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Video content budgets in key Asian markets climb

Video content budgets across India, Korea and Southeast Asia climbed 12% in 2018 to reach US$10 billion, according to the latest edition of Asia Video Content Dynamics, published by Media Partners Asia.

The 12% increase, up from 8% in 2017, highlights rising competition for audiences and production talent, especially in India and Korea. Together, India and Korea accounted for more than 75% of video content spend across the report’s seven surveyed markets last year.

India saw a 24% surge in video content spend in 2018 taking budgets up to US$3.6 billion, according to MPA estimates. This growth reflects outlay on premium sports rights in 2018, including a price increase for IPL cricket, supported by continued growth and competition in TV, especially among regional languages outside the Hindi heartlands.

Growth on TV entertainment is likely to soften in 2019, due to new regulations on channel pricing and bundling introduced earlier this year, although underlying trends remain strong, said the report.

Video budgets in Korea expanded at a more modest 7.2% to US$3.2 billion in 2018, lifted by increased investment on movies and pay TV content. Indonesia and Vietnam also saw strong growth from a smaller base, while content spend in the Philippines fell and Malaysia was flat.

Asia Video Content Dynamics tracks investment, production and consumption for TV, film and online video across India, Korea and Southeast Asia’s five biggest growth markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“The outlook remains healthy across much of Asia for the video content industry, with aggregate budgets scaling up in TV, film and online video across our surveyed markets. Much of this growth came from India and Korea, two large production dynamos with deep pools of talent. There are pockets of pressure in other markets however, especially for incumbent free-to-air broadcasters in Malaysia and the Philippines, where TV budgets were reined in. Falls in TV viewership have been especially pronounced in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, largely precipitated by digital competition as viewers flee marginal TV channels. Viewing data suggests that popular TV channels are relatively well insulated from online video competition, at least for now,” said MPA Vice President Stephen Laslocky.

“Meanwhile, investment in online video content continues to scale, up 60% in aggregate to reach US$858 million across the seven surveyed markets, powered by rapid growth in India, boosted by Amazon, Hotstar and Netflix in particular. Online video accounted for 14% of all video content spend in India last year, the highest proportion of all our surveyed markets. Growth in online video budgets is also accelerating from a low base across much of Southeast Asia, although investment remains underweight in Thailand and Vietnam. Online video budgets are also constrained in Korea, due to the popularity of VOD services from incumbent IPTV platforms.”