24 Aug 2018

Taiwanese CEO Debuts First LGBT-Focused OTT Service

Gay-friendly content was rare on other services, leading one man to launch a new platform.

As the CEO of Portico Media, Jay Lin’s job is to import international entertainment—from programs to entire channels—to Taiwan. What he saw, he told Screen Daily, was that there was little LGBT-themed content.

He saw a difference between what was shown on partner channels in Asia, compared to the U.S., noting that “even Will & Grace didn’t make the cut.”

It was hard to find people to purchase LGBT-friendly content, but OTT, Lin noted, “exists beyond borders and traditional cable restrictions.” The acronym stands for over-the-top content, and includes video and TV broadcast over the internet; another famous OTT provider is Netflix.

Today, Lin’s service, GagaOOLala is available in all ASEAN countries, as well as Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan—the latter being where the most users are. It boasts hundreds of gay-themed movies, documentaries, TV series and web series.

GagaOOLala is currently the only legal distributor of LGBT-focused content in Asia, and is careful to avoid falling prey to censors; like other OTT services, it is not available in mainland China.

Lin told Screen Daily that his next hope is to make the service available in Japan.