Asian countries are continuing to make substantial investments in video content, including TV, film and online video, finds a new report by Media Partners Asia (MPA).
In seven Asian markets (India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) video content spend rose by an average of 8% in 2017, meaning these countries are now spending a total of US$10.2 billion on video. The rise is largely driven by growth in pay TV spend (38%) and online video spend (30%).
India increased expenditure the most over the last year, by 14%. Video content budgets in India now exceed US$4.2 billion every year, the report estimates, a rise driven by pay TV, and sport in particular: of India’s 25 top-rated 2017 pay-TV programmes, 24 covered cricket matches.
According to another recent report by Dataxis, India accounts for 81% of the total pay TV and OTT subscriber base among SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. The numbers of pay TV and OTT video subscribers in South Asia overall are predicted to grow from 2017-2023 at a CAGR of 7.4%, Dataxis says.
South Korea also invested highly in video content in 2017, spending 7% more than in 2016.
This should rise, the report predicts, once China lifts its ban on Korean cultural exports, from k-pop bands to films and TV shows. The ban has been in place since last year, when South Korea decided to allow the US to deploy a defence missile system in Korea.
Investment in online video content in both India and Korea, and is expected to continue to accelerate. "Online video investment is growing rapidly from a low base, up almost 80% during 2017," said MPA vice president Stephen Ladlocky. "Rising competitive intensity is driving up online video content costs as rival platforms produce and acquire local series and movies, especially in India and Korea. We expect online video content investment to also pick up in emerging markets across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesia and the Philippines."
Malaysia was the only Asian market assessed to experience a decline in video content investment in 2017, a trend attributed to the pay TV provider Astro Malaysia cutting spend on pay TV channels. Reversing this may depend on the success of the economic policies recently introduced by new president Mahathir Mohamad, estimates the report.