Joox pivots to capture paying users as overall ad spending drops

Joox pivots to capture paying users as overall ad spending drops

From left  Peter May, head of entertainment and multimedia group for Tencent Indonesia, Patcharaporn Kwancharoensub, head of branding and communication at Tencent Thailand, and Mr Krittee at a Joox event.
From left  Peter May, head of entertainment and multimedia group for Tencent Indonesia, Patcharaporn Kwancharoensub, head of branding and communication at Tencent Thailand, and Mr Krittee at a Joox event.

Thailand's music streaming services will be geared towards paid subscriptions and competitive pricing to draw a larger audience amid the slowdown in the overall ad spending, says streaming music application Joox.

Joox also vows to have more original songs on its platform, along with additional services to differentiate itself from rivals Spotify and YouTube Premium.

"Thailand's music streaming market will continue to see double-digit growth as there are untapped users, especially those older than 35," said Krittee Manoleehagul, managing director of Tencent Thailand and executive of Joox Thailand.

The entertainment business, particularly music, will continue to grow despite the sluggish economy as these services meet emotional needs, he said.

"With the constraints on advertising spending, Joox will focus more on paid music users or subscription services," said Mr Krittee.

Joox offers a freemium model where users can listen to music with advertising, while a paid VIP subscription is without advertising.

The VIP subscription accounts for half of Joox's earnings, while half comes from advertising and revenue-sharing with music labels, singers as well as sales of stickers and gifts.

"In light of global trends, paid or premium music users should increase," said Mr Krittee. "In developed markets, paid users account for up to 90%, but in Thailand, this trend is emerging."

In 2020, Joox aims to double VIP users, particularly those aged above 35.

To achieve this goal, Joox will introduce remakes or cover songs that became hits in the 1990s to attract this group, he said. More podcast and radio channels will be rolled out to attract adult audiences.

Some 70% of Joox's users are 18-34 years old, while users aged 35 and older account for 30%.

The company aims to leverage the Tencent Cloud for machine learning to offer personalised music for each listener.

"We use data analytics to get insights and learn about growing genre trends that listeners enjoy. We will then work with music labels to create original content to differentiate ourselves from rivals and increase premium users," said Mr Krittee.

In 2019, Joox ranked ninth for downloads and 10th for consumer spending on an app in Thailand.

"We still have opportunities to grow," he said.

Mr Krittee said YouTube Premium, which is a newcomer among music streaming apps, has had a low market impact, while Joox's advantage is it has been operating for over four years.


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