U.S. Content Weakening, But Still Key for Subs

U.S-produced film and TV content has maintained leadership in terms of reach among Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) users in nine major markets in Asia-Pacific. And it remains important for acquiring and maintaining subscriptions, a new report finds.

New research from consultancy firm Media Partners Asia is based on passively-collected data from 40,000 digital users amassed by its AMPD sister company. Territories covered include Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, from May 2023 to April 2024.

American content was viewed by 60% of the monitored users in the first quarter of this year. That put it ahead of Korean shows, watched by 56% in the region, and Japanese, watched by 48%.

But the U.S. content viewership number is down from 70% two years ago. And figures vary significantly, with 69% watching in Australia and Southeast Asia, where its viewership is 32%. But in the rich and populous East Asian markets of Japan and Korea, viewership is as low as 11% and 9%, respectively.

While U.S. content s reach has declined steadily to 70% to 60% over the past two years, it retains an important role in subscriber acquisition. Even highly local markets such as Korea, Japan and Indonesia, U.S. content drove 15-30% of SVOD customer acquisition, said MPA analyst Dhivya T. “Long-tail appeal and a variety of scripted genres across series and movies, topped by science fiction and fantasy, power U.S. content popularity in APAC. Fan-favorite sitcoms and procedurals such as ‘Friends‘ and ‘The Office’ have enduring engagement impact, with library titles making up 68% of the top 500 U.S. titles in APAC.”

The report provides a deep dive into the production studios powering popular US content, with Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal in the lead. Third-party studio content drove approximately 75% of U.S. content engagement on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, while Disney+ viewership was almost entirely produced by Disney companies. Key third-party producers include WBD, NBCU, Paramount and Sony across multiple platforms in the region.

The report found that Netflix dominates U.S. content engagement, capturing 50-75% of U.S. streaming hours per market in the past year. The availability of local subtitles and dubs (Thai, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese) at launch have driven the impact of Netflix s U.S. originals in APAC, with titles such as One Piece, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Extraction 2 topping reach in APAC.

Prime Video, the SVOD leader in Japan, drove 23% of U.S. streaming hours in Japan, while Disney+ captured 15-20% of U.S. content viewership in Australia, Japan and Korea. Key local platforms like Stan and Binge (Australia), Hulu Japan and U-Next (Japan), Wavve and Tving (Korea) have captured a notable share of U.S. content engagement in their respective markets.

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