Category: Video

Region: Asia

3 min read

OTT Viewing Preferences–What Do Consumers in the Asia-Pacific Prefer?

Written by Bess Boon on 12 Dec 2019


The rise of over-the-top (OTT) global video services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime revolutionised the way consumers view video content. Not only does OTT give consumers the opportunity to view what they want, when they want—it also allows them to view content on different screens and devices aside from their living room television sets. In the Asia-Pacific, the entertainment and media (E&M) sector is highly competitive as global and regional players struggle to grow their market share. But to succeed, they need to provide consumers with what they value the most from OTT services—high-quality content that’s mobile, personalised and localised—at a price point that’s reasonable. 

What’s Driving OTT Market Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region?
In the Asia-Pacific region, OTT market growth is rising rapidly, with the region’s OTT revenue expected to eclipse that of North America by 2021 [1]. In addition, OTT revenue is expected to nearly double from about USD 16 billion in 2019, to about USD 29 billion by 2023 [1]. While there are many factors driving OTT growth in the region, perhaps the biggest is growing online video consumption—as consumers spend nearly as much time (1.6 hours daily) watching online video as they do broadcast television (2 hours daily) [2]. As competition for the region’s growing consumer base becomes more heated in the years to come, E&M organisations will need to satisfy the preferences that are driving OTT adoption. These consumer preferences include the growing desire for mobile content, better user experience and personalisation, high-quality localised content and more competitive pricing and bundling [2]. 

The preference for mobile content is a factor that will inevitably grow as smartphone adoption and 4G network coverage rapidly increase over the next several years in developing nations throughout the region. In fact, 4G network coverage throughout the region is expected to account for 70% of all mobile connections, and smartphone adoption is expected to reach 83% by 2025 [3]. 
Consumers also want a more personalised media experience across all platforms and devices—using technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive algorithms to give them content that’s tailored to their interests [4]. In addition, consumers also prefer content libraries that aren’t dominated by Western cinema and television shows—they want more high-quality localised content that’s artistically innovative. Consumers in the Asia-Pacific also want affordable pricing plans, and all of their TV services to be conveniently available through a single provider—which includes OTT services from regional and global providers [2]. 

How Are E&M Organisations Responding to Consumer OTT Preferences?
To meet these consumer preferences, both regional and global E&M companies are continuously innovating solutions that can differentiate them from the competition. In terms of enabling the provision of mobile content for Asia-Pacific market, the clear advantage lies with the regional telcos, which are enabling the wider distribution of fixed broadband and 4G network service in developing countries. Infrastructure improvement, along with the ability to bundle network services, devices and even OTT subscriptions conveniently at an affordable price point under carrier billing, is a clear advantage for regional telcos [5]. In order to meet the consumer preference for personalised content, OTT providers need to make the content they want more discoverable and easier to access. The best example of this is shown by the global OTT, Netflix, which applies a recommendation system that helps consumers discover programs easily by processing data such as content viewed, the time of day it was viewed, and devices used through an algorithm. The end result is that highly recommended content is prominently displayed to the viewer in the top “rows” of content on the home screen [6].

In terms of delivering high-quality localised content, the advantage lies with the regional OTT companies, which offer local content libraries than their Western counterparts. However, global OTT companies are investing more in producing local content for viewers in the Asia-Pacific. On the global side, both Netflix and Amazon Prime have increased original programming in India, with Amazon producing more than 20 original series and Netflix producing 7 as of 2018 including the popular series “Sacred Games” [7]. Regional OTT players are following suit, with iFlix planning to quadruple its original content library by 2019m while Viu is looking to produce 8 original titles for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and will release over 80 titles in 2019 [7], [8].

E&M players will need to focus on efficiency of operations to be able to deliver content and grow alongside the increased demand for the personalised digital media experiences that consumer desire. And in the increasingly competitive media landscape in the Asia-Pacific, having information-rich content management and operability for multiple channels and devices is a must. With the help of SES solutions such as Network Offloading, media businesses can efficiently deliver rich online linear and on-demand content without putting additional video load on their existing terrestrial mobile networks. 

SES also provides content management and distribution services that enable E&M players in APAC to deliver programming to any device or platform with best-in-class encryption for enhanced security and lower bandwidth for a seamless Ultra HD viewing experience. In addition, services such as channel playout enable pay-TV operators establish self- or fully-managed linear TV with little infrastructure investment, and content monetisation services enable the delivery of subscription, pay-per-view, targeted ads and content packaging for linear and VoD programming.


[1] Global Entertainment and Media Outlook: Segment Trends 

[2] OTT and Its Importance to Asia

[3] The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2019

[4] Getting personal: Putting the me in entertainment and media

[5] The Prospects for Premium OTT

[6] How Netflix’s Recommendation System Works

[7] Asia-On-Demand: The Growth of VoD Investment in Local Entertainment Industries

[8] APOS 2019: Viu Announces 8 Originals, Aims to Release Over 80 Titles in 2019

[9] Asia Content Success Built on Multiple OTT Business Model


Written by Bess Boon on 12 Dec 2019

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