Amazon Prime Video, Not Netflix, Tops Japan Video Streaming Market

Amazon Prime Video leads the subscription VOD market in Japan with 26% of video streaming minutes and more than 15 million monthly active users, according to new data from Media Partners Asia. That bests perennial market leader Netflix, which has 10% of video streaming minutes and 6 million subscribers. Hulu Japan, which is owned by Nippon TV, has three million subs.

Amazon first entered the Japanese market in 2000 selling books online. The e-commerce segment has helped drive Prime Video awareness since its arrival in 2016 — a year after Netflix entered the market.

Interestingly, about 25% of Netflix consumer consumption is driven by Korean dramas, while U.S. content drives 15%. Netflix’s original programming drive 10% of platform viewership.

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The MPA data, which covers the time period from January to August, found that 44 million Japanese subscribed to a SVOD service during that time.

Notably, Netflix trailed two other Japanese streaming services. TVer is a TV consortium that streams local dramas, variety, news and sports. TVer captured 16% of the video streaming market, while ad-supported VOD platform AbemaTV had 11% market share. The platform, co-owned by CyberAgent and TV Asahi, is driven by sports, including Major League Baseball, original dramas, local content and live events.

“The premium video segment in Japan is increasingly competitive,” Vivek Couto, executive director at MPA, said in a statement. “Local content is critical, as illustrated by broadcast TV-consortium owned TVer’s growth over 2020-21, while Prime Video and Netflix’s licensed anime libraries have contributed over 40% of consumption on the platforms during 2021. More competition and category expansion is imminent as Disney+ expands with Star and local content in October.”

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