Dataxis: Amazon Prime Video Southeast Asia revamp set for success | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Set to launch brand new streaming products in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, Amazon Prime Video has unveiled ambitious plans to conquer the highly coveted SE Asia region and is to set aside fiercely increasing competition and previous disappointment says a Dataxis research note.
graph 1 amazon prime video strikes back in southeast asia
The analyst notes that even though the SVOD service has been available across Southeast Asia since 2016, it has struggled if not failed to take off while local platforms such as Filipino Vivamax are thriving, and Disney+ Hotstar reports 55 million subscribers, two years following what Dataxis described as its "coup de maître".

However, the study argues that the Amazon revamp could be successful in the region for several reason, primarily localised content and user experience.

Regarding the former, Dataxis makes the point that history has proven over and over that to succeed in Southeast Asia, platforms need to offer their customers a targeted experience. SVOD subscribers are interested in local stories and traditional values. It adds that the US giants are beginning to learn their lessons and started investing massively in regional content and talents.

To that end and for the first time ever, Amazon announced it will be developing several original productions in Indonesia and Thailand, as well as Southeast Asian remakes of successful Western productions like the Italian hit Perfect Strangers. The studio has already green lit three versions of Comedy Island, a new situational comedy improv where eight comedians and celebrities take part in challenges and games. On a technical level, Amazon Prime Video’s interfaces are now available in local languages and subtitling will be more widely available.

Efforts are also being made in terms of prices, which is a critical issue in Southeast Asia where subscribers are very price-sensitive. In its new model, Amazon Prime Video is available for around $4 a month in Indonesia and Thailand (IDR 59,000 and THB 149) and $3 a month in the Philippines (PHP 149), following a seven-day free trial. Dataxis regards this business initiative is coherent to try matching much lower regional ARPUs, in a region where piracy is still widely used and free content is favoured.

Amazon also launched 360° marketing campaigns in the three countries in partnership with local celebrities, who have a huge influence on Southeast Asian consumer behaviours through their enthusiastic use of social media. The studios also worked with local producers to conceive video campaigns playing on local stereotypes: for example, the Filipino campaign highlighting the cliché that Filipinos are always late to ironically mirror the late arrival of Prime in the region.

“Amazon clearly understood the assignment, but this sudden wake-up call also reflects a more general attitude of giant platforms on the verge of losing their leadership, such as Netflix which almost lost a million subscribers and subsequently launched an ad-supported offer in the US,” said Dataxis analyst Raphaëlle Delbèque in the research note.

“The streaming competition landscape in Southeast Asia is more ruthless than ever and demands an impeccable comprehension of each market, far from the “one-size-fits-all” strategy adopted so far by some SVOD giants. With its bold plan, Amazon is on the road to redemption.”