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Premium streaming looks for breakout series to capture SE Asia share

Concentrating at the lucrative premium sector, the Southeast Asia Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics: A Definitive Study report showed that over the course of the first quarter, Southeast Asia added 4.9 million new SVOD customers to reach a cumulative subscriber base of 24.2 million.

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Netflix led video consumption with a 40% share, driven by the broad appeal of its international catalogue. Netflix remains the SVOD leader in SEA, with significant penetration in the Philippines and Thailand. Growth is largely organic and driven by the popularity of Korean and US content.

Tencent-owned WeTV captured 13% of premium video streaming minutes, with strong growth in Indonesia, where its local originals have proven breakout hits. iQIYI had 10% share, leveraging premium Chinese content and FTA dramas in Thailand and Malaysia. Indonesia’s Vidio experienced a massive spike in streaming minutes in Q1 2021, driven by original dramas, sports, led by local and international football, and free-to-air content.

Disney+/Disney+ Hotstar added around 2 million subscribers in Q1 2021, driven by growth in Indonesia and a successful launch in Singapore in late-February. Disney was found to have now overtaken Viu to occupy second place in South East Asia after Netflix with a cumulative 4.6 million subs. While MPA found consumption of the service had slowed significantly in Indonesia, it expected both consumption and uptake to grow steadily in Singapore with the expansion of Disney+’s Star content and release of new Marvel original series. Southeast Asia is also expected to benefit from Q2 launches in Malaysia and Thailand.

The study showed Viu had grown considerably in Q1 2021, largely due to traction in the Philippines where Viu’s partnership with operator Smart boosted subscriber growth through a strong local marketing campaign. Taking advantage of premium and library Korean content, Viu, pulled in 11-14% of premium streaming minutes across SE Asia, outperforming in Indonesia with 20% share. The strength of Viu’s first-window Korean drama slate and telco integrations – as regards data packages, sachet pricing, direct carrier billing – across Southeast Asia also helped to sustain subscriber uptake.

Assessing the key trends revealed in the report, MPA Analyst Dhivya T said that with streaming minutes growing each quarter, the battle for consumer time was not zero-sum, but competitive for smaller streaming platforms.

“In Thailand, for example, Line TV consumption has softened significantly as new Thai titles are no longer limited to Line TV but also available on WeTV, Viu and so on,” she said. “New breakout titles are critical to capture and sustain consumption share – this is evident with WeTV and Vidio originals in Indonesia, Disney+ in Singapore, Viu and Netflix’s new Korean titles across the region and iQIYI in Malaysia and Thailand.” Rapid TV News

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