Home Opinions The rise of OTT and Chinese content in Southeast Asia

The rise of OTT and Chinese content in Southeast Asia

A “C-wave” is washing over Southeast Asian markets, with OTT viewers in the region consuming Chinese content at astonishing rates. In a survey commissioned by iQiyi across 26 Asian countries, 76% of respondents said they had consumed C-entertainment, and half said they enjoyed watching C-dramas and would recommend shows from the genre to their friends. Leading the C-wave, iQiyi’s Daily Active Users grew by 1,200% in 2020 alone.

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In recent years, the media content landscape in Southeast Asia has seen a rooted shift due to the rise of several OTT platforms providing streaming offerings directly to consumers within the region. The shift has been fuelled, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought about various movement controls and lockdowns that affected not only what content Asians are consuming, but also how they consume it.

Smart phones are the dominant way that viewers are accessing OTT content. Some users prefer a better experience, watching long form professionally produced content on their laptop devices. Increasingly family-viewing, group-watching and the growing demand for theatrical-like home viewing experiences fuel the growth of CTV, which brings together the best of both worlds by combining the scale and attention achieved through traditional TV with the precision of digital. OTT video distribution in Southeast Asia continues to proliferate. International, regional & local streaming media platforms are in full flourish.

To share some perspective, in just two years since the launch of the iQiyi International service globally, iQiyi is the fastest growing video platform in Southeast Asia. We have the highest growth rate for Monthly Active Users and our Daily Active Users grew 12 times in 2020 alone. The growth rate of online consumption is faster than the population growth in this region. It is expected that the rate of online consumption will increase by more than 300% between 2018 and 2025.

Chinese content consumption is on the uptrend, and iQiyi is leading the C-wave. In a recent pilot C-Drama Wave Survey commissioned by iQiyi across 26 countries, 76% of the respondents surveyed have sampled C-entertainment. One in two of those surveyed also claimed to enjoy watching C-dramas and will recommend C-dramas they like to others. More than 40% consider it important for a streaming service to offer Chinese language content. These insights inspire iQiyi to constantly push the envelope when it comes to content innovation.

Consumers are leaning towards streaming services and in an evolving world of media convergence, technological innovation becomes a huge driving force for the rapid development of online video platforms and the expansion of the video-led entertainment industry. The relevance of the content offering is just as important – premium, high quality pan-Asian content, localised content and premium viewing quality content in local dubbing, will increase engagement with your audience. A premium OTT offering presents advertisers targeted solutions for different segments of users, resulting in higher personalisation and customisation for a more dynamic ad delivery.

Brands are realising the importance of OTT as a must-have in their media mix, and how OTT complements other media channels and selections. Advertisers recognise and appreciate the benefits of the brand safe premium environment that OTT offers, and the ability to be even more customisable, targeted and measurable. The pandemic-induced boost in mobile consumption is here to stay and it is exciting to see how this space develops in the new world.


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