MPA: AsiaPac Uptake of Online Premium Video Services Still Low


While OTT services are gaining traction in the Asia Pacific, take-up across the region is still low, Media Partners Asia found in its new consumer study.

MPA’s Asia Pacific Video Consumer Study, in partnership with BDRC Continental, surveyed more than 15,000 internet users in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Take-up of premium online video services, both AVOD and SVOD, is low, the report indicates. There is “encouraging momentum” for SVOD and freemium options in Australia and Hong Kong, and promising signs from the Philippines. Ad-supported services, notably YouTube, are establishing strongholds in several markets.

“Premium content providers with ad-supported and freemium online video services have much to do if they want to cater to mass audiences,” said Aravind Venugopal, MPA’s VP. “Netflix is putting in a strong performance in Australia, and has started to show deeper usage patterns in niche segments across Southeast Asia and Taiwan. iQiyi has also enjoyed a good start in Taiwan. Freemium offerings from local broadcasters are also showing promise. MyTV Super from Hong Kong broadcaster TVB has momentum, while Toggle, from Singapore broadcaster Mediacorp, has attracted a respectable audience. PCCW has managed to scale usage and adoption across its OTT offerings in Hong Kong. In Southeast Asia’s growth markets, actual engagement and usage of ad-supported and subscription-based premium video services is low among broadband users, although watch time among engaged users is growing in certain markets. Online video is at an early stage of development in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. While reach has substantially grown for some OTT platforms through wholesale telco partnerships, usage is low, although there is positive momentum in markets like Indonesia.”

The survey also looked at net promoter scores (NPS), measuring how likely customers are to recommend a service. Premium online video net promoter scores were largely negative across the region. Netflix was a notable exception, with a better performance since MPA’s consumer survey in 2016. Local freemium offerings in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore also rated well. MPA observes that the NPS score will remain negative for most services in this first phase of OTT development because customer churn is so high.

Another key finding was a strong overlap between SVOD and pay TV, especially in the region’s developed markets. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore all had overlap rates of some 90 percent or more. In Indonesia and Philippines, meanwhile, less than a third of SVOD subs have a pay-TV subscription. SVOD subs have access to between two to three paid services on average across the eight markets covered by the survey.