The Asian market is currently one of the hottest for competition among streaming platforms. And it's an area where Disney+ is aiming to make its mark against its numerous competitors. The Magical Kingdom's streaming platform recently reached the milestone of 5 million subscribers in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, Disney+ is known as Disney+ Hotstar, a special version of the platform specific to India and Indonesia. Launched in the Indonesian market in September 2020, at a lower price than in other countries, the American service has just reached the 5 million subscriber mark. A figure that demonstrates the service's successful launch in the country and which makes Indonesia one of the largest and most competitive streaming markets in Southeast Asia, according to trade publication Variety.
"Indonesia continues to be an arena for competition and scale for local, regional and global streamers, with growing pressure on incumbents to stand out in brand, content, marketing and bundling in order to impact time and wallet share. Vidio [Indonesian streaming service, ed.] and Disney+ Hotstar were stand-outs in the first quarter, growing their share of premium video consumption to 28% and 15% respectively, up from 19% and 10% in the fourth quarter of 2021, to occupy the top two spots, ahead of WeTV, Netflix and Viu. Both platforms have benefited from new local original series and marketing, while Disney's K-dramas and Vidio's sports offering also had impact during the quarter," said Dhivya T, an analyst at MPA for Variety.
"We expect premium video competition to intensify further later this year as entrants like Amazon Prime Video land and incumbents continue to invest in local content, partnerships, marketing and branding to win customers," she added.
Southeast Asia, an Eldorado for streaming?
According to a study by consulting firm Media Partners Asia and its usage measurement subsidiary AMPD, the total number of people subscribing to a video-on-demand service in Southeast Asia reached 39.5 million at the end of March. In the first quarter of 2022, the region added 2.8 million new subscribers. Indonesia alone counts 17.4 million SVOD subscribers.
Disney+ Hotstar now has more than 50 million subscribers and is experiencing strong growth with a 42% increase in subscriptions in one year, compared to 28% for the "classic" version of Disney+.
While Disney+ is starting to make its mark in the region, Netflix maintains the upper hand in Southeast Asia by proposing content adapted to the local culture such as Korean dramatic series, the famous "K-dramas," as well as Japanese anime plus international series and films. "Local series, particularly in Indonesia and Thailand, have proven use-cases in customer acquisition and retention. Along with local, US and Korean content and live sports are expected to continue to drive premium customer demand. The expansion of Amazon Prime Video in 2H 2022 is also set to intensify competition, along with Disney+ Hotstar's launch in the Philippines," outlined Vivek Couto, MPA executive director.