Asia’s Web Video Juggernaut, Brought to You by Smartphones

Masao Kakihara / November 2015

Online videos have become a medium of choice for many in the Asia Pacific region. This is both powerful and pertinent—and something marketers need to keep in mind as they reach out to the audience. In this 2nd installment of our three part series on the Consumer Barometer, let’s take a look at video consumption across Asia.

Online video has changed the landscape for how information is transferred and consumed in Asia. Just as the printing press democratized knowledge in the 15th century, Asia’s video revolution has made information created by anyone available to just about everyone in every corner of this continent. There are now endless channels to reach Asian audiences, and to help inform your video content strategy, we bring you some key observations drawn from our Consumer Barometer.

Online video consumption across topic areas is highest in India (in ten of the 17 categories studied).

Asian audiences are consuming videos. A lot of videos:

  • People are turning to videos to learn how to acquire new skills across categories such as beauty and fashion, education and schooling, and how-tos/DIYs. Overall video consumption across topic areas is highest in India (in ten of 17 categories studied) and the Philippines, with Thailand and Vietnam close behind.
  • What are people watching? Everything, it seems: Movies, music videos, and TV shows are the most popular online video genres in most Asian countries.
  • Educational videos are very popular in India, while Filipinos are watching videos to assist them with their daily lives (videos about food, cooking, and how-to/DIY). News and politics are most heavily consumed in Vietnam and China (perhaps due to relatively regulated medias).

When and where they’re watching video:

  • Asians watch videos mostly at home, but in South Korea and Vietnam, out-of-home video viewing is common at 59% and 58%, respectively.
  • On weekends, while most Asian users watch more videos in the evening, some watch more in the afternoons: South Koreans (34% vs. 30%) and the Japanese (24% vs. 16%). Singaporeans and Filipinos (both at 30%) also break up their weekend afternoons with videos.
  • Getting comfortable: Bedrooms and living rooms are where people are mostly watching online videos. Indonesia (71%) and China (59%) lead in bedroom viewing while Japan (52%) and Hong Kong (46%) are the top countries for living-room viewing.
  • Watching online videos tends to be a “focused” activity in this region, although many viewers (42%) in South Korea said they split their attention between watching videos and other activities.

Takeaways for brands:

  • Target the type of videos you make to the market where they will have the most impact. Yes, many users in APAC watch online videos for entertainment, but many also watch videos to learn new skills, cook new recipes, and get tech and beauty tips as well as keep up on news events.
  • Give consumers the content they crave, but don’t skimp on quality. Make it entertaining, informative, and concise. Remember that users may be watching your video, but they might also be watching TV at the same time, so grab their attention (and try to keep it!).
  • Create an “emotional experience of ownership” in your online videos to pave the path to purchase.
  • Make sure your video is mobile-optimized and consider whether a “companion experience” makes sense for your brand.
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