Streaming Video and Audio 2022 Top Matchup, Asian Content the Key to Victory

After the South Korean movie “Squid Game” became a global hit in the second half of last year, Asian video content has been gaining a foothold in the top competition of major streaming video platforms around the world.

With the emergence of more and more video platforms, the competition in the global streaming market has become increasingly fierce, and the recent global popularity of Asian movie collections has highlighted that Asian video content will be an important key for major platforms to expand their markets and consolidate their territories in the coming years.

Streaming platform market map, Asia Pacific can not be ignored
In recent years, the development of streaming video and audio platforms has increasingly relied on the growth of the Asia Pacific region. The Wall Street Journal quoted data from research firm Insider Intelligence, which showed that the number of global AV subscription services has increased from 457 million in 2016 to 1.7 billion today. The proportion of Asian subscribers has also risen from about 30% in 2016 to 60%.

Asian viewers’ viewing habits, local content more valued
In addition, Nikkei recently analyzed the viewing habits of streaming platform users in the Asia-Pacific region and found that viewers in these countries are more likely to watch content produced in the region and in their own countries.

In the second half of last year, the US streaming leader Netflix ranked the top 10 most popular movies of the week in all major markets, including Japan, South Korea and Thailand, and all of the non-US productions that have been on the list for more than five weeks are South Korean or locally produced. In contrast, the U.S. market had only “The Squid Game” in the second half of last year, the only non-U.S. film on the list for a long time.

Therefore, if streaming platforms want to expand their market presence in the Asia Pacific region, they obviously need to cater to the tastes of Asia Pacific viewers and invest in more local content.

South Korean content is a must-have for squid games
The South Korean movie “Squid Game”, which swept the world last year and was heavily invested by Netflix, is not only an important milestone in Netflix’s long-term investment in Asian TV content, but also makes South Korean TV productions become the target of cooperation among major platforms.

Combining survival games and social issues, “The Squid Game” was watched for a record 1.65 billion hours worldwide within 28 days of its launch, making it the most watched series in Netlfix’s history.

Netflix started to enter the South Korean market in 2016, and after a few years of working with local production companies, it has found a formula that combines the originality of South Korean film and television with border-sensitive themes, and has developed popular works such as “Kingdom of the Dead” and continues to increase its investment in the South Korean market. To date, Netflix has spent more than US$1 billion in South Korea.

South Korean TV productions have become an important tool for streaming platforms to attract new subscribers and consolidate their existing viewership, and the platforms have been increasing the price of Korean dramas. Studio Dragon, the production company that produced such famous Korean dramas as Crash Landing on You Medley, has increased the price of its third season last year to streaming platforms by 24%, highlighting that Korean dramas have become the most sought-after source of content.

Disney’s strategy shifts as Netflix becomes a big success
After the popularity of “The Squid Game,” the major streaming platforms have become concerned about how they will expand into the Asian market.

Netflix’s main rival, Disney’s streaming platform Disney+, announced at the end of last year that it was expanding its global market footprint, and in addition to officially launching in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong in November 2021, it will also launch about 50 titles in the Asia-Pacific region by 2023.

The Nikkei News analyzed that Disney+’s development strategy is obviously influenced by Netflix’s “Squid Game” global hit. Disney, which has popular series such as Star Wars and Marvel, has always had a Hollywood-centric development strategy. The shift to local productions now reflects Disney’s attempt to change its past business strategy to cater to the Asian market.

Other than the two leaders, the Asian market is growing in numbers
In addition to the competition between Netflix and Disney, Amazon has announced that it will produce and acquire content for its Prime Video streaming platform in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore, among other Southeast Asian countries in 2022. AT&T’s (Warner Media) HBO MAX is also preparing to launch streaming services in Asia. Baidu and Tencent-backed video platform IQiyi is developing content outside of China and expanding its services in the Asia Pacific region.

As we enter 2022, the streaming market in Asia is bound to become more competitive, but that means viewers can look forward to more great titles coming to the shelves for you to choose from.

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