Video content budgets reach US$10BN in India, Korea, SE Asia | Media Analysis | Business
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Video content budgets in India, Korea and Southeast Asia’s five biggest growth markets have increased to 12% in 2018, up from 8% in 2017, to US$10 billion, according to new research from Media Partners Asia (MPA).
MPA 24July2019
Tracing investment in, and production and consumption of TV, film and online video in India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, MPA found rising competition for audiences and production talent, especially in content hubs India and Korea. Together, India and Korea accounted for more than 75% of video content spend across the countries surveyed in 2018.

India witnessed a 24% surge in video content spend in 2018, taking budgets up to $3.6 billion, the market research company estimates. Premium sports rights, particularly for IPL cricket, saw major investment, along with growth in regional language content outside India’s Hindi heartlands.

While remaining strong, MPA predicts growth in India’s TV entertainment is likely to slow in 2019, due to new regulations on channel pricing and bundling introduced earlier this year.

In Korea, video budgets expanded 7.2% to $3.2 billion in 2018, through increased investment on films and pay-TV content, with rising film production costs and improved production values. MPA said there is “more balanced competition between TV majors in Korea” compared to India, helping foster creative diversity in the East Asian nation. However, Korea’s online video sector is underdeveloped, “due to a thriving TVOD market that captures a large slice of audience time and spend”, said MPA.

Other pockets of growth for video content investment included Indonesia, where budgets expanded 13% in 2018 to US$800 million, and Vietnam, where investment grew 11% in 2018 to US$500 million.

Overall, there were mixed fortunes in Southeast Asia, however. Video content costs in the Philippines fell 2.2% in 2018, reflecting declining audiences for free-to-air and pay-TV. While Malaysia only registered minimal growth due to revenue pressures for Media Prima, the free-to-air incumbent, and Astro, the country’s biggest broadcaster.

“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,” said MPA vice president Stephen Laslocky.

“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.”

“Meanwhile, investment in online video content continues to scale, up 60% in aggregate to reach $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,” added Laslocky.