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Despite challenges, Asia-Pacific’s premium OTT market is expected to see rapid growth by 2019, according to a new study from Vindicia and Ooyala.
Findings show that growth will be from around $85 million in 2015 to $230 million in Australia; from $7 million to $40 million in Indonesia; and from $8 million to $45 million in Thailand.
Local service providers will own a significant portion of the market and will dominate in Indonesia and Thailand, while Netflix will be the dominant player in Australia.
Conducted by research and strategy consultancy MTM, the study covered over 80 respondents from the three markets, including a broad range of senior industry professionals, provided their perspectives on current and future market trends and developments.
The study highlights three main challenges to premium OTT market expansion. First on broadband infrastructure, about which respondents believe broadband infrastructure challenges and limited access to affordable fixed-line services are significant barriers to growth.
In Australia, the average connection speed is 8.2 MBps, about half that of the United Kingdom and United States. Thailand has a similar average of 9.2 MBps, but only 9% of consumers subscribe. In Indonesia, there is only 1% broadband penetration with an average speed of 3.9 MBps. Participants view APAC as a mobile-first market.
Second, on content localization. Despite the appeal of international content, respondents believe local-language programming is essential to the proliferation of premium OTT services in Indonesia and Thailand. They expect stiff competition among local pay-TV providers over licensing of existing local content libraries.
And third, the Netflix factor. While the presence of Netflix will drive OTT market expansion in general, consumers will struggle with Netflix’s one-size-fits-all offering. Because of this, there will be a period of uncertainty as consumers choose between standalone Netflix and competing offerings from local content providers, whose multi-platform and bundled packages ultimately may prove more appealing.
“The next 12 to 24 months will function less as a test of whether or not premium OTT will take off, but more as a measure of how it will penetrate popular appetites,” said Bryta Schulz, Vindicia’s SVP of marketing.”