Line TV Thailand Video Streamer to Close

Asian video streamer Line TV is to close its service in Thailand from the end of December.

“Time flies and things continue to change, and Line TV does likewise. We would like to inform that Line TV Thailand service will be available until the end of this year on December 31, 2021. Your support and contribution to Line TV all these years are truly appreciated and will always be remembered. Thank you with all of our hearts. Line TV Thailand,” the company said in a slightly enigmatic posting on Twitter on Monday.

It operates as an ad-supported VOD service on mobile devices, desktops and digital media players.
Line TV is part of the Japanese-based, Line Corporation, which is jointly owned by Japan’s Softbank and South Korea’s Naver. It was launched in 2015 and at one point Thailand was its largest country operation. It expanded into Taiwan and a further 20 markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America last year.

Line reported in September that it had some 50 million users in Thailand across video, e-commerce and instant messaging, where it may be the country’s most popular chat platform.

However, Line TV Thailand has been rumored to be losing share in a mid-sized national market that is a battleground for regional, global and Chinese streaming platforms. Other reports have said that its owners had tried without success to sell the video operation.

In the last two years, Asian-specialist SVOD platforms Iflix and Hooq both foundered, in large part because they failed to invest in enough local content fast enough. Since then, COVID has given a boost to streaming video in the region, but the launch of Disney Plus and the scaling up of Tencent’s WeTV mean the entry of larger and better funded platforms that have the advantage of not being market pioneers.

In another key development in Thailand, it was announced last week that the cellular phone companies DTAC (owned by Scandinavia’s Telenor) and True Corp. (owned by Thailand’s foods to retail giant Charoen Pokphand) are to merge. That would reduce competition in the Thai cellular market from three main players to just two.

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