Advanced Television

Study: Culturally-relevant content key for Asian viewers

June 1, 2023

Six in 10 (61 per cent) of Asian TV content viewers watch Asian-language content at least occasionally, and two in three (65 per cent) Asian-language dominant/bilingual consumers say that Asian-language content is important to them, according to the FOCUS Asian Volume 1: Subscriptions report by Horowitz Research. Similarly, six in 10 Asian viewers watch international content. As Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month comes to a close, these data underscore an opportunity for media companies to continue to invest in Asian-themed content that is resonant to and inclusive of all Asian cultures.

According to Horowitz, Asian Americans have always been on the leading edge of streaming adoption. Tracking data from Horowitz’s FOCUS Asian Volume 2: Viewing Behaviors study reveals that 61 per cent of Asian TV content viewers were streamers in 2013, compared to 45 per cent of total market and 30 per cent of White, non-Hispanic consumers. Today, eight in 10 (81 per cent) Asian viewers are streamers, and streaming makes up almost six out of every 10 hours of viewing time among Asian viewers.

Subscriptions to SVoD services have remained steady among Asian TV content viewers. Nearly seven in 10 (69 per cent) Asian viewers subscribe to at least one SVoD, in line with consumers overall, while an additional 14 per cent have access via password sharing or bundling of services. When it comes to deciding whether to subscribe to streaming services, access to original and international content is key among Asian viewers. While Asian audiences subscribe to the top SVoDs, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, Asian-targeted and Asian-language SVoDs such as Rakuten VIKI, OnDemandKorea, and ZEE5 are also important.

Usage of free streaming services has tripled among Asian audiences within the past five years. In 2019, only one in four (23 per cent) Asian TV content viewers said that they use free streaming services; this year, nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) report using them.

Free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services – such as YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, and Samsung TV Plus – are key drivers of free streaming usage. In fact, nearly half (45 per cent) of Asian viewers report using FAST. This underscores an opportunity to super-serve the Asian audience with culturally relevant content on these free, ad-supported platforms.

“Clearly, there’s been an explosion in interest in Asian content – driven not only by Asian audiences but audiences in general,” notes Adriana Waterston, Insights & Strategy Lead and Executive Vice President for the Horowitz Research division of M/A/R/C Research. “As media companies continue to lean into the Asian content opportunity, we anticipate that this will lead to even more varied and diverse stories that represent the entirety of Asian experiences, cultures, and communities globally and in the US.”

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