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American Films, TV Remains Most Powerful Content for Streamers in Asia

American Films, TV Remains Most Powerful Content for Streamers in Asia

Even in challenged times, no national entertainment industry can flex quite like Hollywood. According to new research from regional advisory group Media Partners Asia, U.S. films and series remain the most important content category for global streamers when it comes to customer acquisition and engagement across the Asia Pacific region — regardless of the way platforms continue to ramp up their local-language offerings in these territories. 

In the first quarter of 2024, U.S. content was viewed by 60 percent of subscription video users in nine major markets — Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand — outperforming Korean titles (at 56 percent) and Japanese content (48 percent), according to new research from regional analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA). The report’s authors noted, however, that U.S. content’s reach has begun to wane in recent years.

“While U.S. content’s reach has declined steadily to 70 percent to 60 percent over the past two years, it retains an important role in subscriber acquisition,” said MPA’s lead analyst Dhivya T. “Even in highly local markets such as Korea, Japan and Indonesia, U.S. content drove 15 percent to 30 percent of SVOD customer acquisition. Long-tail appeal and a variety of scripted genres across series and movies, topped by science fiction and fantasy, power U.S. content popularity in APAC.” 

The report also found that library titles make up 68 percent of the top 500 U.S. titles in APAC, with fan-favorite sitcoms and procedurals, such as Friends and The Office, have enduring engagement impact. Broadly, U.S. content is strongest in Australia and Southeast Asia, commanding 69 percent and 32 percent of SVOD viewership respectively. 

The report provides a deep dive into which studios are powering popular U.S. content in Asia, with Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal in the lead. Third-party studio content drove about 75 percent of U.S. content engagement on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, while Disney+ viewership was almost entirely produced by The Walt Disney Co. 

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The report found that Netflix continues to dominate U.S. content engagement across APAC, capturing 50 percent to 75 percent of US streaming hours per market in the past year. MPA posited that the availability of local subs and dubs — particularly Thai, Filipino, Indonesian and Japanese — at the launch of key titles has significantly boosted the impact of Netflix’s U.S. originals in APAC, with titles such as One Piece, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Extraction 2 topping reach in the region. Prime Video, the SVOD leader in Japan, drove 23 percent of U.S. streaming hours in Japan, while Disney+ captured 15 percent to 20 percent of U.S. content viewership in Australia, Japan and Korea.

The report found that U.S. content remains vital even for regionally based APAC platforms — like Stan and Binge (Australia), Hulu Japan, U-Next (Japan), Wavve (Korea), and Tving (Korea) — as each captured a notable share of U.S. content engagement in their respective markets.

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