Subscription Video Continues to Gain in Japan Study

Subscription video streaming services in Japan counted 48.4 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter, with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accounting for nearly half of the market.

The data is part of the latest research from research firm Media Partners Asia and is partially based on its sister company AMPD’s proprietary household measurement service.

The strength and implied profitability of platforms in Japan is significant at a time when media and entertainment firms have endured a stock market rout, with investors changing focus from top line growth to costs and profitability.

MPA’s “Japan Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics” report for the end of the first quarter showed Amazon Prime accounting for 34% of total subscriptions, Netflix 14% and Hulu Japan 6%. They were followed by Abema TV, TVer and U-Next significant in the AVOD, freemium and SVOD categories, while Disney+ is steadily growing its reach in the market.

“The premium video segment in Japan remains competitive. While Amazon retains a significant lead in the market, we saw material growth in subscriptions and consumption share from Netflix in Q1, driven by the release of new live action originals and a strong K-drama slate,” said MPA executive director Vivek Couto. “Acquired and largely non-exclusive anime remains a massive driver of online video demand across platforms, exceeding 50% of total measured demand [in Japan], with titles from 10 animation studios capturing 45% of anime demand. Live action dramas are particularly important for platforms like Hulu Japan which leverages content from parent Nippon TV and others.”

The report showed Japanese anime to account for 51% of consumption (i.e. time spent viewing) on SVOD platforms, followed by Japanese live action content at 18%. U.S. series accounted for 10%, while U.S. movies and Korean series accounted for 7% each.

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