Southeast Asia’s first LGBTQ-focused online video streaming service, Gagaoolala is reportedly planning to enter India this year. The Taipei-based company is owned by Portico Media, which also runs the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival and Queermosa Awards.
According to the company, Gagaoolala’s name is a combination of two slang phrases used to describe gay people in Taiwan.
Commenting on the foray, Gagaoolala’s founder, Jay Lin told Reuters “It’s a perfect time.” He also cited improved internet and payment technologies in India as one of the reasons for expansion.
Founded in 2017, Gagaoolala is currently available in 13 countries across Southeast Asia including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“It’s a very exciting territory for us … In India, we are hoping to not just stream our service but also find local producers and directors that we can collaborate with.” added Lin.
The regular monthly fee for the service is about $6.99. Currently, the site has 150K registrations in the free plan of the site. The company is also planning to launch a pay for individual content feature rather than a monthly subscription to help onboard a wider audience.
Lin also shared plans of working with filmmakers across Asia to produce original LGBTQ productions. “In order to survive, we need subscriptions and revenue but at the same time we want to bring in movies that don’t just entertain but educate and make an impact in politics and policy,” said Lin.
Indian LGBTQ movement has recently recieved recognition from the Supreme Court with the scrapping of Sec 377 in September 2018. Meanwhile Tier 2 cities (such as Lucknow and Bhopal) have observed pride parades last year.
Meanwhile the Transgender Bill which was passed in Lok Sabha in December, 2018 has received harsh criticism from transgender rights activists and civil society organisations. The day Lok Sabha passed the bill, has been called a Black Day by the Transgender activists.
[This development was reported by Reuters]