South East Asian countries amounted to 1.82 million paid SVOD accounts at the end of September 2017, most of the growth coming from Malaysia and Indonesia, according to Dataxis research.
Even though the region tripled its number of paying subscribers during the year, SVOD penetration among households remains very low at 1.2%, illegal streaming being a main issue for most actors.
In this context, the market is still structuring with seven major international and regional players by country on average. In order to get viewers used to pay for content, some actors like Tonton in Malaysia and Viu are opting for freemium models, while most of them are bidding on partnerships with telecom operators to reach subscribers. Smaller size local operators have only been able to survive in Vietnam and Thailand so far.
SVOD platforms are also looking for their own identity: Iflix has a wide offer of broadly sourced Asian entertainment while Hooq focuses more on Korean and Chinese content and Viu is a niche player for Korean dramas. Notably, all main regional actors launched original content in 2016 and 2017, often targeting a single country to cater to local audiences and thus compete with TV channels.