Growth of APAC’s pay-TV industry slows while OTT players are struggling to satisfy customers

Growth figures revealed this morning by Media Partners Asia painted a worrying picture for the traditional pay-TV industry in Asia Pacific, while customer satisfaction data for video on-demand players in Singapore suggests that the rapidly emerging OTT platforms such as Netflix, Viu and HOOQ have much to do to prove they’re a better option for consumers than piracy.

Media Partners Asia data

Pay-TV subscriber, penetration and revenue growth in APAC: source Media Partners Asia

Southeast Asia, which experienced rapid growth from a small base from 2010 to 2015, is likely to see the biggest slowdown of anywhere in the region over the next five years, while Hong Kong’s pay-TV market is expected to decline, charts displayed at the Content Asia conference in Singapore showed today.

Singapore’s pay-TV market has experienced a slow decline over the last year in terms of subscriber growth while average revenue per user has remained flat, new data revealed. “The churn is real now,” commented MPA’s VP Aravind Venugopal.

Singapore's slow pay-TV decline

Meanwhile, online video revenues in the region, from advertising as well as streaming services, are expected to grow healthily over the next five years, with Venugopal saying that his company’s estimates are “conservative”.

Online video revenues

In Singapore, the providers of streaming online video have more detractors that promoters, according to a newly launched study by MPA. Netflix is proving to be the best of a poorly performing bunch followed by Viu and StarHub Go, with the newly launched Catchplay trailing the pack.

OTT providers customer satisfaction

StarHub Go has the best customer conversion rate in Singapore, according to MPA’s data, with the highest proportion of people who’ve trialed its on-demand product going on to subscribe. But Mediacorp’s Toggle service enjoys the highest awareness, while Viu and Catchplay are playing catch-up in terms of users.

OTT players key performance metrics

The biggest issue for Netflix users seems to be that the shows they want aren’t available on the service in Singapore, while Viu, which went to market leading with Korean content, irks customers mostly with audio sync and buffering issues.

Technical issues

The high price tag of a legitimate OTT service is the biggest reason for people to cancel their subscription, with only a small proportion (16%) complaining that there are too many ads.

Video on demand churn

The favourite content among video on-demand users in Singapore is new Hollywood movies followed by new Chinese dramas. The least watched content is old Indian dramas.

What consumers want from OTT


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