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Korean and U.S. content dominate streaming consumption in Southeast Asia

Consumption of South Korean content now outstrips time watching U.S.-made content on streaming platforms in three key market in South East Asia. Across that region it now accounts for more than a third of viewing time, according to a newly published report.

The Southeast Asia Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics: A Definitive Study reports was published by consultancy firm Media partners Asia, drawing on passively collected household consumption patterns gathered by insights platform, AMPD Research. It measured activity in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and The Philippines in 2020.

Across the four countries, Korean content accounted for 34% of streaming viewing time, ahead of U.S. content at 30%. Local content weighed in at 13% and Japanese (mostly anime) 9%. Korean content is most watched in Singapore and Indonesia, and North American content strongest in The Philippines.

Local content pulls significant weight in Indonesia (18%) and Thailand (38%), championed by Vidio and Line TV respectively. “Free-to-air sinetrons, linear channels and originals shine on Vidio, while Line TV’s romantic dramas and original series are popular. In Thailand, Viu’s locally acquired Thai dramas have been key drivers of ad-supported VOD consumption. Tencent-owned WeTV has had early success with local originals in Indonesia and Thailand,” says the report.

It also identifies expansion by WeTV and iQIYI as lifting consumption of Chinese content. Chinese content demand is strongest in Thailand (10%) and Singapore (8%) with an average of 5% of streaming minutes across the four markets.

“A steady stream of original and acquired Korean dramas from Netflix and Viu in 2020 has significantly boosted Korean content consumption in Southeast Asia, pushing K-dramas further into the mainstream of online entertainment. US content maintains strength, largely driven by Netflix, while Disney Plus Hotstar’s growing scale in Indonesia has boosted US content consumption and we expect its successful launch in Singapore to drive similar results in the first quarter of 2021,” said Media Partners Asia analyst Dhivya T.

“We expect to see more platforms drive local content investment in 2021 and beyond while the battleground for Korean content will remain costly. Netflix and Viu have appeared to be able to monetize Korean content investments better than most because of multi-market scale with Netflix in particular benefiting from global SVOD leadership.” Sports

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