Capitalising on Satellite to Expand Video Reach

Capitalising on Satellite to Expand Video Reach

Video consumption across Asia-Pacific is expected to triple between 2017 and 2022, due to mobile device adoption and better access to high speed internet [1]. As broadband access expands, and 5G is introduced, how can direct-to-home (DTH) operators leverage the reach and reliability of satellites across the region? 

The Growing Appetite for Online Video in Asia-Pacific
Online video streaming has taken off in the Asia-Pacific region in a few short years, supported by considerable factors influencing its popularity. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began this year, online video streaming on mobile devices, in particular, has increased by 60%. This increase was observed by Media Partners Asia across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. [2] These developments are helping to drive online video streaming and also make way for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) models to flourish in the market. OTT platform subscriptions are expected to reach USD 19.9 billion by 2024 as subscription-based services gain traction. [3]

A key segment of the region’s population that is driving online video industry growth are young people who are more inclined toward digital forms of media and consuming it on mobile devices. Analysis of digital versus traditional media consumption in countries, including China, India, and Southeast Asian nations, indicates that younger consumers are driving the shift to online video. The 16 to 24-year-old age group, in particular, was found to be spending almost 7.75 hours per day online, 46% of that time was spent on mobile devices connected via fibre-based networks. This age group is also spending 80% more time watching TV online than consumers in the 55 to 64-year-old age group. [4] 

Mobile Subscriber Growth Constraints
Subscriptions to mobile services are expected to continue to grow, with Asia accounting for more than half of new subscribers globally by 2025 and 72% of the region’s population. About 90% of these new subscribers will reside in India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. However, growth is slowing compared to the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America. The reasons for this are different across the Asia-Pacific region. In areas such as China and North-East Asia, this is due to having some of the most penetrated markets in the world and minimal opportunity for further subscriber growth. Markets such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines that have very low penetration levels, are also dealing with socioeconomic issues such as rapid population growth, poverty, inequality, unplanned urbanisation, and natural disasters, which create barriers to mobile adoption. Other markets in Oceania, Southeast Asia, and South Asia have seen their growth stagnate due to the challenges of connecting communities that are still unconnected in poorer, rural communities. [5] These are situations that DTH operators can capitalise on by ensuring that their content is available anytime, and anywhere, for viewers.

Options for DTH Operators in Asia-Pacific
DTH operators need to adapt to changes in how consumers are viewing content. For several years, SES has observed DTH operators across the region take steps to reinvent themselves by creating hybrid service models where they become providers of pay-TV and OTT or consumer broadband. This flexibility has been extremely important to keep pace with changes in the market.

One recent change is a resurgence of big screens (i.e. smart TVs and consoles) in the region with consumers who increasingly have more disposable income. The smart TV market, in particular, is anticipated to reach USD 341.6 billion in value by 2026 with Asia-Pacific expected to be the leading contributor to the global market. [6] This can be a key opportunity for DTH operators, as a large portion of the population still depends on set-top boxes and televisions for entertainment. [7]

Also as DTH subscribers continue to increase in countries including Indonesia, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines, it is clear that there are opportunities for DTH operators to fill gaps in service from cable providers, IPTV, or fibre-based mobile networks by offering niche local and regional content in local languages as well as popular international TV. Satellites provide a reliable solution for distributing bandwidth-heavy content everywhere, and this growing, unfulfilled demand is creating opportunities for new market entrants to not just reach more people, but also deliver TV and video content deeper into these markets. This means that customers will be able to access video on-demand (VOD) with zero latency, buffering or dropouts, along with OTT or consumer broadband services, wherever they are located. Additionally, Network Offloading makes it possible to deliver high-speed, high-quality video to consumers, without the need for an internet connection, and eases video bandwidth consumption on core internet networks. 

Learn more about how SES can help DTH operators launch and deliver video content to consumers everywhere


[1] Forrester: Asia Pacific Online Video Advertising Spend Will Reach $53.7 Billion By 2023

[2] Media Partners Asia: Online Video Streaming Minutes In Southeast Asia Skyrocket After COVID-19 Impact According To New MPA Study 

[3] S&P Global: Asia-Pacific Subscription OTT Video 5-Year Outlook

[4] Global Web Index: Traditional vs. digital media: global trends

[5] GSMA: The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific

[6] Market Study Report: Smart TV Market [By Resolution Type (4K UHD TV, HDTV, Full HD TV, 8K TV); By Screen Size (28 to 40 Inches, 41 to 59 Inches, and Above 60 Inches); By Distribution Channel (Direct, Indirect); By Region]: Market Size & Forecast, 2017 – 2026

[7] Research and Markets: The World Market for Set-Top Boxes to 2024: Propelled by the Increasing Penetration of High Definition Channels Among Consumers & Growing Adoption of Smart TVs