Although subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) has predominantly experienced success in America and Europe, the Asia-Pacific region has emerged as SVOD's newest and most contested market. SVOD has fast become a global phenomenon, with millions of consumers worldwide opting to subscribe to services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. These video streaming platforms provide TV shows and films that can be streamed on and downloaded to internet-connected devices. Thus, content can be watched on phones, laptops, and tablets when and wherever the consumer wishes. Recent technological development and digitalization have led to high internet penetration rates across Asia . This has made APAC consumers the most sought-after customers for video streaming platforms. Consequently, competition between globally renowned and local platforms has increased significantly.

The current state of SVOD in APAC

The maturity of the subscription video-on-demand market differs vastly across the Asia-Pacific region. In terms of user penetration , New Zealand is the only country in the region making the global top ten, followed by Japan, Australia, and South Korea within the top 15. While these mature markets display penetration rates of around 30 percent or more, highly attractive Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia or the Philippines are still in their early stages. At over 300 million, China has by far the most SVOD subscriptions in the region , followed by India and Japan. A look at the most popular streaming services in these three countries alone is an indicator of the regional situation in APAC, as each country has its unique selection of leading SVOD providers, both international and local.

Can established global players compete with local powerhouses?

While Netflix has continuously increased its APAC revenue in the past years, the global streaming giant is unavailable in the region's biggest market China. In 2017, Netflix reached a licensing deal with Chinese market leader iQiyi, making selected original content available on the Baidu-owned platform. China boasts its very own SVOD landscape in general, with other local services including Tencent Video (WeTV), Bilibili, and Youku Tudou dominating the market.
In contrast, global industry leaders such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are available in other APAC countries or are set to launch there over the next years. Due to its 2019 acquisition of Indian streaming platform Hotstar, Disney+ launched under the name Disney+ Hotstar in India and several Southeast Asian markets. In India's case, this allowed for the platform to continue Hotstar's established and highly popular programming, most notably live streams for sporting events like cricket. Similarly, Disney+ Hotstar has partnered with Indonesian telco behemoth Telkomsel for its rollout in Southeast Asia's biggest market. Therefore, the service is part of Telkomsel's monthly internet package and can provide subscribers with local content more easily. These localization efforts were projected to pay off, as Disney+ is on track to become the most subscribed-to SVOD platform in APAC by 2026.


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