Rahul Sachitanand
Dec 8, 2020

Primetime disrupted: OTT's impact in Southeast Asia

TOP OF THE CHARTS: As consumers shift their viewing preferences online, advertisers need to find new ways to follow, a report by The Trade Desk suggests.

Primetime disrupted: OTT's impact in Southeast Asia

Streaming video services have begun to bite into viewership of linear TV in Southeast Asia, not just in total number of hours being spent on these platforms but also cutting significantly into traditional primetime viewing too, according to a report from The Trade Desk produced by Kantar.

As the Southeast Asian market for OTT has rapidly grown, here are five takeaways for marketers and advertisers to tap this quickly evolving market: 

1. Follow the consumer 

According to the report, 180 million people are on OTT platforms, where they spend 8 billion hours. But what is significant is 31 million OTT viewers have stopped tuning into traditional TV at all; OTT is capturing primetime viewership.

2. The opportunity to evolve advertising models 

While the OTT landscape in Southeast Asia is fragmented, the above platforms are the most popular for ad-supported viewing. A significant number of viewers is willing to watch ads on these platforms in exchange for viewership. As brands and marketers consider piecing together their media plans for 2021, the report points to the range of ad-supported options in the market for advertisers to consider. A total of 100 million users log into ad supported OTT platforms in Southeast Asia. 

3. Sticky beyond the pandemic 

While confined consumers may have found OTT platforms a great escape over the course of 2020 and its various degrees of lockdowns and confinements, this report suggests that viewing habits may have shifted permanently across Southeast Asia. So, rather than make an opportunistic bet on this space, advertisers may need to make more long-term commitments to mining the OTT market. 

4. Not just a mobile opportunity 

While OTT viewership was traditionally seen as being mobile-driven in the region, this report suggests that the market may also see a noticeable number of consumers logging in from their smart TVs. According to this report, 80% watch OTT across multiple devices and smart TV has the second highest share of time spent on OTT and is especially popular among older viewers (35+) and in Vietnam.

5. Vocal for local content

Consumers in outheast Asia don't just stream Hollywood blockbusters and highly-rated Western content. According to this report, they are also keen to watch local content, especially in markets like Thailand and Vietnam, where local content is more popular than Western programming. Imported Asian content from regional powerhouses like Korea also draws eyeballs (watched by 39% of viewers), while one in five tunes in for Chinese programming.

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