Differentiation Opportunities in Asia’s Multi-Channel Market
The Asia-Pacific region is a highly diverse multi-channel market that requires entertainment & media (E&M) organisations to cater to different consumer preferences for traditional linear TV, direct-to-home (DTH), over-the-top (OTT) and internet protocol television (IPTV) services. That’s because countries within this market are at various stages of digitisation and emerging technology adoption, which is impacting the way consumers watch television and driving a shift from passive to active media consumption . Here are several key differentiation opportunities in Asia’s multi-channel market that E&M organisations should recognise.
Pay-TV Subscription Remains Strong
Digital technology, personalisation and greater content investment are changing the E&M landscape as DTH, IPTV and video-on-demand (VOD) continue to grow in the region’s developed markets. Pay-TV subscription, which includes cable and satellite TV subscribers, also remains strong. According to the Asia Video Industry Report 2019, pay-TV subscribers, including multi-channel subscribers, make up 57% of all Asia-Pacific TV households as of 2018, that’s about 629 million pay-TV subscribers . The two major markets that made up 86% of total pay-TV subscribers are China with 378.7 million subscribers and India with 160.1 million subscribers . Other markets in the region with a substantial base of pay-TV subscribers include South Korea, Vietnam and Japan . It’s also worth noting that pay-TV subscription is predicted to grow, and will outnumber OTT subscribers 3 to 1 by 2022.
Digitisation of Cable TV Networks Continues in Parts of Southeast Asia
With 4.4% year-on-year (YoY) growth and revenue of USD 33 billion, the Asia-Pacific multi-channel market is the third most lucrative pay-TV economy behind North America and Western Europe . And cable TV is the dominant multi-channel platform with 61.4% pay-TV households in the region subscribing to it . Part of the reason why cable TV still maintains a large share of the pay-TV market is that much of the region is still in the midst of digitising their cable TV networks, but that is expected to change in the next 10 years as most nations in Asia-Pacific region fully digitise their cable TV networks with the exception of India, the Philippines and Thailand .
The digitisation of cable TV networks in the Asia-Pacific region would enable consumers who only have access to traditional cable TV previously, to experience high-quality digital content with improved picture and sound. This is because the transmission, quality, and consistency of digital signals is more precise and powerful than that of traditional cable TV signals. Digital cable TV also supports a greater number of channels and enables multi-cast VOD. Digitisation will also create the opportunity for DTH and IPTV services to grow their market share in the region .
Bundled Services Continue to Grow and Evolve
The infrastructure and technology landscape in many Asia-Pacific nations is still developing, which creates problems for E&M companies that focus on providing a single, dedicated service. This is the case with specialised DTH providers that are struggling to grow market share due to a lack of broadband in developing parts of the region such as Indonesia, Malaysia and India . However, companies with the ability to “bundle” services such as IPTV with high-speed internet, broadband and OTT and other service combinations will have a clear advantage.
In this regard, regional telcos are in a unique position to aggregate the services that Asia-Pacific consumers want such as cable, broadband, fixed-voice, mobile and OTT services. From a media consumption perspective, this enables consumers to get the right combination of traditional linear TV and on-demand premium content they desire . To this end, telcos that have lacked an OTT component to supplement their traditional linear TV services have either partnered with leading operators such as Netflix or developed their own organic platforms  to further entice customers with their bundled services for value-added gains.
For E&M organisations to maximise opportunities in the Asia-Pacific market, they need to go beyond the reach of terrestrial broadband—specially in nations still undergoing digitisation. With VoD Everywhere, media businesses can deliver rich, on-demand content to consumers without needing an internet connection. With this solution, it’s possible to push a full library of on-demand and catch-up content directly to their set-top boxes (STB), supporting daily video content updates. In addition, all key features of live, linear and VOD are combined within a single, flexible user interface that supports customers’ individual viewing habits.
SES offers to our customers hybrid content delivery services and solutions like SES 360, which provides content management capabilities to help them shape, localise, organise and deliver their content libraries to local and global audiences. And with advanced metadata services and AI analysis technology, it’s easier to maximise content discovery across devices so consumers receive more personalised digital media experiences.
To learn how SES can help your organisation reach target markets in Southeast Asia, contact us today.
 Perspectives from the Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019-2023
 The Asia Video Industry Report 2019
 APAC Multi-channel TV Booklet 2018