Report: Asia content expenditure passes $10bn

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TV, movie and online video content expenditure across India, Korea and Southeast Asia’s five biggest growth markets (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) rose by 8 per cent in 2017 to reach $10.2 billion (€8.67bn), according to the 2018 edition of Asia Video Content Dynamics from analyst firm Media Partners Asia (MPA).

The biggest increases came from India, where video content budgets soared by 14 per cent to top $4.2 billion in 2017, and Korea, where investment in video content increased by 7 per cent over the year to approach $3.0 billion. The biggest contributors to aggregate incremental growth in video content spend across the seven markets in 2017 were pay-TV (38 per cent) and online video (30 per cent).

“In general, content investment dynamics are favorable with content investment growing,” advised MPA Vice President Stephen Laslocky. “Pay-TV content costs in the surveyed markets grew 5 per cent, led by India and Korea and driven by local entertainment and sports. Free-to-air content investment was up 6 per cent in 2017. Scale and growth in free-to-air content investment is largely attributable to Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, driven by local entertainment. Film production budgets in the surveyed markets were up 10 per cent, driven by Korea and India. Online video investment is growing rapidly from a low base, up almost 80 per cent during 2017. Rising competitive intensity is driving up online video content costs as rival platforms produce and acquire local series and movies, especially in India and Korea. We expect online video content investment to also pick up in emerging markets across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesia and the Philippines.”

India’s 14 per cent annual growth in video content investment was a standout in 2017, driven by pay-TV. Content investment in India’s online video market is also growing rapidly, driven by competition among well-capitalised global and local platforms. This trend should continue over the next three years.

Video content investment in Korea rose by a more moderate 7 per cent in 2017, although growth will likely accelerate when China eventually lifts its ban on Korean dramas, movies and talent. Online video content investment in Korea is also starting to accelerate and will continue to do so over the course of 2018-19.

Growth in production spend across emerging Southeast Asia markets was generally satisfactory in 2017. While free-to-air TV dominates video content investment, the pace of growth slowed substantially in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam due to a deceleration and broader volatility in TV advertising.

Malaysia, meanwhile, experienced a decline in video content investment in 2017, mainly due to Astro cutting spend on international pay channels. Declines in free-to-air advertising also reined in Media Prima’s ability to invest in content. The outlook for Malaysia could improve as new government policies bolster economic growth, broadening consumer spend and ad dollars.

Entertainment & Sports

Drama drives audience share region-wide, with a fair degree of cross-pollination across markets. Korean dramas air throughout the region, while Indian dramas have performed well in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. ABS-CBN’s Pasión de Amor rated well in Vietnam. The profile of Thai dramas, particularly after the success of historical drama Love Destiny, is growing.

Sports rates highly across the region. Cricket matches accounted for 24 of India’s 25 top-rated pay-TV programmes in 2017. In Indonesia, football matches accounted for 14 of the top 25 programmes. Even in markets such as Vietnam, where sports accounted for a mere 2 per cent audience share, football matches made up four of the top 15 programmes in 2017.


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