TV, film, online video content budgets across leading Asian markets pass $10BN in 2017 | Media Analysis | Business
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The 2018 edition of the Media Partners Asia (MPA) Asia Video Content Dynamics report shows content spend across the key markets in the region rose 8% annually to reach to $10.2 billion in 2017, with online video providing a huge spur.

Video Content Investment Trends Across India Korea And Southeast Asia
The biggest contributors to aggregate incremental growth in video content spend across the seven markets in 2017 were pay-TV (38%) and online video (30%). By individual territories, the biggest increases in identified in India and Korea.

MPA remarked that India’s 14% annual growth in video content investment was a standout in 2017, driven by pay-TV. Content investment in India’s online video market was also found to be growing rapidly, driven by competition among well-capitalised global and local platforms. The analyst believes that trend should continue over the next three years. By contrast, video content investment in Korea rose by a more moderate 7% in 2017, although MPA predicts that growth will likely accelerate when China eventually lifts its ban on Korean dramas, movies and talent. Online video content investment in Korea is also starting to accelerate and will continue to do so over the course of 2018-19.

The survey also found that growth in production spend across emerging Southeast Asia markets was generally satisfactory in 2017. While free-to-air TV dominates video content investment, the pace of growth slowed substantially in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam due to a deceleration and broader volatility in TV advertising. Malaysia, meanwhile, experienced a decline in video content investment in 2017, mainly due to Astro cutting spend on international pay channels. MPA pinpointed declines in Malaysian free-to-air advertising also reined in Media Prima’s ability to invest in content. It postulated that the outlook for Malaysia could improve as new government policies bolster economic growth, broadening consumer spend and ad dollars.

Drama was found to be driving audience share region-wide, with the report showing a degree of cross-pollination across markets. Korean dramas air throughout the region, while Indian dramas have performed well in Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. ABS-CBN’s Pasión de Amor rated well in Vietnam. The profile of Thai dramas, particularly after the success of historical drama Love Destiny, is growing. Sports also rated highly across the region. Cricket matches accounted for 24 of India’s 25 top-rated pay-TV programmes in 2017, while in Indonesia, football matches accounted for 14 of the top 25 programmes. Even in markets like Vietnam, where sports accounted for just 2% audience share, football matches made up 4 of the top 15 programmes in 2017.

Commenting on key findings from the report, MPA vice president Stephen Laslocky said: “In general, content investment dynamics are favourable with content investment growing. Pay-TV content costs in the surveyed markets grew 5%, led by India and Korea and driven by local entertainment and sports. Free-to-air content investment was up 6% in 2017.

"Scale and growth in free-to-air content investment is largely attributable to Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, driven by local entertainment. Film production budgets in the surveyed markets were up 10%, driven by Korea and India. Online video investment is growing rapidly from a low base, up almost 80% during 2017. Rising competitive intensity is driving up online video content costs as rival platforms produce and acquire local series and movies, especially in India and Korea. We expect online video content investment to also pick up in emerging markets across Southeast Asia, led by Indonesia and the Philippines.”