SVOD Takeup Slows in Southeast Asia


Growth in SVOD subscribers in Southeast Asia has slowed, according to new data from Media Partners Asia (MPA), with just 300,000 new additions in Q1 2023, as compared with the 4.6 million additions in Q4 2022, boosted by the World Cup.

Per MPA, there were 49 million SVOD subscribers across Southeast Asia in the first quarter, up from 48.7 million in Q4. The massive Indonesian market accounted for 43 percent of the total base, followed by Thailand at 30 percent. Thailand and the Philippines showed gains, while Indonesia declined due to the comparisons with the previous quarter with the World Cup. Leading Indonesian player Vidio saw its subs growth weaken post-World Cup but posted gains in April thanks to its lineup of local dramas and sports.

Thailand accounted for 40 percent of net new additions (accounting for the impact of the World Cup), driven by AIS Play and True ID. The latter shored up 30 percent of premium VOD viewership in Thailand Q1, thanks in large part to Premier League.

In terms of pan-Southeast Asian growth, Viu, Netflix, Disney and Prime Video led new additions, taking an 80 percent share of net new additions across five markets. Disney+/Disney+ Hotstar leads in the region with 9.4 million subs, followed by Viu at 8.5 million, Netflix at 8 million and Prime Video at 1.1 million.

In terms of genres most in-demand, South Korean content dominates premium VOD viewership at 39 percent—with Netflix’s thriller The Glory and Viu’s Taxi Driver among the quarter’s highest-rated shows—followed by the U.S. at 20 percent, Southeast Asian fare at 14 percent, Japan at 10 percent and China at 10 percent. Premium VOD viewership covers freemium and SVOD platforms, including Prime Video, Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar, iQIYI, Netflix, TrueID, Viu, Vidio and WeTV.

According to MPA, local content had the widest reach in premium VOD, streamed by 46 percent of unique users in Q1, led by shows from Indonesia and Thailand. Key titles included Viu/GMM25’s My School President, Vidio’s Open BO, WeTV’s Imperfect: The Series, Stealing Raden Saleh and An Inconvenient Love on Netflix and Disney+ Hostar’s Mendua.

Subscriber acquisitions were led by U.S., Korean and local content. Research from MPA’s AMPD shows that Korean dramas generated about 25 percent of new user viewership on Prime Video and Netflix in the region. Vidio’s originals, led by Open BO, captured 30 percent of new viewership in Q1.