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AIS dials up future in offering video services

May 18. 2019
Siwaporn Pengpol
Siwaporn Pengpol
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By Asina Pornwasin
The Nation Weekend 

WITH Thais spending so much time watching video on-demand streaming services, mostly on mobile devices, Advanced Info Service (AIS) has focused to offer video services under its AIS Play service. 

Siwaporn Pengpol, head of the company’s video and broadcasting management unit, said it also offers a free TV broadcasting service. 

The company’s mission is to establish AIS Play as the marketplace platform for the creation of a video-broadcasting ecosystem. 

“We have created a platform for encouraging the the development of this ecosystem, and have not come in to be a rival to others,” said Siwaporn.

“Now, we play a role as a marketplace by providing support subscription and billing systems for partners. We have seven over-the-top-business partners.”

AIS Play service is available on set-top-box, AIS Play Box, and mobile application AIS Play App. AIS Play Box has around 50 per cent of the 900,000 AIS Fibre customers, while the AIS Play App has been around 9 million times, with 4 million active users. 

Siwaporn said users spend around four to five hours a day watching content via AIS Play Box. And they spend an average of 15 minutes a day watching content via the AIS Play App.

Under the AIS Play service, the company offers free and paid models for video-on-demand and broadcasting content. 

In the future, the company will provide an ad-video-on-demand model. 

“We also have a plan to use artificial intelligence to handle content management system, such as for offering personalised services,” said Siwaporn.

The strength of its service, she said, owes to the wide range of content and packages. 

It has over 100 TV channels, for free and paid offerings, as well 

as over 1,000 titles of on-demand content. 

“The variety of content is our strength but on the other hand, it is also challenge because users cannot easily find the content they want,” said Siwaporn

“At this point, we plan to improve our content management system with AI.”

She said the company would also seek synergies for the AIS Play service with AIS's other businesses. For example, it could offer product bundles with AIS Play and AIS Fibre, and with the AIS mobile service as well. 

“The main challenge is to attract people to spend more time and stick with us as long as they can in a day,” said Siwaporn.

She said that the video and broadcasting business is a part of AIS's digital services, including games, payment, cloud, and corporate solutions. 

The company also plays a role in supporting the company's mobile service business. 

In the near future, the company will expand the AIS Play service on the website in order to attract users to those services based on the PC and smart TV. 

“Our direction is to reach the mass market through all channels - set-top-box, mobile devices covering phones and tablets, PCs and smart TV. 

“We will still retain the existing customers of AIS's services, while acquiring new customers, and seeking the monetisation of potential revenue,” said Siwaporn. 

“Such monetisation is one of our key areas of focus, but it is too early to commit to the goal. But this year, we will break even.”

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