Over the Top in Southeast Asia

24 Mar 2017

Over the Top in Southeast Asia

High Growth Region for Japanese Content
A consolidated research piece


Southeast Asia is the next big destination for video streaming services. 

The overall revenue in Video on Demand segment amounts to US$395.1 million in 2016, which is expected to show an average annual growth rate (CAGR 2016—2020) of 13.60% resulting in US$645.90 million market volume in 2020.

The average user penetration (consuming streaming video) in the region is noted 8.60% with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of US$19.60/user in 2016 and is expected to hit 15.20% by 2020.


With the overall internet penetration of 82.5% in Singapore, 68.6% in Malaysia, 43.5% in Philippines, 55.9% in Thailand, 50.1% in Vietnam and 20.4% in Indonesia, one can definitely say that internet consumption is only going to increase exponentially in Southeast Asia, providing a greater scope for video streaming


In explaining the success of Japanese popular culture in East and Southeast Asia (but not in America or Europe), some suggest that “cultural proximity” determines the trajectory of cultural flows. 

They maintain that Japanese popular culture embodies some sort of Asian content, or “Asian fragrance,” which easily resonates with local consumers.1

Many of the Japanese TV programs have not necessarily fully expanded into overseas markets. This offers massive opportunities of growth.

“Cool Japan” 2

  • Promotes the export of Japan-made content that are praised as “cool” by overseas fans
  • The distribution of Japanese content is gradually expanding.
  • Focused on ASEAN countries, specifically Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines,

“There is a strong demand for North Asian content across the Southeast Asian market, especially the types of Japanese dramas and variety entertainment shows for which Nippon TV is highly regarded.”


George Chien

Executive VP, Networks

Asia-Pacific for SPT

“After three years of actively pursuing various content-related business opportunities in Southeast Asia, we came to realize that our programs are our strength and greatest asset. This led to our discovery that the pay TV business would best enable us to provide constant access to top-notch Nippon TV entertainment to viewers in Southeast Asia. The success of such a venture depends on having a partner who is familiar with and has a proven track record in the pay TV and media landscape in Asia.”


Kimio Maruyama

Board Director and Executive Operating Officer

Nippon TV

Rise in Japanese TV Content Demand 3

  • The export value of Japanese broadcast content topped 13 billion yen in FY 2013.
  • The export value of Japanese broadcast content was 18.25 billion yen in FY 2014.


Figure: Export value of Japanese broadcast content



Note: Export value of broadcast content: total export value of program broadcast rights, Internet distribution rights, video and DVD rights, format and restaging rights, merchandising rights, and similar rights.

Note: From FY 2010 onward, the export value from other revenue streams has been included along with program broadcast rights in the export value of broadcast content. Figures prior to FY 2010 are the export value for program broadcast rights only.

Japan TV in Asian Markets 4

  1. Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting, known as Tokyo MX, aims to achieve overseas sales of 300 million yen to 500 million yen ($2.47 million to $4.12 million) for fiscal 2016, ending March 2017, mainly from sponsorship sales.
  2. Another company joining the competition is Wakuwaku Japan, a unit of leading Japanese satellite TV operator Sky Perfect JSAT. The broadcaster plans to expand coverage to 22 countries by 2020. Currently, it has channels in Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore, which air Japanese dramas and J-League soccer matches. The company is looking to launch a themed channel on the platform of a leading cable TV operator in Singapore in an effort to increase viewership.


  • The Japanese TV industry's main focus in Thailand is re-making Japanese variety shows.
  • Expectations in the Japanese TV industry are high because many Thais show keen interest in Japanese pop culture


Singaporeans in particular have a great appreciation for Japanese content, hence the need to meet the demand for the latest shows close to the Japan broadcast.


Atsushi Hatayama

President of international business development

Nippon TV



1 Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, Kyoto University

2 The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research

3 The Ministry of Postal and Communications (Japan)

4 Sky Perfect JSAT Holdings Inc Annual Report 2016

5 Nikkei Asian review

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