PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHANIE MAYO FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE VIVA executives (left) senior vice president for content creation and development Valerie del Rosario and president and CEO Vincent del Rosario.

A new local app just dropped last 29 January. It’s called Viva Prime.

Owned by media and entertainment empire Viva Communications Inc. — the same company that launched Vivamax two years ago —Viva Prime offers a wide selection of Pinoy movies, but without the adult films that Vivamax is known for.

While Viva Prime still carries titles catered to mature audiences, such as the hit Ann Curtis-Derek Ramsey steamy romance No Other Woman, or Vice Ganda’s raunchy comedy franchise Praybeyt Benjamin, and with some violent action films thrown into the mix, viewers certainly won’t find titles such as Hugas, Putahe, and Virgin Forest in Viva’s new streamer.

In short, no sexploitation films in Viva Prime. The titles are mostly PG-rated, or R-13 at the most.

For Pinoy movie buffs thirsting for local entertainment, Viva Prime — with its collection of popular classic and contemporary mainstream films from Viva — is such a bargain that it will possibly help reduce piracy in the country.

For a monthly subscription fee of only P49 (an additional P50 for ad-free), with all its iconic FPJ, Sharon Cuneta, and Robin Padilla content, it’s the ideal app if you are not the type who spends gazillion hours streaming movies that paying for a movie app that is times 10 more expensive seems ridiculous.

The economical Viva Prime also has about 20 percent foreign films including beloved Hollywood blockbuster fares, such as John Wick, Hunger Games, and Knives Out. Also featuring Tagalized movies, Sarah Geronimo concerts, and Korean films, it’s essentially the complete entertainment portal for the Filipino viewer.

“Eventually, we will add more (foreign titles),” said senior vice president for content creation and development Valerie del Rosario, during the press conference held at the Viva-owned restaurant Greyhound Café in Podium last 30 January. She added that they also have plans to add non-Viva licensed local films.

For now, Viva Prime is not a separate app. It is built inside the Vivamax app as a second tab. You don’t have to be subscribed to Vivamax, though, in order to subscribe to Prime.
“Parang soft launch kasi itong Prime,” said Viva’s president and chief executive officer Vincent del Rosario, who was also present at the presscon. “Eventually, it will spin off into a standalone app.”

There are upcoming exciting shows on the platform.

When asked if K-drama will be added to the platform, both Valerie and Vincent answered with a resounding yes.

Meanwhile, the highly anticipated Viva Prime original series The Rain in Espana, adapted from the hit Wattpad novel series by Gwy Saludes and starring Heaven Peralejo, will soon roll out on the platform.

Missed Darryl Yap’s highly controversial Maid in Malacañang in theaters last year? You can stream it on Prime beginning 8 February.

The 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture Deleter, starring Nadine Lustre, will also soon pop up in Prime.

Valerie professed her desire for more Viva Prime content for the GenZ audience — mostly for the hopeless romantic tweens and teens.

“I think I’d like to see a lot of — something like The Rain in Espana. ‘Yung pang youth. Falling in love, romance type of stories,” she said.

On 27 January, Vivamax and The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board signed a partnership to promote responsible viewership.

In last Monday’s presscon, Vincent shared a few details about their trip to the MTRCB office to meet with chair Lala Sotto.

“We shared with them mga plano, both for Vivamax and Viva Prime. We clarified ‘yung perception na ang Vivamax has too much risqué content. We showed them the content count ng Vivamax: Out of the 800 titles on the platform, only 80 are considered adult viewing, o mga medyo risqué.”

Vincent explained that with Viva’s commitment to label classification ratings on every title on Vivamax, on top of the parental control feature in the form of pin codes to access the erotic films, the platform is absolutely hand-to-hand with MTRCB’s initiative of Responsableng Panonood.

With over six million existing subscribers worldwide in more than 82 territories, Vivamax will continue to be a strong presence. And now with the new Viva Prime that is accessible to a wider range of Filipino audiences, we just might see a local digital cinema revolution happening soon.

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