Line, the free messaging app company, is going beyond its core chat services with the launch of a YouTube-like video service called Line TV. The service is already available in Thailand, and the company claims to have 181 million active users all over the world. Line is considering the idea of introducing similar services to other markets.
Line TV is available on both iOS and Android platforms as well as the web. Users can enjoy a wide range of music videos, TV shows and dramas from Thailand, Korea and Japan. Music videos from K-Pop band Super Junior and the hit series Hormones are both available on the platform. According to a spokesperson for the company, Line TV continues to grow its video catalog every day.
Line TV and the Line messaging app are closely integrated. Users can quickly and easily share content with their contacts on the Line messenger.
At the moment, Line TV is more like YouTube than Netflix. It’s free to use, but doesn’t contain any banner ads. The service is initially being monetized through pre-roll advertisements. In the future, Line may use a different business model for their new video service. No comment has been made on whether or not a paid-for service is being considered. The app already has its own payment service built-in, so premium play would be a natural fit.
Line is currently sourcing content by obtaining exclusive licensing from content providers as well as providing old content through revenue-sharing. Line also plans to develop its own content, which might include cartoons featuring characters from the messenger’s sticker sets.
Currently, there are more than 33 million Line users in Thailand (more than Facebook’s user base in the area). Line also recently announced its plans to offer a grocery delivery service in Thailand and a joint venture music streaming project in Japan.