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Research: APAC streaming market shows resilience

December 4, 2023

Economic pressures and saturation in mature markets have pushed streaming growth to its lowest level since before the pandemic began in 2020, according to research from Ampere Analysis. However, the Asia Pacific region has been more resilient than many other markets. Here, diverse and fast-growing economies have supported widespread advances in connectivity and gains in disposable income, driving streaming growth.

At the end of 2023, over 40 per cent of the world’s streaming subscribers will be found in Asia according to the research from Ampere Analysis which will be delivered this week at the Asia TV Forum.Maximising the opportunity
Streaming services in Asia Pacific continue to extend their catalogues to bolster market positioning. To assess how the services aim to capture this growth, Ampere tracks content strategies across 30 local and regional platforms in the region. These platforms are diverse in size and focus. The major local players with catalogues comparable in scale to the global giants Netflix and Prime Video include UNext and Hulu in Japan, HamiVideo in Taiwan and South Korea’s WatchaPlay.

Competition for content is fierce
Ongoing catalogue expansion is supporting the streaming market’s rapid growth in the region. Local platforms in Japan, especially UNext and Hulu Japan, have been particularly active in growing their catalogues, adding roughly 17 per cent more titles compared to a year ago. Taiwanese platforms have also been enriching their offers, with MyVideo and KKTV both adding new content in the last year, mostly local and regional favourites. By September 2023, MyVideo offered 9,000 titles to viewers and KKTV 4,800. And while Indian platforms’ catalogues have grown less significantly, local platforms still dominate the market, with a few local services already having large catalogues and subscriber volumes, such as Disney+ Hotstar and Eros Now – although the recent loss of IPL distribution rights has hurt Disney+ Hotstar’s subscriber base.Perfecting content strategy is key to competing in this very crowded market
Although scale is good, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for success in this diverse marketplace. For instance:
Younger video viewers in Asia tend to over-index for less mainstream genres. For instance, 18–24-year-olds in the region are 25 per cent more likely to enjoy Anime and 19% more likely to enjoy Horror than average. But even within demographic groups there isn’t a universal trend – Anime is widely enjoyed in the Philippines and is highly favoured in Japan, but does not score as well in Australia and India.Attitudes towards local and imported content also vary. Consumers in China, India, Japan and South Korea prefer locally-produced TV shows and movies, while those in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand more frequently watch foreign-language content The correct subtitling and dubbing strategy is imperative for any streaming platform in the region to best cater to the demand for imported content. Indonesians have the strongest preference for subtitles, while Thai consumers prefer dubbed shows and movies.

Ampere Analysis Senior Analyst, Tingting Li, commented: “As the Asia Pacific region continues to represent a solid growth opportunity, and as locally-produced content grows in popularity outside the region, both local and international streamers are primed to invest further in creating and acquiring content in the region. To win audiences in this crowded market it is important to match content to the preferences and viewing patterns of each country. Platforms should complement widely-enjoyed, mainstream content to attract broad audiences, with up-and-coming niche genres to attract younger viewers. The right mix of subtitled and dubbed content will ensure audiences stay engaged and spur future growth.”

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