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U.S.-produced films and television content have maintained their top positions among subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) users in nine major Asia-Pacific markets, and they remain important in attracting and retaining subscriptions, a new report finds.

New research from consultancy Media Partners Asia is based on passively collected data from 40,000 digital users compiled by sister company AMPD. Territories covered include Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, from May 2023 to April 2024.

Sixty percent of tracked users watched American content in the first quarter of this year, ahead of Korean shows, which were watched by 56 percent in the region, and Japanese shows, which were watched by 48 percent.

But viewership of U.S. content is down from 70 percent two years ago. And the numbers vary considerably: In Australia and Southeast Asia, where viewership is 32 percent, it is 69 percent. In the rich and populous East Asian markets of Japan and Korea, however, viewership is only 11 percent and 9 percent respectively.

Although the reach of U.S. content has steadily declined to 70-60% over the past two years, it continues to play a significant role in subscriber acquisition. Even in highly local markets like Korea, Japan and Indonesia, U.S. content accounted for 15-30% of SVOD subscriber acquisition, said MPA analyst Dhivya T. “Long-tail appeal and a variety of genres in series and films, led by science fiction and fantasy, are driving the popularity of U.S. content in the APAC region. Fan-favorite sitcoms and crime series like ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ are having a sustained impact on engagement, with library titles accounting for 68% of the 500 most popular U.S. titles in the APAC region.”

The report provides a detailed look at the production studios that produce popular U.S. content, led by Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and NBCUniversal. Content from third-party studios accounted for about 75% of U.S. content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, while Disney+ viewership was driven almost entirely by Disney properties. Major third-party producers include WBD, NBCU, Paramount and Sony across multiple platforms in the region.

The report found that Netflix dominates U.S. content consumption, claiming 50-75% of U.S. streaming hours per market last year. The availability of local subtitles and dubbing (Thai, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese) at launch has driven the impact of Netflix U.S. originals in Asia Pacific, with titles such as One Piece, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Extraction 2 achieving the greatest reach in Asia Pacific.

Prime Video, the SVOD leader in Japan, accounted for 23% of US streaming hours in Japan, while Disney+ in Australia, Japan and Korea captured 15-20% of US viewership. Major local platforms such as Stan and Binge (Australia), Hulu Japan and U-Next (Japan), Wavve and Tving (Korea) have captured a significant share of US content engagement in their respective markets.

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