Is Asia the New Eldorado for the Digital Video Market?


Eurodata TV Worldwide’s Multiscreen Report 2016 provides a comprehensive overview of current trends in multiscreen consumption, content and strategies over 12 territories.

Here is a sneak peak of the 2016 first edition which provides focuses on the Asian video market.

Cécile Bertrand

Media Consultant
Eurodata TV Worldwide

Video content does not have the same meaning as it did before the development of the Internet. Consumer habits are undergoing a radical transformation due to the digital revolution and the improvement of connection speed. Viewers are more in control and a significant part of TV consumption is now spent on screens other than the TV set.

Asia is a relevant case in multiscreen consumption as some of its countries achieve a really high equipment penetration as much as advanced mobile TV habits. This lead of the continent can be explained by the context: “traditional” TV is not watched as much as in Europe or America and several Asian countries are known for their advanced technologies, and moreover, new digital video operators have taken advantage of this emerging market.

Asia: smartphone craze

The Asian video market is a promising one: the leisure sphere presents different opportunities for new activities and operators. Indeed, the TV market is not as large as in other continents and Asian viewers tend to spend less time in front of the TV screen than others. On average, Asian viewers spent 2 hours 32 minutes per day watching TV in 2015, whereas the worldwide average is 3 hours 14 minutes.2  Conversely, the market is highly connected and smartphones are taking over compared to other devices. Indeed, some of the top markets worldwide in terms of smartphone penetration are located in Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong which show particularly high smartphone usage. Internet users are largely equipped with smartphones and, furthermore, video viewing, especially on this device, is now a common practice in many Far East countries. And, if multi-screen viewing is not equally spread in all countries, and some disparities exist in the markets’ maturity, globally Asians are heavy consumers of video content on mobile devices.

Video consumption while mobile, on individual screens such as smartphones, is particularly observed during “in between” moments, when individuals are waiting alone: on public transportation or when they are waiting to meet someone.

VOD and SVOD platforms aiming to winover Asia

As screen habits evolve, the video-on-demand market shows promising growing signs. The majority of digital consumers in South-East Asia report watching TV content and movies via online sources such as VOD, with the highest figures being observed in Thailand and the Philippines. In this context, new VOD actors are being set up and others, that are already well-established, strengthen their presence and offers.
Since January 2016, Netflix has been available in 190 markets including nearly all Asian countries except China – where government restrictions may continue to prevent its entrance for now – and North Korea.

Singapore-based HOOQ, a premium streaming video- on-demand service available in the Philippines, Thailand and India, was launched in Indonesia in April 2016.

Iflix, established in Malaysia and the Philippines since May 2015, has since been made available in Thailand. China is already a strong and mature market and leads the over-the-top (OTT) industry in Asia today. Indeed, according to Media Partners Asia, the Chinese represent 85% of the Asia-Pacific region’s OTT viewers. The Chinese VOD market is shared between a few leading players: Youku Tudou, owned by Alibaba, and iQIYI, owned by Baidu, Tencent, LeTV and Sohu.

India and Japan: markets on the rise

India seems to be a land of opportunity. More than 1 million customers now subscribe to a VOD service provided
by OTT platforms in India, with this figure being predicted to grow in the next few years, according to Frost & Sullivan.
Smartphone penetration and Internet speed have also progressed, favouring online video viewing progression.
Following the recent arrival of Netflix, the OTT market should continue to grow. While some broadcasters have their own platforms, like Ditto TV, owned by Zee Entertainment group, SonyLiv, a Sony Pictures Network service and Hotstar launched by Star India, other OTT players like Hungama, Box TV or Yupp TV also populate the market.

On the other hand, after a slower start, Japan’s online video market also presents signs of increase. Currently, international operators set up in Japan propose competitive offers to conquer the market. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video are now competing in the country and want to present the most attractive catalogue and price.

Since September 2015, Netflix has proposed its three wellknown types of flat fee: 650 Yen, 950 Yen and 1,450 Yen, services that mainly include foreign drama. In February 2016, Hulu and HBO finalized an exclusive deal to expand Hulu’s catalogue. The VOD platform can now present more than 800 episodes from HBO’s programming portfolio, including Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, True Detective and Boardwalk Empire.

If multiscreen habits are currently lower in some Asian territories, strong devices and increasing Internet penetration, as well as the arrival of new actors will make a rapid, global evolution possible for the content industry, which already seems to have an audience in the continent.

1Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States.
2Eurodata TV Worldwide – One Television Year in the World – 2015
Source: Eurodata TV Worldwide – Multiscreen Report 2016, Edition 1

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