Report: Netflix Helped Spike Korean Content Consumption in Southeast Asia in 2021

Netflix’s global hit series “Squid Game” helped drive consumption of Korean content to record levels across Southeast Asia in 2021, according to new data from Media Partners Asia. “Squid Game” generated more than 1.6 billion minutes streamed globally in its first 28 days of release on Netflix last September — a tally that continues to dwarf the nearest content combined.

MPA suggested that the series and other localized content helped add 16.2 million SVOD subscriptions in Southeast Asia. The region ended the year with 36.6 million SVOD subs, led by Disney+, Viu and Netflix with 7.2 million, 6.5 million and 6.4 million subs, respectively.

Netflix and Disney+ together represented about 22% of Southeast Asia movies and TV content consumption, with Disney+ relying on its branded franchises and children’s content. That percentage increased to nearly 40% in English-speaking regions Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

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In Thailand and Indonesia, local content, anime and Netflix, Disney+ and Viu content drove viewership.

Two months after “Squid Game,” Netflix launched “Hellbound,” which had a premiere that clocked 43.48 million viewing hours. “Hellbound” was among the top 10 Netflix shows in 93 countries, and ranked No. 1 in 34 countries, according to the streamer. Sci-fi mystery “The Silent Sea” also made it to the No. 1 spot on the weekly non-English top 10 lists for its premiere.

Jason Monteiro Named GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia

Jason Monteiro is the new GM of HBO Max Southeast Asia. Monteiro’s hiring comes a week after Amit Malhotra exited the managing director position just seven months after taking on the job.

Monteiro will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer business, brand, marketing, subscriber management, digital partnerships and data analytics. Based in Singapore, Monteiro will oversee the existing HBO Go streaming service, which will soon convert to HBO Max.

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Jason Monteiro

Monteiro most recently served as GM of the AVOD tier of Arabic content streaming service Shahid. Prior to Shahid, he was GM of iflix in Indonesia and Malaysia, in addition to handling the platform’s marketing duties.

“Jason arrives at Max with a proven track record of building and growing subscription services across Asia and other important global markets,” Johannes Larcher, head of Max International, said in a statement.

Monteiro reports to Larcher until a new managing director for Max’s India, Southeast Asia and Korea territories is found.

“[Monteiro] is a passionate leader known for building and inspiring high-performing teams, and I’m eager to see his leadership in action as he steps into his new role,” Larcher said.

Amazon Prime Video Eyeing Southeast Asia Launch

Amazon Prime Video is looking to expand its subscription streaming service to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines as it widens its Southeast Asia footprint. Surprisingly, the SVOD service only operates in three Asian countries: Japan, Australia and India — three markets the company also operates its legacy e-commerce business.

Speaking at the Asia TV Forum & Market confab, Erika North, head of originals for Asia-Pacific at Amazon Studios, said the streamer is in the early stages laying the groundwork for service launch in the region. The company is currently looking for local management, in addition to courting localized content producers.

Erika North

“We are truly open for business, and our goal in Southeast Asia, as much as it is in every other part of the world, is to partner with the top local talents across the region to find stories and opportunities to tell their stories and amplify them across over 200 million Prime members across 240 countries and territories,” North said.

The executive, who joined Amazon in 2020 after more than three years at Netflix, said the standalone Prime Video service would be based in Singapore, and target subscribers with localized content.

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Amazon current local originals include Indian dramas Paatal LokFamily Man, Four More Shots Please! and The Last Hour, in addition to The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, with Sigourney Weaver.

Amazon has also produced a Japanese reality dating series called “Documental,” as well as original feature film Homestay.

“Great content can take time and we’re really at day one in this process,” North said. “We’re looking to partner with creatives to take that time. At the end of the day, Amazon Studios aims to be the true home of talent and creators in that we want to be asking them some of the most pertinent questions about what they haven’t had the opportunity to make, and what can Amazon do to provide the resources, infrastructure and distribution to amplify those stories.”

Data: Southeast Asian Online Video Revenue to Reach $4.5 Billion by 2025

Over-the-top video distribution in Southeast Asia continues to proliferate. Total online video market revenue in the region projected to rise to $4.5 billion by the end of 2025, according to new data from London-based research firm Omdia. By 2025, it is forecast that 62% revenue will come from ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming television, or FAST.

Last year, total online video revenue in key Southeast Asia markets, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, reached $1.8 billion.

In 2020, the ad-supported segment led the online video with 71% of total revenue. Omdia projects that the subscription-based online video will increase market share from 28% to 37% of total online video revenue through 2025. Transactional VOD makes up less than 1% of total market share.

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With Facebook and YouTube’s popularity in this region is unilateral, this duopoly will remain the biggest contributors to ad-supported video revenue. Omdia estimates 75% of video ad revenue comes from mobile devices and 20% from PCs. Though only 5% is from connected TVs, Omdia expects the CTV segment to grow during the forecast period, albeit at a slower pace than in the U.S. and Western European markets.

“This [revenue growth ] trend is bolstered by more direct-to-consumer OTT video service launches in this region, broadcasters’ ongoing efforts to strengthen their position in the premium video ad marketplace and growth of local and regional players as a result of more enhanced partnerships between content and service providers,” Kia Ling Teoh, senior research analyst at Omdia, said in a statement.

Fellow researcher Jun Wen Woo contends the subscription VOD market will continue to grow with pay-TV and telecom operators adopting more of an hybrid streaming/broadcast business model. He said as increased competition introduces flexible, modular tariff structures that allow users to personalize and customize their online video entertainment selections, revenue will grow.

“Given the low credit card penetration in the region, offering more local payment options—mobile wallet, scratch card, and local bank transfer—will remain important to increase conversion to paid users,” Wen Woo said.