Blog

Will boom in CTV help
Free Ad Supported TV thrive in APAC?

September 24, 2021

By Jay Ganesan, SVP Sales, APAC, Amagi

It’s the weekend. You have the entire day to relax and watch interesting movies. You wind up all your chores, get some popcorn and sit in your favorite chair. As you switch on your video device and begin browsing through a huge collection of apps each with a huge collection of movies, you realize something—you don’t know what to watch!

Having multiple S-VOD subscriptions in hand doesn’t excite us any more as more options simply mean more chaos. Audiences across the US and Europe are showing signs of this phenomenon called subscription fatigue, forcing them away from the S-VOD model towards linear TV experience delivered by Free Ad Supported TV (FAST).

The question before content brands and distributors in the APAC region is, does FAST stand a chance in this part of the world? Will the demand for linear content in the Asia-Pacific region see a boom? What are the opportunities for content owners in the ad supported streaming TV space?
The outlook seems bright thanks once again to CTV that is making steady inroads into households across countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Australia, India, and Singapore.

FAST platforms such as Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, the Roku Channel, Xumo and Peacock offer a litany of free linear channels of all genres served with targeted ads. In the last few years, we have seen a growing number of content owners distributing their content, belonging to a wide variety of genres, across ad supported platforms and expanding their reach and revenues. The star catalyst of the FAST revolution has been connected TV (CTV) that has given a huge fillip to FAST.

While the APAC region continues to be a strong mobile first market, the adoption of CTV is projected to witness a robust growth as well. Here’s a quick snapshot of people viewing streaming TV from the GlobalWebIndex 2020 report:

  • Vietnam: 83%
  • Thailand: 78%
  • Indonesia: 63%
  • Malaysia: 69%
  • Singapore: 68%
  • The Philippines: 76%

If we talk about Indonesia alone, 7 in every 10 consumers already have access to a connected TV. The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be fruitful for the growth of connected TV adoption as more and more people switched to family viewing. This led to a 92% increase in the consumption of streamed content.

CTV adoption figures from Australia are impressive as well. 8 in every 10 consumers have access to a connected TV and prefer it for viewing over a mobile device.

Giant consumer electronics companies like Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, and TCL have already taken the cue and are hence looking at capturing the space that combines linear television viewing and federation of third-party S-VOD and A-VOD apps.

Looking at these numbers, it’s safe to say that connected TV-based viewing is only going to exponentially rise in the APAC region.

This also means big things in terms of advertising spends for connected TVs. In an interesting study by Video Advertising Bureau, it was discovered that when people consume ads as a group, they tend to get more emotionally invested in them. The emotional response of solo viewers was recorded as 37%, while group viewers had a whopping 71%.

Why APAC content brands must think FAST

  • Better content distribution and monetization

    Higher adoption of connected TVs means a brighter horizon for FAST resulting in better content monetization chances. Currently, content owners in Asia are primarily looking at international FAST markets to carry their content. Especially, channels catering to diaspora like Indian/Filipino as well as internationally popular content like Korean drama.

    Given the rising connected TV adoption rates, and the fact that APAC consumers are more tolerant to ads, they are ready to hop on to FAST. Content owners, therefore, automatically have a large user base to target. They can create niche content and leverage dynamic ad-insertion technology to launch highly impactful ad campaigns, successfully monetizing their content.

  • Users love longer videos

    According to YouTube’s Internal Data from Japan, Australia, and India for 2021, audiences are streaming content for longer hours and choosing longer videos to watch. Longer videos mean increased opportunities for ad placements and hence, better monetization chances.

  • Opportunity to target multilingual users

    There’s a significant proportion of regional audiences who love to watch long-tail content either in their local language or English. Creating and distributing such content with subtitles, on an ad-funded OTT model can massively help content brands.

Is FAST the future in APAC?

As people move away from traditional cable TV and even S-VOD, A-VOD is predicted to be the fastest-growing content model. Based on a study by Digital TV Research, A-VOD revenues are set to increase by 100% between 2020 and 2025. On the other hand, revenue from S-VOD is projected to grow by a mere 59% for the same timeframe.

What makes FAST the new black?

  • No subscription fee: In a world where consumers are tired of paying up for multiple S-VOD subscriptions, FAST is a breath of fresh air.
  • No strings attached entertainment: All they need for quality entertainment is — an internet connection and a video device.
  • The love for quality content: As one of the major drawbacks of the S-VOD model is poor content discovery, viewers tend to miss some great titles. Replacing this with a simple, lean-back, linear model like FAST helps them discover some excellent multilingual content with subtitles, thus ensuring a great viewing experience. The demand for high-quality multilingual content also helps attract the regional content players making FAST a win-win.
  • Lower ad-loads: With A-VOD options like FAST, consumers get to enjoy great quality content with minimal ad interruption.
  • Device agnostic model: FAST can be viewed on mobiles, connected TVs and smart TVs that come pre-installed with options making it easily discoverable and customer friendly.

COST | CONTENT | CONVENIENCE

Have any brands already taken the free ad supported route in APAC?

The answer is, YES!

  • Samsung TV Plus: After launching in Australia, Brazil, and Mexico, Samsung TV Plus came to India in March 2021. A smart TV working on a ‘no strings attached’ model is hence not an alien concept for the APAC audiences anymore.
  • Amazon MiniTV: Launched with the aim to drive more people to shop on Amazon, this free video streaming service resides inside the Amazon Android app. Amazon has partnered with various content creators like TVF (The Viral Fever) and offers different genres of entertainment like lifestyle, comedy etc.
  • Jungo+: It is a free video streaming platform that has a highly niche audience base. It targets people with interests K-Pop, health and wellness, e-sports, and mixed martial arts.

There’s no better time than now for content owners to enter the FAST lane and create unforgettable viewing experiences for users while making the most of their content in terms of monetization.

The APAC market is ready for FAST. It is ready for YOU. Are you?

If you are all set to thrive in the FAST world, it’s time to get the Amagi advantage.

Amagi is the largest FAST provider in the industry and has got everything you need to thrive in this increasingly competitive ecosystem. You can count on us as your one-stop broadcast team to manage your end-to-end channel creation, distribution, and monetization requirements – with agility and proven technical excellence.

End-to-end streaming solutions | Ease of launch | Quick GTM

Reach out to us at cloudandme@amagi.com

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