Content & channel management vital as Asian production enters new growth cycle


MUMBAI: The TV, film and video production sector in Asia is set to enter a new cycle of growth, according to a new report from Media Partners Asia (MPA), as economic development and evolving distribution ecosystems stoke competition and demand for better shows, as well as more varied formats and approaches.

MPA?s Video Content Dynamics, published today, reviews industry supply, demand and key drivers across India, Korea and five markets in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) on free, pay and OTT platforms. The report breaks out ratings performance, economics and key players by genre (drama, movies, news, sports, kids and factual), as well as theatrical performance for local and international films.

TV is the dominant viewing platform in these markets. However, as more people get access to affordable high-speed broadband, quality content as well as proactive channel management are becoming increasingly important for incumbent broadcasters, MPA analysts noted.

?Online video is gaining traction in key emerging markets, as broadband speeds increase and connection costs come down,? said Media Partners Asia VP - Research & Consulting Steve Laslocky. ?Leading broadcasters are rolling out ad-supported catch-up services while subscription online video services (local, regional and global) are gaining traction with premium Asian content as well as domestic and Hollywood movies. More than ever, a healthy local production ecosystem is a vital component of a healthy TV market.?

Korean content remains the gold standard for production in Asia, expanding beyond drama and film to become a genre in its own right. Costs are increasing in Korea?s highly competitive domestic marketplace, where profits are challenging. At the same time, demand and pricing power in MPA-surveyed markets continue to rise across both TV and online video, helping sustain Korea?s leadership position.


Future growth prospects and the relative health of local production varies across the seven markets covered by MPA?s Asia Video Content Dynamics report. Broadcasters that rely heavily on in-house teams, as seen in Malaysia and the Philippines for example, risk stifling ideas and competition. On the other hand, too many third-party studios competing for work can squeeze margins. This trend, seen in India?s TV industry, leaves little money to reinvest and develop local production for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Indonesia stands out as a relatively healthy ecosystem among Asian growth markets. Southeast Asia?s largest economy comprises comparatively few major production houses, often operating with backing from one of the country?s major TV groups. Production costs are relatively low, while the free-to-air ad market remains buoyant, providing good returns for popular shows. This bodes well for the future development of Indonesian content.

By contrast, the environment for production in India is almost the opposite. The rollout of digital TV is dramatically expanding viewer choices for hundreds of millions of homes in the sub-continent, while opening up opportunities to develop premium and more targeted content. However, intense competition for TV revenues between hundreds of local production houses has driven margins to 15% and below, making it difficult to capitalize on these changes.


Multiple genres are fueling consumption on free, pay and OTT services. Local dramas, however, remain the most important ratings driver across much of the region, despite concerns about stale storylines.

In India for example, domestic drama accounted for over half of all TV viewing last year, underscoring its dominance. Local series were also popular in Southeast Asia, representing 46% of viewing in Vietnam, 35% of viewing in Thailand and 31% of viewing in the Philippines.

Movies also tend to rate well on TV, especially in countries with a strong domestic film industry. This is especially evident in India as well as Indonesia and the Philippines, the two markets in Southeast Asia with the largest box office and where local films also have the highest share of revenue.

Sports, meanwhile, is a high-profile and high-rating but ultimately event-driven genre. Many international marquee events are aired late at night, limiting viewership, underscoring the importance of local tournaments. Monetization for some local sports, such as football in Malaysia, still lags international franchises however, despite high ratings.

Contrary to common perception, sports is not a major audience contributor on pay-TV, while the popularity of recent Hollywood movies on pay-TV varies by market. Kids content, meanwhile, is a leading pay-TV genre in Indonesia (50% audience share) and the Philippines (22%).

Some OTT platforms are starting to compete on early windows for Asian content, although not on Hollywood movies, where studios can still command high prices from premium pay channels and pay-TV operators across most markets. This will likely change over time.

Investment in local content and original productions for the OTT window, meanwhile, is growing rapidly in India and slowly expanding across Southeast Asia. In markets such as Indonesia, local movies, dramas and series are boosting consumption across regional SVOD services.

Monetization for ad-supported services however, with the exception of YouTube, is proving to be a challenge. As online video gains scale in the region, industry standards for comparable viewing data will be crucial to further growing online video advertising outside of the YouTube ecosystem.

Latest Reads

Facebook planning smart STB for TVs with video calling support

According to a United States news website, Cheddar, social networking company Facebook is working on smart set-top boxes for TV. And according to the sources, the set-top box will be camera equipped. It will also allow video calling along with entertainment services like Facebook’s YouTube...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Reliance Jio to maintain ARPU lead over Airtel, Vodafone Idea

Indian telecom company, Reliance Jio, is most likely to maintain its lead on average revenue per user (ARPU) over its rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. The telco’s strategy in the market has paid off well by selectively choosing an inordinate share of 4G smartphone users and continuing to...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Netflix subscriptions to get cheaper in India

Netflix is tuning itself to India’s needs. Netflix chief product officer Gregory Peters said in an earnings call that the company will experiment with cheaper pricing models, betting on India to bring in its next 100 million subscribers for its long-term goal in a bid to increase its growth.

iWorld Over The Top Services
ZEE5 and PhonePe join hands for an amazing cashback offer

ZEE5, India’s largest multilingual entertainment destination, and PhonePe - India's fastest growing digital payments app have partnered to announce exciting offers on content for customers.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Jio and organised retail add to RIL's growth in second quarter

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani’s largest startup in the world in the form of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd or Jio has only gone from strength to strength since its inception. The mobile and broadband subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), which is already the largest mobile data carrier in the world...

iWorld Telecom
Mukesh Ambani's RIL announces acquisition of majority stake in Hathway & DEN Networks

Reliance Industries Limited today announced the following strategic investments.

iWorld Telecom
Netflix adds 6.96 mn subscribers in Q3

After a disappointing Q2 result, global streaming giant Netflix has again beat all expectations in its Q3 earnings. Netflix has not only added 6.96 million subscribers in this quarter but it has reported $4 billion streaming revenue for the quarter which is up 36 per cent year over year.

iWorld Over The Top Services
RIL close to buying majority stakes in DEN, Hathway

Reliance Industries is expected to buy controlling stakes in two of India’s largest cable TV and broadband service providers

iWorld Telecom
ZEE5 appoints Taranjeet Singh asChief Revenue Officer& Business Head - New Projects

ZEE5 India, India's second largest OTT platform known for its muscle in multi-lingual content, today announced the appointment of Taranjeet Singh as the Chief Revenue Officer & Business Head – New Projects for the platform.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories