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.
GagaOOLala – which combines two slang phrases used to describe gay people in Taiwan is moving into India because of improved internet and payment technologies, said Jay Lin, head of Portico Media, which set up the service in 2017.
India decriminalized Section 377 outlawing same-sex relations last year and Bollywood’s first mainstream LGBT+ film, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aesa Laga, was released earlier this month.
Keeping all this in mind, Lin said, “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. It’s a perfect time,” he also added that GagaOOLala is currently available in 13 countries across Southeast Asia.
Lin informed that, GagaOOLala provides unlimited access to its LGBT+ films, TV series and documentaries for about $6.99 a month and has yet to encounter any regulatory restrictions. Everything is accessible on its website or mobile app.
The site has 150,000 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 on-board a wider audience. Advances in internet access and speeds, mobile phone and payment technologies will help GagaOOLala target new viewers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Lin said, at the same time, original LGBT+ productions will be ramped up this year, working with filmmakers across Asia and then screening the content on GagaOOLala.
Lin, a prominent gay activist, first had the idea for an LGBT+ streaming service while setting up the annual Taiwan International Queer Film Festival in 2014. Looking to promote positive gay and transgender stories and to help other festivals to show Asian LGBT+ films, the idea for GagaOOLala was born.
“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.
Source – scmp.com, indiatimes.com