NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.—Nearly eight in 10 Asian viewers of TV content stream shows via the internet, far higher than the 65% of viewers overall who stream, according to a new report from Horowitz Research.
The report, “Focus Asian: The Media Landscape 2019,” also reveals that 52% of Asians spend more than half of their viewing time streaming, and 25% stream all of their content.
Of Asian-language viewers, 59% stream Asian-language content compared to 31% who consume such content via traditional over-the-air, cable or satellite TV, the report finds. According to the research firm, the desire of Asian TV viewers to access content that culturally resonates with them and originates in their home countries is driving this streaming activity.
“Even back in the 1990s, when internet meant dial-up and streaming videos was not even in our consideration sets, we found that many tech-forward Asian households had found ways to access and download content from their countries of origin to their computer—a painstakingly slow process that would take all night—so that they could watch their episode the next day,” said Adriana Waterston, SVP of Insights at Horowitz Research.
Several factors have combined to create a “perfect storm,” in the words of the research group, that have led to Asians becoming leading-edge streamers. Those include tech savviness, demand for international content not generally available or expensive to subscribe to in the United States and the challenges pay-TV industry operators face serving culturally and linguistically diverse consumers.
According to Horowitz Research, Asians under-index for pay TV: 71% for traditional MVPD service versus 82% overall. Among those who do subscribe to pay TV, 38% also buy an in-language or international package. The percentage was highest among Indians at 38%, followed by Filipinos at 36% and Chinese at 19%.
The Horowitz report finds that having access to channels aimed at Asian audiences as well as those with international content are important factors for more than 40% of Asians in making TV subscription decisions.
Netflix is one of the main providers of Asian content, says Horowitz. Thirty-nine percent of in-language viewers say they access Asian-language content via the service. Sling TV and DirecTV Now are also targeting Asian audiences with in-language content packages.
The Asian market has been challenging for traditional pay-TV providers because of this audience’s numerous countries of origin, notes Waterston. With so many languages and cultural nuances, scalability has been a problem.
“The efficiency and personalization of streaming solves many of the inherent challenges of serving this audience. Now the question will be which players will rise to the occasion," she said.
More information about the report is available online.
Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.
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