×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Asian Content Success Built on Multiple OTT Business Models

The importance of knowing what’s trending on video in Asia was underlined Tuesday when YouTube’s international marketing director Sean Park told FilMart delegates that Asia now accounts for five of its top 10 territories in the world – even without China, where the Google-owned platform is not allowed to operate.

A day earlier, executives from Asian-based streaming firms pointed to the success – and diversity – of local content as driving their different business models.

“Local content – acquired and produced – performed six times better than Western content for us in 2018. That’s why we’ve done an about-turn [and increased original content spending],” said Craig Galvin, chief content officer at multinational streaming company iflix.

“We are making series where we put out first the three episodes for free on YouTube, and then monitor our conversion rate of people coming to our site for the rest of the show,” said Dennis Yang, an advisor to Taiwan-based video streaming firm KKTV, a sister company to music streamer KKBOX. “We intend to produce 20 to 30 per year like that and make some feature films from certain ones.”

Asian streaming companies are operating with hybrid business models that span free-to-use advertising-supported and paid subscription versions.

“SVOD and [advertising video on demand (AVOD)] work side by side, with a four-day difference,” said Thawatvongse Silamanonda, Thailand country manager, for Viu, the Hong Kong-based regional player, explaining that subscribers get content before that content is released for “free” users. “We are also competing against piracy. That’s a strong reason to launch AVOD,” said Galvin.

Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm, which straddles the U.S. and China, said that there had been two major trends in North America. driven by Asian content in the past 20 years. “First was Japanese anime, which is now no longer about geeks and has crossed over to the mainstream. The second has been Korean content,” Sondheim said, who predicts that Chinese content could be the next to cross over.

The company is currently readying Bambu, a streaming service for North America and built on Chinese content. Korean shows in the U.S. were initially popular with younger groups, before becoming more mainstream. “Our target therefore is to find younger TV shows appealing to the 20-25 year-old. We are looking for Chinese series and recent movies, and staying away from traditional costume dramas.”

Within Asia, Korean content is among the most widely viewed regional content, a position that used to belong to Hong Kong film and TV shows a decade ago. “Korean content has really opened up international,” said Jennifer Batty, chief content officer at Hooq. “But in the past two years, Thai content is increasingly being watched.”

The global streaming platforms are not dominant in most of Asia, but remain important, and can address a global audience. “Pororo” was an example of a traditional Korean animation series that used YouTube to reach beyond its conventional markets, said Park. Korean kids series “Baby Shark” is new generation show, built for the OTT era, Park noted. He said that “Baby Shark” had become the most watched educational video series ever, with 5 billion views last year and over 60 million subscribers to its YouTube channel.

More Digital

  • Co-Editor-In-Chief of Variety, Andrew Wallenstein and

    10 Things We Learned at Variety’s Silicon Valleywood Summit

    Variety’s first-ever Silicon Valley conference didn’t just bring together the worlds of technology and entertainment, it also provided plenty of insights into the strategies of market leaders, creators and senior executives in this space. Here are 10 key lessons from the event, which was held at the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park, Calif. [...]

  • Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix

    APOS: Korea's JTBC Signs up as Iflix Investor and Content Partner

    South Korea’s JTBC Content Hub has become a strategic investor in Iflix, the South East Asia-based video streaming platform. Formed only in 2011, JTBC has rapidly become one of Korea’s most influential broadcasters, with a mix of news, creative dramas and entertainment shows. Its hit dramas include “SKY Castle,” “Misty,” and “Something in the Rain.” [...]

  • Twitter Jack Dorsey

    Trump Meets With Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey After Complaining of Bias

    WASHINGTON — Less than 12 hours after complaining that Twitter doesn’t “treat me well as a Republican,” President Trump met with the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, and indicated that they would be “keeping an open dialogue.” “Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel

    Snapchat Gains 4 Million Users in Q1 as Snap Beats Earnings Estimates

    Snap topped Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines in the first quarter of 2019 — and the still-unprofitable company managed to show an uptick in Snapchat users for the first time in a year. Revenue for the quarter was $320 million, up 39% year over year, while it narrowed its net loss [...]

  • Jim Lanzone

    CBS Interactive Chief Jim Lanzone: 'We Have a Tiger by the Tail' With Streaming Growth

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — CBS All Access can’t serve up addressable advertising inventory fast enough for marketers hungry to reach consumers watching premium video online. That was the upbeat outlook shared by CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone during his keynote address on Tuesday at Variety’s Silicon Valleywood presented by PwC. “There’s not a form of advertising [...]

  • Fidji SimoFacebook Watch Executive panel, TCA

    Facebook Exec Fidji Simo: Restricting Facebook Live Could Hurt Minorities

    Facebook vice president Fidji Simo told the audience of Variety’s Silicon Valleywood presented by PwC on Tuesday that the company was carefully evaluating how to increase the safety of its live streaming feature in the wake of the New Zealand massacre. “We know that we need to do more to protect people on live,” she said, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content