New Service Is First to Stream Khmer Shows On-Demand

Some popular Cambodian television shows and movies will be made available online through a newly launched video-on-demand service, aiming to offer an alternative to cable TV and pirated streams.

Digital media company Sabay made its streaming platform Soyo available on Friday, offering access to Cambodian-made shows and popular content from Thailand, South Korea and other countries, according to a press release.

Soyo’s business development manager South Chheang Leng said in an email that the platform would function similarly to popular streaming services such as Netflix, but the content and price will be catered toward a Cambodian audience.

“We believe our audiences will experience this movie club or entertainment app differently in terms of content,” he said. “This has a Cambodian feel to it.”

Soyo currently hosts Sabay television shows such as “30 Daily: Coffee Time” and “The Mic,” and the company also plans to create content exclusive to its new platform, according to the release.

The service is currently available on the web and for Android, and will soon be offered through the Apple Store, it says.

Subscriptions cost $0.19 per day, $1 per week or $3 per month.

On Sunday, however, the service was experiencing a rocky start, unable to be accessed either through the web or the Android app.

Mr. Chheang Leng said the website was experiencing a technical problem and was expected to be back to normal by today.

Van Socheata, a 25-year-old filmmaker in Phnom Penh, said the internet was flooded with free—if frequently illegal—options for streaming shows but said she would be willing to pay some money to get new content earlier.

“I may pay to watch it if the films are uploaded to the website right away, as those free websites upload quite slow,” she said.

“If [Soyo] can upload faster while [cable] TV is still showing the series, people may be willing to pay.”

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