SVoD Growth Slows Sharply in Southeast Asia, Says Study

After reaching a fresh peak of 4.6 million net new customer additions in the final quarter of 2022, boosted by the FIFA World Cup soccer competition, premium subscription video growth in Southeast Asia slowed sharply in the first three months of 2023.

Research from consultancy and advisory firm Media Partners Asia and its consumer use unit AMPD, showed only 300,000 net new subscriptions between January and March in the five principal markets of Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. The study focused on premium VOD streaming and SVoD, while excluding YouTube, TikTok and other social video platforms.

Total Southeast Asia SVOD subscriptions reached 49 million in Q1, compared with 48.7 million at the end of 2022. Indonesia accounted for 43% of the regional total, by number, followed by Thailand with 30%. Thailand and the Philippines grew the most, while Indonesia lost subscribers after the World Cup.

Four players Viu, Netflix, Disney and Prime Video accounted for more than 80% of net new additions across the region. In terms of total subscription numbers, the leading platforms in the first quarter were Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar with 9.4 million, Viu with 8.5 million, Netflix with 8.0 million and Prime Video at 1.3 million. Indonesia’s Vidio suffered net subscriber losses, but growth picked up in April, driven by local dramas and sports, Media Partners Asia reported.

Netflix and Viu’s Korean slates got off to strong starts in 2023. Netflix’s thriller series “The Glory” topped reach in Q1 2023, driven by a two-part release schedule, followed by Viu’s exclusive new season of “Taxi Driver.” Netflix and Viu’s K-dramas made up 6 of Southeast Asia’s top 10 reaching titles in the first quarter. The K-drama category captured 34% of SEA’s aggregate premium VOD viewership in the latest quarter, up eight percentage points from the last quarter of 2022.

U.S. content accounted for just 20% of SEA premium VOD viewership, with strength in Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia. Netflix’s originals such as new seasons from “Ginny & Georgia” and “You” drove viewership.

Premium sports, particularly the Premier League and German soccer (Indonesia), and Japanese series content (“Alice in Borderland,” “Record of Ragnarok”) also had significant reach.

Local content had the widest reach in premium VOD, with 46% of unique users streaming local content in the first three months of 2023. Indonesian and Thai content led reach, with Viu/GMM25’s “My School President,” Vidio original “Open BO” and WeTV original “Imperfect: The Series” among the top reaching local shows. Top SVOD titles included “Stealing Raden Saleh” (Netflix), “An Inconvenient Love” (Netflix), and Disney+ Hostar’s “Mendua.” 

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