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South Korean Shows Become the Largest Consumed Online Video Content in Southeast Asia

2021 korean dramas
Credit: tvN, Netflix

According to the most recent Media Partners Asia (MPA) analysis, Korean dramas were the most popular online video content category in Southeast Asia in 2021.

The MPA analysis, titled Southeast Asia Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics, also finds that the popularity of Korean shows were followed by local video content, mainly Thai and Indonesian, with U.S. programming falling to third place in several regions.

As per the report, the region attracted 16.2 million new subscribers through 2021 with the overall aggregate customer base hitting 36.6 million by the end of the year. Seventy-five percent of the increase was attributed to Indonesia and Thailand, the region’s two largest SVOD markets. With 7.2 million, 6.5 million, and 6.4 million customers, Disney, Viu, and Netflix continue to be Southeast Asia’s largest SVOD services.

The survey reports the market for Korean dramas is mostly driven by content on Netflix and Viu. Disney released Korean originals in November 2021, with strong pre-release demands in the region. The slate has increased dramatically in 2022 and will fuel demand across Southeast Asia.

Netflix’s originals and Disney’s franchises and kids content accounted for 22 percent of Southeast Asian usage. The report notes that U.S. content drove 35-40% of consumption, becoming the most influential category in English regions like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

However, the report says the preference is for Korean or local dramas over Chinese content outside of Thailand. Japanese animation is still popular and available on Netflix, iQIYI, Viu, WeTV, and other platforms.

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