MPA Charts Gains in Content Spend Across Key Asian Markets


Content expenditure on TV, movies and online video in India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam rose by 8 percent last year to top the $10 billion mark, according to Media Partners Asia (MPA).

The data was released in the 2018 edition of the Asia Video Content Dynamics report, which explores video content consumption, investment and production across seven major markets in the region. India saw the biggest gains in content spend last year, with expenditure rising by 14 percent to reach $4.2 billion, while Korea’s was up 7 percent to hit $3 billion.

By platform, the gains were led by pay TV, followed by online video. In Southeast Asia, free-to-air dominates investment but growth slowed last year in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, while Malaysia saw investment fall, largely due to Astro cutting spend on international pay channels and a weaker ad market for free TV.

“In general, content investment dynamics are favorable with content investment growing,” observes Stephen Laslocky, VP of MPA. “Pay-TV content costs in the surveyed markets grew 5 percent, led by India and Korea and driven by local entertainment and sports. Free-to-air content investment was up 6 percent in 2017. Scale and growth in free-to-air content investment is largely attributable to Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, driven by local entertainment. Film production budgets in the surveyed markets were up 10 percent, driven by Korea and India. Online video investment is growing rapidly from a low base, up almost 80 percent during 2017. Rising competitive intensity is driving up online video content costs as rival platforms produce and acquire local series and movies, especially in India and Korea. We expect online video content investment to also pick up in emerging markets across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesia and the Philippines.”

The MPA report also looks at what driving audience share across the surveyed markets. Drama drives viewing, with some shows traveling well across the region, namely Korean series across Asia and Indian shows in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Interest is also picking up for Filipino and Thai dramas. Sports also continues to drive audience share, including cricket in India and football in Indonesia.