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Video streaming subscriptions reach record in Southeast Asia, report




Video streaming subscriptions reach record in Southeast Asia, report

Southeast Asia’s video-on-demand streaming sector delivered record subscription numbers and subscription revenue in the first quarter of the year, a new study shows. These trends represent recovery after a difficult 2023.

Data from consultancy Media Partners Asia and its AMPD research affiliate shows that VOD usage is barely 96.3 minutes in the five Southeast Asian countries surveyed (Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia).

Total paying subscriptions reached 48.5 million, representing a net addition of 652,000 quarter-over-quarter and 1.6 million year-over-year. Such growth was accompanied by a 9% year-over-year and 5% quarter-over-quarter increase in total subscription revenue to $381 million, marking a milestone as the highest quarterly revenue in the region, the companies said. Indonesia and the Philippines led the way in subscription growth, while Thailand and Indonesia showed strong growth in monetization.

“After a challenging period in 2023, the Southeast Asian premium VOD sector has shown resilience and notable improvements since the fourth quarter of 2023, a trend that has continued into the first quarter of 2024,” said MPA MD Vivek Couto. “We have seen better monthly churn rates, along with robust growth in subscribers and subscription revenue. Investments in local content and marketing have been strategic and for the most part sustainable, as leading platforms continue to invest in local entertainment and sports.”

Key trends include the continued popularity of Korean and American content, which is a key driver of customer engagement across the region. Local content remains a cornerstone, especially in Indonesia and Thailand, where successful platforms have tailored their offerings to resonate with local audiences, the report said.

Netflix maintained its position as the top earner in the category, with 49% premium VOD subscription revenue in the first quarter in Southeast Asia and 10 million subscribers. Viu ranked second with 9.1 million paying customers. Viu experienced double-digit subscription growth, driven by market expansion and successful local hits.

Disney grew revenue year-over-year, despite the number of customers resulting from its strategy to increase prices in the direct and wholesale segments. Disney+ maintained its premium VOD subscription revenue share in Southeast Asia at 11%.

In Indonesia, Vidio maintained its leading position in subscribers with 4.1 million customers, driven by premium sports content and local dramas. TrueID in Thailand saw growth driven by local originals, Premier League football and Japanese anime content.

Across the region, Korean dramas continued to dominate as the top content category, accounting for nearly 30% of total premium VOD viewership in the first quarter of 2024, closely followed by US content. Chinese content has also made significant progress, especially on freemium platforms such as WeTV, Viu and iQiyi, and across multiple markets.

Demand for local Southeast Asian content remains robust, especially on freemium platforms, indicating strong affinity among viewers. “Impacting originals such as Indonesian dramas on Vidio and Thai content on Viu resonated strongly with audiences, underscoring the importance of local stories,” the report said.