OTT video streaming in APAC now reaches 392 million people

Thursday, March 4th, 2021
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OTT video streaming in APAC now reaches 392 million people, says SpotX research into markets across the region

  • 70% of Consumers Across APAC Watch Streaming Video at Least Once a Week

SINGAPORE, TOKYO and SYDNEY — SpotX, the leading global video advertising platform, today unveiled its debut ‘OTT is for Everyone APAC’ research, reporting that nearly 400 million people now use video streaming services across the Asia-Pacific region.

The SpotX report examines OTT (over-the-top) video consumption trends and advertising receptivity in the APAC region, covering Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. Each market includes in-depth audience profiles, viewing behaviour and advertising impact and effectiveness analysis, along with comments from platform providers and advertising agency executives.

OTT services allow viewers to stream video content over the internet, from a multitude of devices including smart TVs, personal computers or smartphones. SpotX said the aim of the report is to provide advertisers and media owners with an enhanced understanding of the trends driving OTT viewership in the Asia-Pacific region which has distinct characteristics versus Western markets.

“OTT has reached critical mass in APAC,” said Spotx CEO Mike Shehan. “APAC is a rich and diverse region that has fully embraced streaming video at levels unmatched by Western markets. It also comes with its own unique characteristics. For example, in Southeast Asian countries smartphones monopolise viewing, whereas in Australia and Japan smart TV’s are more popular and consumers use a broader mix of devices.”

He added: “New consumers are coming online for the first time, and existing ones have increased their content consumption during the pandemic. The estimated reach of active OTT viewers in APAC is 392 million people, larger than the population of the United States.’’

The key findings from the research were:

  • Over two thirds (69%) of video viewers in the region watch streaming video at least once a week, confirming that both the audience size and regularity of OTT viewing has matured and entered the mainstream. The top three markets for OTT viewing were Singapore (91%), Australia (81%), and Indonesia (76%).
  • A majority of OTT viewers watch more than two hours of content a day, often out-stripping traditional TV and video-sharing platforms. The leading markets for OTT consumption are the Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia.
  • Of OTT viewers across the region, 66% spend the most time streaming video on their mobile devices, with developing countries taking the lead. However, smart TV viewership is growing quickly, especially in Australia, Singapore, and Vietnam, where at least one in five video viewers stream through a smart TV.
  • Most video viewers (67%) prefer to watch free, ad-supported content versus only 23% who prefer to pay for an ad-free service. There is also a clear acceptance of ads in exchange for viewing free content, with 86% of viewers saying they don’t mind watching ads – provided the ad loads are kept light.
  • Streamers say that OTT ads are more effective than TV ads at attracting their attention across Southeast Asian countries.
  • OTT ads are driving purchase behaviour. More than one-third (35%) of OTT viewers report making a purchase after seeing an ad during an OTT programme. The leading markets were Vietnam, Singapore, and Indonesia.

The research showed that Indonesia, the largest and fastest growing market in Southeast Asia, has seen a surge in OTT viewing with 79% percent of viewers in the 18-34 age bracket and 86% of those watch video mostly on their phones.

“We are only scratching the surface of the possibilities in OTT,” said Crisela Magpayo Cervantes, Mindshare Indonesia Principal Partner. “Not only have users grown due to the stay-at-home regulations, but it is a habit that Indonesians will continue to pursue post-pandemic.” She added: “Local original series and movies, Korean drama, and sports, are driving OTT growth as are different acquisition strategies, through telco partnerships, and new funding models.”


The research was undertaken by Singapore-based research firm Milieu Insights, which conducted a quantitative survey of 7,000 people across eleven markets. People were surveyed by an online panel, and were 16 and older, and watched video content on any device.