will recruit top talent to provide local content to many more viewers in Malaysia and Thailand.”
Malaysia’s Tashi Media will help M17 recruit, train, and manage key opinion leaders (KOLs) for M17’s livestreaming service in Malaysia and Thailand. Tashi Media is a Malaysian media agency founded by former executives at Red People, Malaysia’s top artist management company for online artists.
In Indonesia revenue from livestreaming grew three-fold from January to July 2017. Viewers from 18-24 year-old group form 82 per cent of the audience in Indonesia, with female viewers accounting for over 40 per cent of total audience.
Shirley Crystal Chua, CEO and founder of Golden Equator, an early investor in M17, said, “From our early investment into Paktor through to their latest US$40 million funding round, M17 has consistently demonstrated strong leadership and a clear vision in becoming Asia’s leading social entertainment company. In line with their business strategy, M17’s investments in original contents, e-sports, and e-commerce will help the company increase its user stickiness and audience reach, providing unique interactive video content for all types of audiences. Given the growth potential of livestreaming across Southeast Asia and indeed Asia, we are confident that M17 will become one of Asia’s leading Media and Entertainment groups.”
In August, M17 announced the close of a US$40 million series B round. The funding included investment from Golden Equator Capital—a Singapore-based asset management firm.