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

  • hdhomerun roku app

    HDHomerun App Brings Live TV to Roku Devices

    Roku users are getting another way to watch live television with the help of their favorite streaming devices: Silicondust, maker of the HDHomerun TV tuners, has released a beta version of its HDHomerun app for Roku TVs and streaming devices. “We need to start out by saying this is very much a beta product,” the [...]

  • Vox Media

    Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

    Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support. The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to [...]

  • Joslyn Davis, Lily-Marston - Shared Media

    Clevver’s Joslyn Davis, Lily Marston Launch Their Own YouTube Media Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Here’s the latest chapter in the saga of Clevver, the entertainment/lifestyle YouTube network marooned by the shuttering of former parent Defy Media and subsequently snapped up by Hearst Magazines. Two of the principal creatives behind Clevver — Joslyn Davis and Lily Marston — together with Clevver Media co-founder Jorge Maldonado have launched Shared Media, their [...]

  • Money-Diaries-Refinery29

    Refinery29 to Produce Interactive Series Funded by Eko (EXCLUSIVE)

    Refinery29 has been bitten by the “Bandersnatch” bug. The millennial-female-focused digital media and entertainment company inked a pact with Eko, an interactive-video platform developer whose backers include Walmart, to produce several “choose-your-own-adventure”-style series based on Refinery29 content properties. The companies have started development on their first project: an interactive scripted adaptation of Refinery29’s popular “Money [...]

  • Dan Howell

    YouTube Star Dan Howell Comes Out as Gay: 'It Gets So Much Better'

    It’s Pride Month, and popular YouTube vlogger Dan Howell had a message for fans that he’d been working on for a year: “Basically, I’m Gay,” he shared in a video Thursday. In the 45-minute video, Howell discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his thoughts on labels that people use to define themselves [...]

  • Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment

    Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment as Industry Deepens

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is expanding its involvement in the Korean film and TV industries by greenlighting several new shows and renewing others. “When we started three years ago, we had a high degree of confidence that Korean drama would work well in Asia, but we had no internal metrics of our own,” Korean content [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Instagram Outage: Facebook’s Photo Sharing Service Went Down For Multiple Hours

    Instagram faced another major outage Thursday afternoon, with users from around the world reporting that they weren’t able to access Facebook’s photo sharing service via its app and website. An Instagram spokesperson told Variety around 5pm PT that the issue had been resolved: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content