Short-form video platform TikTok enjoyed a huge increase in viewership in the first six months of the year in Southeast Asia, contributing to a sudden halt to the overall growth of premium (SVOD) video, according to a new report.
Data from AMPD and analysis from consultancy firm Media Partners Asia show that TikTok is increasingly a major driver of viewership growth on mobile and web platforms in the region, responsible for over 70% of growth in streaming minutes over the past two years.
In the January-June period, TikTok captured 42% of video streaming minutes, a massive 20-percentage point increase over the first half of 2021 and a seven percentage point increase from the first half of last year. While overall engagement is growing, TikTok’s rise has cut into the dominance of YouTube (-4%) and time spent watching premium VOD (-2%) year-on-year, according to the firms’ Southeast Asia Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics report.
The overall SVOD market flattened dramatically, with the measured region (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) adding only a net 7,000 new subscribers. That represents a marked slowdown from more than 7.0 million net new additions in the second half of 2022 and 3.7 million net adds in the first half of 2022. Southeast Asia had 47.6 million SVOD subscriptions at the end of 1H 2023.
The overall figures masked significantly different performance between countries and platforms.
There was net subscriber growth in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, but contraction in Indonesia, the region’s most populous country. There, total subscriptions fell by 1.2 million, which the report attributes to a combination of factors, including: subscriber churn in Indonesia following the end of the FIFA World Cup football tournament in December 2022 and the end of the 2022-23 Premier League season in May 2023; the impact of significantly reduced local marketing and content investment outside of Netflix, Prime and Viu, which all contributed to regional growth in 1H 2023 and the result of price increases implemented by key platforms.
While other platforms retreated in the period, Viu, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix added an aggregate 1.2 million customers, accounting for 63% of new subscriptions among growing platforms. All three tap into the popularity of Korean dramas, the single largest content category in SEA premium VOD. Some 53% of premium VOD users streamed some Korean content, capturing 40% of premium VOD viewership in SEA in 1H 2023. Strong exclusive slates from Netflix and Viu drove demand, with “The Glory” (Netflix) and “Taxi Driver S2” (Viu) leading.
All leading premium VOD services are also investing in Southeast Asian content, with 50% of SEA’s premium VOD audiences viewing local content in 1H 2023.
Thai content has the strongest regional impact, with Netflix’s thriller movie “Hunger” topping regional travelability in the first half of 2023.
“The region’s leading premium VOD platforms are in the midst of a shift towards quality customer growth, retention and monetization. Netflix has reduced prices and introduced member sharing measures, while Disney has raised prices in Indonesia and Thailand in an effort to build low churn, high ARPU (average revenue per user) customer bases,” said MPA executive director Vivek Couto. “We expect Vidio in Indonesia to pick up subscribers with the return of Liga 1 and the Premier League in 2H, along with impactful local slates from Netflix and Amazon, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia, attracting new subscribers, while Viu will continue to benefit from its Korean output.”
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