Conviva, the intelligence cloud for streaming media, has released its State of Streaming: Asia report for Q1 2021, revealing that while time spent streaming in Asia grew by a moderate 15 per cent year over year – as compared with 36 per cent globally – Southern Asia, which includes India, Pakistan and Iran, experienced a massive 151 per cent increase. What’s more, for the first time ever, on-demand streaming superseded live streaming in Asia, with viewers spending 57 per cent of their time watching on demand, up from 44 per cent a year prior.
The report also showed streaming viewers in Asia embracing connected TV devices, smart TVs and gaming consoles. While Asia has long been a mobile-first region, in Q1 2021 there was a shift to larger screens, particularly in Southern Asia where big screens accounted for 42 per cent of viewing time. Throughout Asia, viewership on smart TVs and connected TV devices grew 335 per cent and 147 per cent, respectively year over year.
“Streaming viewership has been steadily increasing around the world, and Asia is no exception,” said Keith Zubchevich, CEO, Conviva. “As more and more viewers embrace streaming on both big and small screens, we see international markets such as Asia providing a massive opportunity for publishers, advertisers and, most importantly, consumers hungry for creative and convenient programming.”
Android TV Rules the Big Screen in Asia
Asia’s device choices when streaming on big screens differ greatly from other global regions. Whereas Roku and Amazon Fire TV accounted for almost half of the world’s big screen time, Android TV dominated viewing in Asia with nearly half of all time spent. Roku, a powerhouse in North America, with a 30 per cent share of global big screen viewing time, barely made a blip in Asia with less than 1 per cent share in Q1 2021.
Asia Streaming Quality a Mixed Bag
Streaming quality improved in Asia specific to video start failures and picture quality. Connected TV devices saw the largest drop in video start failures with 78 per cent improvement, followed by smart TVs with 53 per cent. Tablets and smart TVs saw the biggest gains in picture quality with bitrate up 27 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively. Video start time and buffering was more challenging, with video start times coming in 7 per cent worse year over year throughout Asia and desktops (94 per cent), mobile phones (16 per cent) and tablets (24 per cent) showing an increase in buffering times.
Sports Leagues in Asia Rebound with Social Streaming
Sports leagues in Asia rallied with significant increases in engagements in Q1 2021 with the Indian Premier League (IPL) up 142 per cent, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) up 60 per cent and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) up 29 per cent. The IPL had the largest presence on Facebook with 51 per cent of their audience on the platform, followed by Instagram at 22 per cent and Twitter at 20 per cent. NPB fostered the majority of their audience on Twitter with 55 per cent share, followed by YouTube and Instagram at 15 per cent each and Facebook at 14 per cent.