21 OCT 2022

Why is Prime Video investing in emerging Southeast Asian markets?

As growth in its key delivery markets has slowed down and stabilized, Prime Video has shifted its focus to investing in additional developing markets with the potential to grow, such as Southeast Asia, according to Ampere Analysis.

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"Perfect Strangers"

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Historically, Prime Video has targeted subscriber growth and localization in its key delivery markets, such as Germany, Japan and India. But as growth in these mature markets has slowed down and stabilized, Amazon has shifted its focus to investing in additional developing markets with the potential to grow, Ampere Analysis noted in its latest report.

Since the third quarter of this year, Prime Video has been actively investing and localizing content in Southeast Asian markets. In Indonesia and the Philippines, the number of local titles has grown significantly in the past two months, with around 50 local movies newly acquired in each market in August 2022. Amazon has also recently commissioned original content in Filipino and Indonesian, including an Indonesian version of Italian movie “Perfect Strangers” and situational comedy series “Comedy Island: Philippines.”

In addition, investment has been made in localizing foreign content with local language subtitle and audio tracks in both markets. According to Analytics SVOD’s subtitle and dubbing data in August 2022, the number of titles with local subtitles has grown 18% and 21%, respectively, in Indonesia and the Philippines compared to June 2022. As a result, Prime Video now has around 900 titles available with Indonesian subtitles and over 600 titles with Filipino or Tagalog subtitles.

The number of titles localized with audio tracks has also grown in the past two months, though the overall coverage stays low. This is partly due to consumer’s preference for subtitles over dubbing in Southeast Asia: Ampere’s Consumer data from Q3 2022 suggests that 70% of participants in Indonesia enjoy watching with subtitles, compared to only 30% who enjoy watching dubbed content. Amazon’s strategy of prioritizing local subtitle coverage therefore reflects local consumers’ tastes.

“This activity reflects Amazon’s attempt to expand its service outside of the major markets in Asia. Currently, Amazon’s market share of SVOD subscriptions in both Indonesia and the Philippines is relatively low, falling far behind Netflix and local services. Given the large population in both countries and the strong preference for local and regional content, content localization is essential in attracting potential subscribers and to boost Amazon’s revenue in the region. Should Amazon manage to double the subscriptions in both markets, Ampere’s Markets data suggests the additional revenue could be up to US$63 million annually,”  said Tingting Li, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis and the author of the report.

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