Executives told Reuters that US streaming giant Netflix is ​​accelerating its mobile-only subscription plan in Southeast Asia and expanding local content, just as rival Disney enters the fast-growing market.

Netflix told Reuters that it is the world’s largest video streaming platform based on paying customers. Among the nearly 200 million users worldwide, more than 1 million are located in Southeast Asia, with a population of approximately 655 million. Analysts said, but the market is ready for rapid growth, and Disney + Hotstar, launched in Indonesia next month, will become a key battlefield.

Ajay Arora, director of product innovation at Netflix, told Reuters in a recent interview: “In Southeast Asia, what we see is a very mobile-centric market.” Arora said this has led the company to implement cheaper mobile plans. , And adapt its products to low-end smart phones.

According to research by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co, the total revenue of subscription music and video in Southeast Asia in 2019 is estimated to reach US$600 million (approximately Rs 4,491 crore), but it is expected to exceed each year The study said that by 2025 (approximately Rs 22,457 crore).

Starting in India in August 2019, Netflix has now launched mobile-only plans in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia-all of these plans are priced under US$5 (approximately Rs 370) per month. Netflix has always insisted on pricing in Western markets, which is a deviation.

The repeated coronavirus lockdowns across Southeast Asia have also increased the demand for home streaming content in the region.

A Netflix spokesperson told Reuters that the company “has more than 1 million subscribers in multiple Southeast Asian countries,” but declined to provide details.

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The Asian partner of Consulting Media estimates that by the end of 2020, the total number of users of video streaming services in Southeast Asia will reach 14.7 million.

Netflix executive Arora said his company is also committed to expanding payment methods in countries with low credit and debit card penetration. In markets such as the Philippines, subscribers can pay for Netflix through mobile phone plans or purchase Netflix prepaid cards at convenience stores.

The company not only faces regional competition from Disney+, a distant but ambitious global ranking. Ranked 2 in the industry. Other regional competitors include Viu, a Hong Kong video service company popular with Korean TV dramas, and WeTV of Chinese technology giant Tencent, which acquired the assets of Malaysian streaming platform Iflix in June.

Disney+ is currently recruiting throughout the region and is expected to be widely launched with its Indian streaming platform Hotstar in the next few months. Disney’s family movies and superhero movies have received unanimous praise in Southeast Asia.

Disney+ said last week that in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country with a population of 270 million, it will work with state-owned telecommunications company Telkomsel to begin operations in September. The company’s catalog will include more than 300 local movies.

Facing the challenge, Myleeta Aga, head of content for Southeast Asia at Netflix, told Reuters that the company announced two new Indonesian original products earlier last Thursday, which are very important to the region and will continue to increase local content delivery. She said that Netflix expects to start filming projects in Indonesia and Thailand soon.

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© Thomson Reuters 2020

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