Netflix tools up in Southeast Asia as Disney+ launches in Indonesia

Platform News: Streaming services, including Netflix

American streaming giant Netflix is ramping up its mobile-only subscription programs in Southeast Asia and expanding local content, senior executives told Reuters, as arch-rival Disney arrives at the fast-growing sector.

The world’s largest video streaming platform by paid clients, Netflix told journalists at our content partner Reuters over a thousand of its nearly 200 million subscribers around the globe are in Southeast Asia, home to approximately 655 million individuals. But the sector is ripe for rapid growth, analysts say, with the Disney+ Hotstar launching in Indonesia next month set to be a vital battleground.

That has led the company to push cheaper cellular plans and adapt its product to match lower-end smartphones, Arora said.

Southeast Asia is estimated to have generated $600 million in total subscription music and video revenue in 2019, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co – but that is set to burst into an annual $3 billion by 2025, the study stated.

Beginning with India at August 2019, Netflix has launched mobile-only programs in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia – all priced at under $5 per month.

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Repeated coronavirus lockdowns across Southeast Asia also have increased the desire for content flowing at home across the area.

Netflix executive Ajay Arora said his company is also working to expand its payment choices in nations with low debit and credit card penetration. In markets such as the Philippines, subscribers can pay for Netflix through their cellular telephone plans, or by buying prepaid Netflix cards at convenience stores.

The business faces competition in the area not only from Disney+, a remote, but challenging, international no. 2 in the business. Other regional competitions comprise Hong Kong movie service Viu, popular because of its Korean dramas, in addition to Chinese tech giant Tencent’s WeTV, which in June purchased the assets of Malaysian streaming platform Iflix.

Disney+ is now in the midst of a hiring spree throughout the area and is expected to launch widely in the coming months together with its Indian streaming platform Hotstar. Disney’s family and superhero films have shown consistent hits in Southeast Asia.

In Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation with 270 million people, Disney+ said last week it would begin working in September in partnership with state-owned telco Telkomsel with a catalog that will include over 300 local films.

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Bracing for the struggle, Netflix Southeast Asia articles lead Myleeta Aga told Reuters that the firm, which announced two new first Indonesian productions before last Thursday, places high importance on the area and will continue to ramp up local content offerings. She said Netflix hopes to begin filming projects in Indonesia and Thailand shortly.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell.

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