IHS Markit analysts attended Asia TV Forum in Singapore on 5-7 December to catch up on TV and online video market trends in Asia. Global consumer platforms Facebook and Twitter were in the speaker line-up consisted alongside TV and online video companies. Key themes we noted are as follows:
- Partnerships and collaboration among local and regional players are seen as key to fight the power of global giants such as YouTube, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon
- Telecommunication companies are playing a bigger role in the TV and online video market, leveraging their user base and the mobile data they own
The prominence of Facebook and YouTube in Asia is evident, and it is unique market by market. In Vietnam, YouTube is the go-to online video platform and this has become a key challenge for TV broadcasters which also run their own online services. In response to this, the country’s leading TV broadcaster Vietnam Television teamed up with telco Viettel to offer content to consumers, including the joint acquisition of World Cup 2018 broadcast rights and co-productions to cater to demand on their proprietary online video platforms.
In Thailand, the high traffic and competitive cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of Facebook have obstructed the growth of local online video platforms. Thailand is one of 40 countries to which Facebook has expanded its advanced video advertising product Ad Breaks. Ad Breaks serves pre-roll and mid-roll video ads in videos longer than three minutes and aims to increase revenues for publishers.
The arrival of global streaming giants Netflix and Amazon has driven up prices of online content rights. Their ability to offer competitive prices for online content rights creates both opportunities and hurdles for local players which are both sellers and buyers. According to industry sources, the relatively low numbers of viewers on online platforms in comparison with those on TV platform do not justify the price surge of online TV rights. For instance, in Indonesia, online viewers are less than 10% of TV viewers but online TV rights of popular shows can cost up to 50-200% of the linear TV rights.
In view of the fierce competition from global players, local and regional companies should take a page from European broadcasters’ book to work together to create synergies that use the strength they already have including local content and user data. In a joint venture named European Broadcaster Exchange, TF1, Prosieben and Mediaset jointly launched pan-regional video ads trading platform to cater to the growing programmatic video advertising market which is predominantly controlled by Google and Facebook. In the UK, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have plans to launch a joint online streaming platform to combat Netflix and Amazon.
Besides TV and online video companies, telcos have been increasing their investment in the TV market in this region. With the extensive user base they already acquired and remnant mobile data, telcos in this region have combined resources with TV broadcasters to create and monetise online content. For example, Viettel which reported 63 million subscribers in 2017 collaborates with Vietnam Television to develop a mobile app and short-form video content that aim to lure subscribers into utilising their unused data.
Despite the influence, global advertising players also faced hurdles in Asia as the online media markets continue to develop. The Vietnamese government will require Google and Facebook to set up local offices and data storage facilities in the country by 2019 in order to continue operations there. In the wake of GDPR regulation in Europe and the introduction of blockchain technology in advertising, content creators are increasingly fighting back against revenue-sharing with the duopoly and exploring ways to bypass it.