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Netflix Steps Up Its Game as Disney+ Hotstar Readies for SE Asian Market

August 17, 2020, 04.10 PM

SINGAPORE, – Netflix is stepping up plans to push for more mobile-only subscription plans in Southeast Asia before Disney+ Hotstar launches in Indonesia in September.

The US streaming giant is additionally planning to expand its local content, as told by Netflix’s senior executives to Reuters.

This strategy comes just as arch-rival Disney is gearing up to have its share of the fast-growing market.

Read also: Netflix Stock Tumble, Taps Ted Sarandos as Co-CEO

Netflix shared with Reuters that the more than 1 million of its entire subscribers are in Southeast Asia in a market home to around 655 million people.

Currently, the company has close to 200 million global subscribers.

As such, analysts find many opportunities ripe for rapid growth.

With Disney+ Hotstar poised to arrive next month, Southeast Asia is bound to become a key battleground for streaming service companies.

"What we see in Southeast Asia is that it's a very mobile-centric market", Netflix director for product innovation Ajay Arora told Reuters in a recent interview. That's led the company to push cheaper mobile plans and adapt its product to fit lower-end smartphones, Arora said.

Read also: Indonesia Switches On Campaign to Get Everyone Online

Southeast Asia is estimated to have generated $600 million in overall subscription music and video revenue in 2019, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Co — but that's set to explode to an annual $3 billion by 2025, the study said.

Starting with India in August 2019, Netflix has now launched mobile-only plans in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia - all priced at below $5 a month.

That's a departure for Netflix, which has held firm on pricing in Western markets.

Repeated coronavirus lockdowns across Southeast Asia have also increased the appetite for content streaming at home across the region.

A Netflix spokeswoman told Reuters that the firm "has well over 1 million subscribers in multiple Southeast Asian countries", but declined to provide details.


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