Netflix’s scale and influence are growing in Asia, even at a time when the global streaming giant is slowing down in other parts of the world.
A new report published by research and analysis firm Media Partners Asia shows net subscriber growth in the third quarter, as expected, slowing to 1 million, following work-from-home highs in the first six months of the year. But the researcher forecasts a rebound in the fourth quarter, reflecting the positive impact of a partnership in India with broadband and mobile giant Reliance Jio.
For the fourth quarter Media Partners Asia forecasts 2.4 million net additional subscribers, giving a subscriber total of 25.6 million. It forecasts fourth quarter revenue to hit $670 million, up from $634 million in the third quarter.
MPA estimates Netflix will end the year to Dec. 2020 with $2.4 billion of revenue from the Asia Pacific region, representing 10% of the company’s total revenue.
The researcher estimates that Japan and Korea together contributed 57% to Netflix APAC subscriber net additions in the third quarter and that they will account for 37% of APAC’s full year additions, of 9.4 million.
After a slow start in 2015, Netflix has accelerated growth in Japan through differentiated local TV series and movies, focusing on stories not accessible on mainstream free TV, together with global investment in anime and a deep library. Netflix also has significant telco and connected-device distribution partnerships in Japan.
The company’s growth in Korea has been “exceptional,” driven by successful local acquisitions and investment in original content along with two important distribution partnerships with local telcos.
Further evidence of that content investment was evident Monday, when Netflix unveiled a single episode side story to its hit series “Kingdom.”
“Kingdom: Ashin of the North,” will explore the back story of Ashin, played by Korean superstar Gianna Jun, who appeared at the end of Season 2. Park Byung-eun, who appeared as the head of the Royal Commandery is also confirmed to star, as the two characters’ stories are intertwined. The episode will be directed by Season 1 director Kim Seong-hun from a script by Kim Eun-hee. Baram Pictures, BA Entertainment and Studio Dragon will co-produce.
In September, Netflix India partnered with Jio, India’s largest 4G-only operator to offer a free mobile-only subscription to post-paid subscribers, at plans starting $5.3 per month and above. The subscribers are offered an option to upgrade to traditional plans. Netflix is also hard-bundled with Jio’s fixed broadband service.
MPA expects Netflix to close the year with a paying base of 4.6m subscribers in India, and a blended average revenue per user of $5 per month.
MPA estimates Netflix will generate $368m of revenue in Southeast Asia in the full 2020 year. In the first half of this year Netflix was unblocked by Telkomsel, Indonesia’s largest mobile operator, though a significant partnership has yet to materialize.
Netflix continues its market leadership across Australia and New Zealand, though growth is inevitably slowing from an already high base, and future momentum will largely be driven by ARPU growth. ANZ is expected to contribute $839m of revenue to Netflix coffers in 2020.