Despite predictions of a “pandemic peak,” streaming adoption continues to gain ground worldwide and Asia is no exception, experiencing 46% year-over-year growth in Q3 2021 according to the Q3 2021 State of Streaming: Asia report from Conviva, the continuous measurement platform for streaming media. Asia’s streaming growth was led by the western and southeastern regions of Asia, which increased 200% and 164%, respectively, with the eastern and central regions showing more modest growth at 34% and 22%, respectively.
Conviva’s data also showed Asia consistently consumed streaming content on smaller screens, with desktop (49%) and mobile (33%) viewing taking the top spots in viewing time by device for the third quarter. Big screen viewing, which consists of connected TVs, smart TVs and gaming consoles, was low in Asia compared to the rest of the world, with just 14% share of viewing time. Western Asia was the only region to watch predominantly on the big screen.
“Streaming viewership in Asia – and worldwide – shows no signs of slowing, making it imperative for publishers to focus on delivering the best possible viewing experience in this region,” said Keith Zubchevich, CEO, Conviva. “By focusing on optimizing experience and viewer engagement, publishers can not only expand their audience internationally, but also drive consumer loyalty in Asia that will yield dividends for years to come.”
Android TV continues dominance in Asia
Despite big screen viewing time receiving only 14% share of the overall viewing time in Asia, Android TV, with 52% of the big screen share, was solidly Asia’s television of choice. Amazon Fire TV was second with 22% followed distantly by Samsung TV with 8% and LG TV with 6% share.
Asia continues to struggle with quality
Quality remained a mix bag for the region. Asia recorded the worst buffering percentage globally at 0.98%, yet all global regions were under 1% for the first time – a significant accomplishment. Asia was also the only region to see no improvement year over year in picture quality and offered the lowest bitrate of any region at 2.20 Mbps. Fortunately, Asia did see a remarkable improvement in video start failures, down from 44% to 1.13%, but worsened 35% in the time it took for videos to play.
Asian sports leagues leverage video to drive engagement
Asian sports leagues, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) recognized the benefit of using social video to reach their fans and saw a significant increase in engagement year over year with total cross-platform engagements up by 36%, despite a 19% decrease in videos posted. The IPL saw the biggest year-over-year increase in engagement, up 201% in July, 32% in August and 23% in September.