Lockdown and quarantine measures enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a surge in online streaming as we find more Filipinos seeking out entertainment on services like Netflix, Vivamax, ktx.ph, and the like.
And by the looks of it, even if the pandemic recedes, streaming is not going anywhere, media consumers would still want to watch their favorite TV shows, series, and movies in the convenience of their homes.
Recognizing the demand for online and streaming content, A&Q Entertainment has announced a groundbreaking link with South Korea’s Sun Mobile Commerce (SBT). The two companies signed an agreement on April 6 at their newly opened headquarters in Quezon City. Atty. Aldwin F. Alegre, CEO and President of A&Q Entertainment and Prime Stream, met with Seo Byung-yul, head of the Philippine corporation of SBT, along with key personalities, sealed the deal of launching a new OTT (Over-the-Top) media service called AQ Prime.
This marks another step forward for A&Q as it aims to be the most recognized brand in handling Filipino entertainment in the Philippines and beyond.
“We really see a high demand for local entertainment so we’re not here to compete but be just one of the players. Filipino entertainment consumers need to have more options,” Atty. Melanie Honey Quiño, AQ Prime’s Chief Operating Officer, told Manila Standard Entertainment in an interview.
She added that AQ Prime has gained collaborative advantage to become more competitive in the business of online streaming.
“This partnership is more than just an investment partnership,” Atty. Quiño explained. “It is a collaborative relationship—an agreement to get together and explore streams of opportunities. Our companies shared common goals and visions and we wanted to provide people here and abroad a broad range of entertainment and informative shows.”
A&Q Films Production is the company behind the successful 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry Nelia, top-billed by Winwyn Marquez and Raymond Bagatsing. For its latest venture into the online world, ‘AQ Prime’ is more than geared to operate the entertainment and media streaming platform and online distribution of movies, live events, as well as series, news, sports, and online entertainment shows through free-to-watch titles apart from its premium contents under affordable subscriptions.
“The newly launched OTT service in the Philippines is AQ Prime, which competes with world-class OTT services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, and Apple TV, and plans to provide unique services by organizing movies and TV programs that are unique to the Philippines,” wrote News Korea, an online news publication in Korea.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Filipino actors, film directors, and broadcasting officials. AQ Prime has completed principal photography for four full-length feature films: Huling Lamay, a horror film directed by Joven Tan, starring Marlo Mortel, Buboy Villar, and Lou Veloso; Z Love a horror-romance-drama helmed by Jojo Nadela, and led by Devon Seron, Kristof Garcia, Marcus Madrigal, and Rob Sy; as well as the Boys’ Love (BL)-themed films Sosyal Medya, with Brenda Mage, DJ Onse, Kristof Garcia, and Mark Aaron Hernandez, under director Greg Colasito; and Bingwit, featuring Krista Miller, Drei Arias, Conan King, and directed by Neal “Buboy” Tan.
Other titles will be revealed at the grand launch of AQ Prime on June 4. For this investment, SBT targets investing $2 million in the future along with the initial investment as it continually discovers contents to air on AQ Prime.
“Through SBT’s OTT investment in the Philippines, we want to create a synergistic effect that can be linked to Philippine culture. And our goal is to help make it easier to use OTT services,” said SBT CEO Lee Kwang-rok, who will join the rest of the team on the upcoming launch.
This statement is seconded by Atty. Alegre as he believes in the power of OTT.
“We want to bring Korean culture to the Philippines’ wide landscape of entertainment industry. Moreover, our mission is to also put Filipino entertainment in everyone’s media.”
The soon-to-be-launched app is expected to be released initially in the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and in the United States.
About A&Q Entertainment and Prime Stream Inc. AQ Prime is a streaming company that offers legacy and upcoming movies to Filipino audiences in and out of the Philippines. The company will be operating on a paid subscriber basis focusing to target the whole of Philippines and Filipinos living overseas – as an initial target and eventually focusing on other subscribers to expand its subscriber base. The production of original content is one of the major thrusts of the company. This will not be restricted to movies, but also open to other content that will add value to the product offering including pay-per-view live shows, such as concerts, pageants, sports events, plays, and more.