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South-east Asia’s balancing act in next phase of streaming growth

Total subscriptions for paid over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are projected to exceed the 50 million mark by the end of 2024, representing market value equivalent to US$1.9 billion.

According to new analysis presented by S&P Global Market Intelligence, estimated annual revenue growth for subscription streaming services in South-east Asia rose at a faster rate of 38% to $1.53 billion compared to 21% for total paid subscriptions, which amounted to 44 million at year-end 2023.

Many streaming platforms in South-east Asia recalibrated their pricing strategies to extract more value from new and existing subscribers. Subscriptions to streaming services have generally remained affordable in the region, providing enough room for services like Disney and Netflix to raise or introduce new fees in some major markets.

S&P Global Market Intelligence added that advertising and partnerships with local third-party operators and content producers will continue to play critical roles in powering growth for streaming services in the emerging region.

However, paid ad-supported streaming tiers might not gain much traction in South-east Asia in 2024 as most consumers in the region continue to embrace the freemium model championed by local and regional platforms. Global services are more likely to continue relying on mobile-only plans as the cheaper alternative to encourage untapped price-sensitive consumers to sample their platforms

Kym Nator, an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said, “Achieving subscriber scale remains important in the long run, but many streaming players in South-east Asia have pivoted their focus to finding the right balance between expanding customer bases and generating higher average revenue per user amid mounting pressure to maintain healthy profit margins.

“Revenue growth and cost optimisation are among the key themes shaping growth strategies for many of the top streaming operators in South-east Asia in 2024.”

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