Paid online on-demand video services are increasingly popular worldwide, and Asia is emerging as a hot growth region. Driven by companies like Google, HOOQ and Netflix, this new model of watching TV and other video content via the internet wherever and whenever users want is capturing growing audiences from Thailand to Taiwan. Over the next five years alone, the number of video-on-demand (VOD) subscribers in Asia is set to double to 360 million.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT OF REGULATORS AND HOLLYWOOD ACTORS
“It’s a very exciting time for video on demand. Hollywood actors and directors are looking at it, investors are looking at it and regulators are looking at it,” said Nicolo’ Andreula, Singapore-based Principal at AlphaBeta Advisors.
He travelled to India this month to share insights from AlphaBeta’s latest research at CyFy 2017, a leading conference on cyber security and internet. The two-day event in New Delhi attracted government delegations and technology experts from around the world, who discussed current internet trends and their implications for policymakers, including the growth of the VOD market.
“We felt there was a research gap” – Nicolo’ Andreula, Principal
AlphaBeta’s research contributes to the debate by offering several fresh facts on the nature of the VOD industry in Asia. “There are four key questions where we felt there was a research gap: What is the real value of VOD services for consumers? What is driving this value? What is the effect of legal content availability on piracy: will it lead to lower or higher illegal consumption? And finally, what are the implications for policymakers?” said Mr Andreula.
As the price of VOD subscriptions typically only covers some, but not all, of the consumer benefits of streaming services, AlphaBeta analysts had to dig deeper to assess the true economic value of these digital services. They launched a large-scale consumer survey to create a unique picture of what Asians really think about video on demand.
“This is a novel approach because we can have statistically significant results about how VOD is consumed and valued in the emerging Asian markets,” said Mr Andreula. “Traditional economic measures fail to capture this. And that’s why we commissioned a survey. We basically asked existing VOD subscribers what is their willingness to pay or how much are these products worth to them. And the results are actually quite exciting.”
FRESH SIGNS THAT VOD USERS DOWNLOAD LESS PIRACY CONTENT
AlphaBeta research shows that customers in India, Taiwan and Thailand think video-on-demand services are on average US$223 per year more valuable than the subscription price they pay. This additional value is mostly driven by the specific features of video on demand, particularly the fact that consumers can use these services at their own leisure and wherever they want. Moreover, the survey provides new evidence that people tend to download less pirated content when they have access to legal VOD streaming services.
Apart from showcasing these findings, AlphaBeta’s final report also offers guidance on policy reforms for the VOD market, based on a global overview of regulatory best practices.
Read the full AlphaBeta report “The Screen Evolution: How video on demand boosts Asia’s economies and generates value for viewers, businesses and society”.