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The State of Streaming: Asia report for Q1 2021 from Conviva has revealed the extent to which streaming continues to grow as viewers embrace smart TVs and connected TV devices in the first quarter of the year.
Conviva Asia 18 May2021
Data for the report was primarily collected from the intelligence cloud for streaming media’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in streaming video applications, measuring unique viewers watching streams.

The report revealed that while time spent streaming in Asia grew by a moderate 15% year-on-year – as compared with 36% globally – Southern Asia, which includes India, Pakistan and Iran, experienced a massive 151% increase. Significantly, for the first time ever, on-demand streaming superseded live streaming in Asia, with viewers spending 57% of their time watching on-demand, up from 44% a year prior.

The report also showed streaming viewers in Asia embracing connected TV devices, smart TVs and gaming consoles. Asia has long been a mobile-first region but in Q1 2021 there was a shift to larger screens, particularly in Southern Asia where big screens accounted for 42% of viewing time. Asia’s device choices when streaming on big screens differ greatly from other global regions. Whereas Roku and Amazon Fire TV accounted for almost half of the world's big screen time, Android TV dominated viewing in Asia with nearly half of all time spent. Roku, a powerhouse in North America, with a 30% share of global big screen viewing time, was found by Conviva to have barely made a blip in Asia with less than 1% share in Q1 2021. Throughout Asia, viewership on smart TVs and connected TV devices grew 335% and 147%, respectively year over year.

The study also showed that streaming quality improved in Asia specific to video start failures and picture quality. Connected TV devices saw the largest drop in video start failures with 78% improvement, followed by smart TVs with 53%. Tablets and smart TVs saw the biggest gains in picture quality with bitrate up 27% and 24%, respectively. Video start time and buffering was more challenging, with video start times coming in 7% worse year over year throughout Asia and desktops (94%), mobile phones (16%) and tablets (24%) showing an increase in buffering times.

Prior to the current restrictions in sports across the region, especially India, the study highlighted that sports leagues in Asia rallied with significant increases in engagements in Q1 2021 with the Indian Premier League (IPL) up 142%, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) up 60% and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) up 29%. The IPL had the largest presence on Facebook with 51% of their audience on the platform, followed by Instagram at 22% and Twitter at 20%. NPB fostered the majority of their audience on Twitter with 55% share, followed by YouTube and Instagram at 15% each and Facebook at 14%.

“Streaming viewership has been steadily increasing around the world, and Asia is no exception,” said Conviva CEO Keith Zubchevich commenting on the State of Streaming: Asia report for Q1 2021. “As more and more viewers embrace streaming on both big and small screens, we see international markets such as Asia providing a massive opportunity for publishers, advertisers and, most importantly, consumers hungry for creative and convenient programming.”