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Asian Content Attracts and Retains 80% of Region’s VOD Audiences, Report

Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Asian audiences are increasingly turning to homegrown content in their streaming choices. Asian titles powering 80% of premium VOD engagement and customer acquisition, according to new research from research and consultancy firm Media Partners Asia. “The Rise of Asian Content” is based on passive tracking of 40,000 users by sister company AMPD in nine major Asian markets – Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand – over 15 months between Jan.

2023 and March 2024. “Content originating from Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia and Thailand drives 70-75% of premium VOD engagement, acquisition and hits in Asia,” said MPA lead analyst Dhivya T. “While the impact and travelability of K-dramas and anime is well-established, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian content are also emerging as important categories.

Modern Chinese dramas are increasingly taking on K-drama-like storylines and themes, appealing to wider audiences through platforms like Netflix and Viu, relative to traditional Chinese costume fantasy dramas, which remain popular in Thailand and Taiwan. “In Indonesia and Thailand, key studios (Screenplay, MD Entertainment, The One Enterprise, GDH 559) are growing into producers of streaming hits, with Thai drama, romance, comedy, and Indonesian horror emerging as the genres with the highest regional travelability and appeal,” said the analyst. Korean content continues to stand out as Asia’s leading content category with over 40% of engagement and hits and 30% of customer acquisition.

Korea is also the largest destination for content investment, attracting an estimated $1.3 billion from major streamers Netflix, Viu, Disney and Amazon Prime Video in 2023. A variety of genres contribute to the Korean wave. While romance remains hugely popular, revenge plots (“Taxi Driver”), supernatural fantasies (“Island,” “The Uncanny Counter”), strong female-led thrillers and comedies (“The Glory,” “Mask Girl”) were among the top titles of 2023-24.