At the height of the pandemic, streaming exploded in popularity across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Isolated and bored at home, most people had more time and interest than ever to stream the entertainment they love. But even as life returns to its regular rhythm, streaming is hardly waning in relevance. In fact, it’s still expanding.
“Streaming is still growing—not as fast as it did the year before, but it is still way higher than the pre-pandemic levels. What we believe is that habit of being able to stream content on various streaming devices has taken form, and that habit is not going away anywhere.” —Sushant Sharma, Vice President of Sales for APAC, Conviva
Growing interest in streaming is not the only news out of the ever-evolving APAC market. Conviva’s recent report, The State of Streaming in APAC, revealed several major trends in the region. Here are four key takeaways.
1. Data insights take center stage.
As more consumers have adopted streaming, more streaming providers are getting serious about data, incorporating these insights into their decision-making processes and day-to-day business operations.
Sharma points to Conviva’s platform, which he says his clients are using across teams. From technology, to operations, to marketing and content, Sharma sees data as a key tool for every team at an organization.
“It’s all connected. It’s not disjointed datasets sitting in silos. I think that unification of data across different teams within an organization—that has also been quite a trend that we have seen in terms of how companies have become more mature in adopting data.”—Sushant Sharma, Vice President of Sales in APAC, Conviva
2. Advertisers have begun investing in quality.
While advertisers have long targeted ad effectiveness and viewability, they have often ignored the correlation between ad quality and engagement. But it’s become apparent in recent years that the poorer the ad quality, the more likely viewers are to disengage. Ultimately, poor-quality ads can lead to a high rate of content abandonment—the last thing advertisers want.
“You can invest all you want in a technology but if you’re not able to measure the ad streaming quality, then you’re losing a big chunk of not just the revenue, but also the audiences who are tuning out.”—Sushant Sharma, Vice President of Sales in APAC, Conviva
3. Viewers are starting to embrace larger screens.
APAC has historically been a mobile market. In an on-the-go culture, small screens that offer a convenient and intimate way to consume media enjoy enduring popularity.
“Pan-Asia, outside of China, we’re talking about easily a 70% Android market. That’s very much the business, and that remains the core.”—Debbie Lee, CEO, TechSortm TV
But APAC streaming is not exclusively a smartphone game. Larger screens, like smart TVs, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV, are gaining a foothold in markets like Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam. And for the most part, consumers are enjoying a mix of both small-screen and large-screen streaming.
“By-and-large we are seeing a big shift towards large-screen devices. The share of total streaming consumption in Q4 on large-screen devices was 27% in Q4, as compared to 14% in Q3 last year.”—Sushant Sharma, Vice President of Sales in APAC, Conviva
4. Esports are growing up.
Esports are big business in Asia, and it’s evolving like the rest of the streaming world. Influenced by the look of real-world athletics, esports creators are enhancing the quality of their production to keep consumers engaged.
“Today, we see the publishers and the rights owners wanting bigger productions that look more like the biggest physical sports. They’re running shows in bigger studios with a lot of additional stats and graphics. The professionalism of the productions is becoming bigger and bigger.” —Alberto Vía, CEO, Overon
Streamers have already found new and unique ways to engage their esport audiences, adding more layers to the fan experience than even traditional sports can offer. And it could spell big money. Streamers are banking on this approach to audience engagement to expand their bases and grow revenue.