Netflix divided analysts with its most recent earnings report. Its prospects in Asia-Pacific look stronger in the second half of the year, according to research firm Media Partners Asia. But threats to its model abound.
In its latest note on the streamer, MPA noted that after a buoyant 2020 a growth deceleration was inevitable. Still, Asia-Pacific subscriptions accounted for two thirds of Netflix global net additions in the April-June quarter and 2.4 million in the first half of 2021.
The researcher estimates that Netflix will end 2021 with 32.4 million subscriptions in APAC, implying 4.5 million net new subscriptions in the second half of 2021. The fourth quarter will be boosted by higher volume of new US & Korean content.
“A material miss on these numbers would be disappointing, raising questions and concerns over: competition from Disney and other global, regional and local players; maturity in Australia and potential mid-life blues in Japan & Korea; underperformance and talent issues in India; and content regulations in India and key Asian markets such as Indonesia, which could challenge Netflix’s ambition to be a broad based scale player with leadership in large, local markets,” said Media Partners Asia.
The researcher points to Disney Plus growing the size of the overall SVOD market in the region, and halving Netflix’s share of SVOD subs in Asia-Pacific excluding-China to just 16%. But Netflix’s share of total SVOD revenue in the region will remain stable at 35% versus 34% in 2020.
Multiple dangers remain. These include competition from Disney in the high revenue North Asian markets such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan; the success of local players in Korea; incumbent player resistance in Japan and India; and a new wave of competition in Southeast Asia from global, local and regional
“A broader concern remains around how anchored Netflix can be to its own content principles in the wake of growing content regulations in India and Indonesia,” was also highlighted by Media Partners Asia, which also noted that Netflix password sharing and online piracy is growing rampantly in Indonesia, India and The Philippines.