The overall number of paying SVOD subscribers in Southeast Asia reached 39.5 million at the end of March, as the region added a net 2.8 million new subscriptions in the first quarter of 2022, according to new research from consultancy Media Partners Asia and its AMPD usage measurement offshoot.
Indonesia accounted for 17.4 million, nearly half of the regional total, at the end of the quarter.
“Indonesia continues to be an arena for competition and scale for local, regional and global streamers, with growing pressure on incumbents to stand out in brand, content, marketing and bundling in order to impact time and wallet share. Vidio and Disney+ Hotstar were stand-outs in the first quarter, growing their share of premium video consumption to 28% and 15% respectively, up from 19% and 10% in the fourth quarter of 2021, to occupy the top two spots, ahead of WeTV, Netflix and Viu. Both platforms have benefited from new local original series and marketing, while Disney’s K-dramas and Vidio’s sports offering also had impact during the quarter,” said MPA analyst Dhivya T.
“We expect premium video competition to intensify further later this year as entrants like Amazon Prime Video land and incumbents continue to invest in local content, partnerships, marketing and branding to win customers.”
Netflix, Viu and WeTV’s consumption in Indonesia contracted in Q1, but MPA expects them to recover share in the second quarter, following Netflix’s integration with Telkomsel and IndiHome, the return of Viu’s K-dramas and local originals slate and WeTV’s renewed local content pipeline.
Disney+ was launched in Indonesia in September 2020 with branding borrowed from Disney’s India operations, a partnership with Telkomsel and a lower price point than Disney+ in more developed markets.
Netflix leads premium video consumption share in the rest of SEA, with content breadth across premium U.S. series and movies, Korean dramas, Japanese anime and international originals serving SEA audiences. Along with WeTV and Vidio’s Indonesian originals, Viu had notable local content success in Q1, led by acquired (GMM 25) Thai remake of the “Boys Over Flowers” franchise. “F4 Thailand” was among Viu’s top streamed titles in Q1 with significant travelability outside of Thailand. Viu’s original Thai thriller “Remember 15” also performed well while ABS-CBN’s “Broken Marriage Vow” was a hit in the Philippines.
Asia has been a bright spot for streamers at a time when growth in other parts of the world has been hard to come by. But this may slow.
“Subscriber growth is likely to moderate as sluggish macroeconomic conditions set in across SEA. Inflationary pressures could impact consumer wallets with affordability, new content cadence and hits, and ease of access though telco and direct retail bundles likely to be the key to driving customer acquisition and limiting churn,” said MPA executive director Vivek Couto.
“Local series, particularly in Indonesia and Thailand, have proven use-cases in customer acquisition and retention. Along with local, U.S. and Korean content and live sports are expected to continue to drive premium customer demand. The expansion of Amazon Prime Video in 2H 2022 is also set to intensify competition, along with Disney+ Hotstar’s launch in the Philippines,” said Couto.