The cutthroat competition among OTT apps kicks off

VietNamNet Bridge – Too many firms have jumped into the OTT market, both domestic and foreign, which have spent multi billions of dong to advertise the apps. Only those who can spend money like water can win the competition.

Vietnam, OTT apps, Vibers, statistics, ad campaigns, Vietnamese users

The communication race

Though Zalo of VNG is inferior to Kakao Talk (Kakao Corp) and Line (NHN) in the financial capability, it still has more professional and effective communication method with the articles on newspapers and entries on blogs.

Especially, VNG successfully used some tricks to lure more users. The story about Ngoc Trinh, a hot girl, uses Zalo, has caught the attention of the young users.

However, VNG seems to be the only Vietnamese enterprise which has the sufficient financial capability to run a race with foreign competitors. The Vietnamese VTC, though having joined the race, are in the 50-50 cooperation with Kakao Talk.

Nguyen The Tan, Deputy General Director of VC Corp, has noted that too many firms have joined the OTT market which have spent huge money to advertise their services, while the business model remains unclear, the market has become overloaded, and the investment rate is overly big.

He admitted that VC Corp is still not powerful enough to confront the big guys, though it knows the market is really attractive.

Sources said that VNG could sign the contracts on running communication campaigns at “reasonable fees,” because it keeps good relations with the press, bloggers and the celebrities. Meanwhile, the foreign competitors don’t have this advantage. Therefore, they have to pay much higher for communication campaigns.

Line app has been cited as the typical example showing how foreign big guys spent money on branding.

However, observers have noted that when Line ran noisy communication campaigns, its ranking jumped high, and when the campaigns finish, it fell in the grade. Meanwhile, the articles on mass media were not special enough to show the outstanding features of the OTT app. Line’s stickers have been copied easily which could not help attract long term users.

Kakao Talk’s communication campaigns prove to be even more ineffective than Line’s. There has been no meeting with the local press. A lot of science and IT reporters even don’t know what agency to contact to get information about its activities.

Though Kakao Talk was ranked on the high position in April, observers think that it would fall in grade once the advertisement campaign is over. Meanwhile, to some extend, people can feel the problems in the cooperation among Kakao, VTC Online and media agency.

It seems that the OTT app providers have not done much to make their brands more easily approachable to users. When searching on Google with popular key words such as “nhan tin mien phi” (free messaging), or “goi dien mien phi” (free calling), one would see that the first results do not show the names of the apps. The SEO (search engine optimization) method has just only been applied by groupon websites such as muachung, hotdeal or nhommua.

The quality competition

Vietnamese users once highly appreciated WeChat, the Chinese app, for its convenience. However, WeChat has fallen down in the ranking because of its origin from China.

There’s nothing to complain about the quality of Zalo, but the color is pale and the stickers are not really excellent like the ones of Line or Kakao Talk. Meanwhile, users have recently complained that Line and Kakao Talk seem to be heavier than Whatsapp or Viber.

Buu Dien

Vietnam, OTT apps, Vibers, statistics, ad campaigns, Vietnamese users