United States-based video streaming giant Netflix is broadening its mobile-only subscription plans in Southeast Asia and expanding local content just as rival Disney arrives in the fast-growing market.
|United States-based video streaming giant Netflix is broadening its mobile-only subscription plans in Southeast Asia. (Photo: AFP/VNA) |
Hanoi – United States-based video streaming giant Netflix is broadening its mobile-only subscription plans in Southeast Asia and expanding local content just as rival Disney arrives in the fast-growing market.
According to the world's biggest video streaming platform by paid customers, more than one million of its nearly 200 million subscribers worldwide are in Southeast Asia, home to approximately 655 million people. But the market is ripe for rapid growth with the Disney+ Hotstar launch in Indonesia next month set to become a key battleground.
The region is estimated to have generated 600 million USD in overall subscription music and video revenue in 2019, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co. But that's set to explode to an annual 3 billion USD by 2025, the study said.
According to Netflix Director for Product Innovation Ajay Arora, Southeast Asia is a very mobile-centric market. That's led the company to push cheaper mobile plans and adapt its product to fit lower-end smartphones.
Starting with India in August 2019, Netflix has now launched mobile-only plans in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia – all priced at below 5 USD a month.
Repeated coronavirus lockdowns across Southeast Asia have also increased the appetite for content streaming at home across the region. Consultancy Media Partners Asia estimates that Southeast Asia video streaming service subscribers will reach 14.7 million in all by the end of 2020.
Netflix is also working to expand its payment options in countries with low credit and debit card penetration.
However, the company faces competition in the region, and not just from Disney, the global number two in the industry. Other regional rivals include Hong Kong video service Viu, popular for its Korean dramas, as well as Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeTV, which in June bought the assets of Malaysian streaming platform Iflix.