Diversifying Asia-Pacific’s OTT Platform Services and Strategies

Diversifying Asia-Pacific’s OTT Platform Services and Strategies

Although the over-the-top (OTT) video market is growing rapidly, competition among regional and international players is intensifying, and consumers are less inclined to pay for content than in other regions. These factors are threatening revenue growth for OTT platform operators.

OTT Market Opportunities in Asia-Pacific Stirring Up Competition
The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to reach 417 million video-on-demand (SVOD) subscriptions by 2025, up from 269 million in 2019. This growth is expected despite the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. China is expected to make up 65% of the region’s total SVOD subscriptions by 2025, while subscriptions in India will more than double from its 2019 total. [1] According to Media Partners Asia, online video advertising and subscription revenues will increase as well, from USD26 billion in 2019 to USD52 billion in 2024, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%. [2]

This presents a tremendous opportunity for growth that has created intense competition between international and regional OTT platform operators, such as Netflix, Amazon, iflix, Genflix, and Viu, to gain a greater share of their markets. In turn, these companies need to adopt clever strategies to offer content that caters to local audiences’ preferences, including expanding their library of international hits and locally produced shows. OTT platform operators also need to have a deep understanding of the economic factors influencing customers’ behaviours in each market. This is particularly true in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia; fast-growing markets for streaming services from Netflix, iflix and Viu, for example, where the services offered may not match up with consumption habits. [3]

Moving Outside of Subscriber-Based Models
Despite being one of the fastest growing regions in the world for subscribers, OTT platform operators in the Asia-Pacific region are struggling to build profitable models from subscriptions. They are realising that, to succeed in the region, they cannot rely on subscriber revenue alone, and many consumers balk at the idea of paying monthly fees. Consumers are also used to free streaming services, and have a higher tolerance for ad-supported content than other regions. As a result, OTT platform operators have kept subscription fees low, and many have pursued ad-supported models to sustain and grow their businesses. [4] Analysts expect advertising-based models to remain dominant across most of the region, with the exception of China, Australia, and New Zealand. In Southeast Asia, advertising is anticipated to account for 74% of online video revenues by 2024. [5]

OTT platform operators are also looking at subscription models tailored to consumers’ video consumption levels and device use to retain or gain new customers. For example, Malaysian satellite TV provider Astro is offering customers a pay-per-view option with passes available for as few as three days at a time in response to Netflix introducing a mobile-only service that cost less than half of an Astro subscription in 2018. [6]

Simplifying Content Delivery
Despite the opportunities for OTT platforms to grow in the region, the successful delivery of OTT content is crucial to retaining customers. However, this can still be problematic, particularly in remote areas. OTT platform operators need to keep pace with growing demand for streaming services on the various devices customers use to view content. Satellite can help OTT platform operators deliver high quality content, particularly live events, with low latency. Additionally, satellites can use the content distribution network (CDN) to reduce traffic and ensure efficient use of bandwidth. [7]

OTT platform operators seeking to expand its services to deliver content in different formats need to stay up-to-date with the different requirements for each screen and device, while also adjusting to new encryption, encoding, and metadata norms. OTT platform operators can simplify the delivery of content in today’s multi-device multi-screen viewing environment with an online platform that streamlines the process of taking video content online and helps OTT platform providers create personalised video experiences. Improving the digital infrastructure enhances customer experiences, and opens the door to opportunities to leverage the existing content library in new ways to entice more customers.

Learn more about how SES’s online video platform can help operators simplify content distribution and adapt their content library to leverage additional monetisation opportunities.


[1] Broadband TV News: Strong growth for Asia Pacific SVOD

[2] WARC: APAC online video market to double by 2024

[3] Midia Research: Streaming in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities for International Competitors

[4] Campaign: OTT platforms in Asia face profit challenges

[5] Media Partners Asia: Asia Pacific Online Video Opportunity to Scale to US$50 Billion by 2024

[6] WARC: Malaysian OTT market looks beyond subscriptions

[7] World Teleport Association (WTA): Defining Satellite’s Role in an OTT World