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OTT viewers in SEA open to seeing ads in exchange for lower prices

Majority of the over-the-top (OTT) audience in Southeast Asia are willing to view ads rather than pay a fee, according to Brightcove’s annual OTT research report. The study, which surveyed 5,000 participants across five countries in the region, found that only 14% would pay a higher fee for an ad-free experience. Meanwhile, 28% prefer to pay nothing and see ads, and 21% would pay a lower fee and see some ads.

Besides showing room for an ad-funded model in the OTT market, findings also pointed to the importance for operators to establish a desirable pricing strategy. About 42% listed OTT service’s steep price and failure to convey value as a reason for unsubscribing. Other reasons include free content from free streaming services (29%) and poor video streaming experience (28%).

Content remains the primary motivator for subscribing to multiple OTT services, with 43% wanting more content options. Meanwhile, 42% of those surveyed are attracted to free trials and promotions, and 38% places the need to satisfy the programming needs for an entire family as a priority. OTT service providers are also pressured to tailor specific experiences to users who are on the go. Among the most wanted features are offline download (43%), access on mobile (38%), less data usage when streaming on mobile (37%).

Opportunities in Indonesia

According to Brightcove Asia head of media Greg Armshaw, Indonesia is one of the largest markets in the region with 150 million internet users and presents an immense opportunity for OTT-delivered TV content, especially on mobile.

Currently in Southeast Asia, 37% are current users, while 19% are lapsed users, 44% have never used OTT, and 56% subscribed at some point. In Indonesia, over half (57%) of Indonesians have at one point accessed an OTT TV service, and 44% of consumers subscribe to multiple OTT services because they want more content options.

“The Indonesian television market has drastically changed since the days when consumers’ only options were to watch content on free-to-air channels or to purchase a bundle of channels from a local pay-TV operator,” added Armshaw.

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In the future, 31% of Indonesian respondents could possibly want to pay nothing and watch ads as a trade-off to consuming content, 17% elected to pay a lower fee with limited ads, and 16% wanted the flexibility to customise ad and pricing plans. Additionally, 42% of respondents said they might be open to a hybrid model where a reduced monthly subscription package also serves ads depending on the price, whereas 38% said they would definitely sign up, representing a potential market size of 80% of respondents polled favouring this option.

When asked how much respondents would be willing to pay for OTT services, 33% stated less than US$1 per month, 24% would pay US$1-US$4 per month, and 18% would pay US$5-US$9 per month. Also, 22% of Indonesian respondents found one ad as an acceptable advertising load per ad break, and 21% were open to two ads per break.

Offline downloads (39%), seamless viewing between devices (33%), and using less mobile data when streaming (32%) were the top three OTT service features most wanted by Indonesian respondents. When asked if respondents would be open to purchasing product as seen on TV, 69% of respondents were receptive to the idea of shoppable TV. Most of lapsed respondents (54%) are planning to sign-up for OTT services again in the future.

The research was conducted with YouGov, a global public opinion and data company. It was designed to uncover insights into consumer preferences around OTT services, including subscription tiers and motivators driving subscriptions; how much consumers are willing to pay; their tolerance to advertising and ad-supported subscriptions; and openness to a shoppable TV experience post-programming. By understanding the insights, it seeks to help OTT operators make data-driven decisions on how to maximise the potential of their services.

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