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Asian OTTs use global, local content, AVoD and SVoD mix to consolidate position, says report

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MUMBAI: Over-the-Top services are steadily gaining traction in APAC, but succeeding in a highly diverse and price-sensitive market will entail a thorough understanding of consumer preferences and intent.

OTT players in the region are already partnering with mobile operators to drive subscribership. Examples include Viu's various partnerships with Telekom Malaysia, Maxis and U Mobile in Malaysia, Indosat in Indonesia, CSL in Hong Kong and Idea cellular in India among others.

A new report, "OTT Video in Asia-Pacific: Localised content and business models are key while mobile will offer opportunity for future video growth" has been added to the repository of Market Research Hub (MRH).

Strategies of the four key OTT video service providers have been discussed in the report in the form of four case studies. The key OTT video service providers profiled in the case studies include Netflix, iflix, Viu, and Hotstar.

The success of OTT services in any market depends upon a host of factors, with viewer awareness and receptiveness among the key factors. Smartphone ownership, cellular and broadband penetration levels, and pay-TV subscription are the other key factors that influence the scope of OTT video services in a market.

The APAC region remains diverse, with a significant variation in internet and broadband penetration levels. Further, owing to lax piracy laws, a significant section of the consumer base is habitual of downloading pirated copies from the internet. In view of these factors, many OTT video service providers are using a mix of AVoD and SVoD to consolidate their position.

According to the report, content remains an integral part of overall viewer experience in APAC. OTT video service providers have realised the importance of high-quality content, as a result of which, content production has gained prominence. Further, increase in smartphone ownership and launch of 4G services in several APAC countries are leading to collaboration between telecom service providers and OTT video service providers.

According to the report, OTT service providers in countries that have low OTT readiness can commence with AVoD services to raise awareness and interest among viewers. The report comments that this strategy has helped Hotstar and Viu in gaining a significant foothold in the APAC OTT video services market.

However, AVoD as a business model is likely to face a lot of challenges, on account of high cost of content acquisition. Further, relying on one particular form of content may not work, and OTT service providers may have to rely on a mix of local and international content to appeal to a wider target audience.

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