Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Recipes, skincare, entertainment: Filipinos’ top content choices on YouTube

Manila, Philippines – YouTube retains its leadership among Filipino viewers, where in the country, the watch base now stands at 45 million viewers. With this, local brands are in a better position to tap the platform in attaining desired business and brand results. 

In their latest ‘YouTube Brandcast’ press event, the platform noted that there has been more than 25% rise in watchtime from April 2020 to April 2021, while total hours of content uploaded to YouTube by channels in the Philippines grew more than four times between 2020 and 2019.

There has been a huge influx of new creators on the platform as well, with over 3,000 local channels hitting more than 100,000 subscribers, over 250 channels having more than one million subscribers, and 12 channels having more than 10 million subscribers, as of June 2021.

“In the second year of the pandemic, more Filipinos turned to YouTube to use content that can help them with their everyday life. YouTube’s reach, creators, content uploads, and watchtime increased phenomenally and this ecosystem growth unlocked great possibilities for brands to drive results at scale, and deliver a fulfilling experience for viewers,” said Gabby Roxas, marketing head at Google Philippines.

In terms of the genres or categories most watched on the platform locally, recipe videos grew by more than 50% in watchtime during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year. Skincare video watch time had also jumped by more than 80% in the same period and interestingly, that for shampoo videos more than doubled. 

Furthermore, in continuing to seek entertainment to cope with the prolonged isolation periods, watchtime for role-playing game (RPG) videos grew by more than 80% while that for drama television series grew by more than 70% in the same period.

With these genres rising to popularity, brands locally can tap into these categories through their respective content creators to create meaningful brand-infused content, such as the platform’s sponsorable activities like Super Stream, Music Night, and FanFest among others allow brands like Unilever to engage consumers effectively.

“Marketing in a connected world opens new opportunities for brands to connect deeper with people, and YouTube is an effective platform to do that. Through YouTube, we were able to tell our brand stories in an unmissable way, standing up in the frontline of culture to engage today’s attention-restricted audience,” said Dennis Perez, media director at Unilever Philippines.

The platform’s success on brand integrated campaigns has been evident when they launched their first-ever YouTube Works locally, where they recognized the brands that have created campaigns that take the support from the platform’s diverse audience and capabilities.

“YouTube empowers brands to push the boundaries of creative storytelling that delivers results and I’ve seen this with the finalists of the inaugural YouTube Works awards. They used YouTube and its content creators in a powerful way, resulting in key achievements in awareness, engagement and action. I’m excited to see what brands and agencies will come up with and submit in the next run of YouTube Works,” said Leigh Reyes, jury head at YouTube Works and chair 3meritus and product officer at MullenLowe TREYNA.

Platforms Featured East Asia

Disney+ to roll out in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

Hong Kong – As part of strengthening their presence in Asia-Pacific, streaming service Disney+ from global media enterprise The Walt Disney Company has announced that they will roll out to the markets of South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in November 2021.

Said announcement was made during the recent calls of the company regarding their Q3 earnings.

In addition to this announcement, Disney+ Japan will also be expanded to feature additional general entertainment content in October 2021.

To date, Disney+’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region includes the markets of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

According to Luke Kang, president at The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, the response towards Disney+ across the region has exceeded the company’s expectations, as consumers seek diverse entertainment content and are drawn to their portfolio of brands and franchises.

“We are pleased with the subscriber growth and partnerships forged in markets, and look forward to engaging with more consumers across the region – through unparalleled storytelling, creative excellence and cutting-edge content delivery,” Kang said.

Said endeavor by Disney+ best reflects the duties of Kang when he was appointed to the current position last December 2020, including duties of managing Disney’s media networks, direct-to-consumer offerings including Disney+, media distribution and motion picture businesses.

Disney+’s current content portfolio includes a wide selection of films and episodes of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Star, as well as including local and regional content in the region. Globally, Disney+ is currently available in 61 countries and 21 languages across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

Platforms Featured Global

Sony’s Funimation completes Crunchyroll acquisition from AT&T for US$1.175b

Texas, USA – After its initial announcement last December 2020, Sony Pictures’ anime distribution service Funimation has completed the acquisition of fellow anime streaming service Crunchyroll from global telco network AT&T for a disclosed amount of US$1.175b.

The acquisition by Funimation entails acquiring Crunchyroll’s 5 million SVOD users, 120 million registered users, as well as global market presence in 200 countries and territories, offering AVOD, mobile games, manga, events merchandise and distribution.

Said deal provides as well the opportunity for Crunchyroll and Funimation to broaden distribution for their content partners and expand fan-centric offerings for consumers.

Kenichiro Yoshida, chairman, resident and CEO at Sony Group Corporation expressed excitement with the recent acquisition, noting that anime, or Japanese animation series and movies, is a rapidly growing medium that enthralls and inspires emotion among audiences around the globe.

“The alignment of Crunchyroll and Funimation will enable us to get even closer to the creators and fans who are the heart of the anime community. We look forward to delivering even more outstanding entertainment that fills the world with emotion through anime,” Yoshida stated.

Meanwhile, Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO at Sony Pictures Entertainment, commented that Crunchyroll adds tremendous value to Sony’s existing anime businesses, including Funimation, as well as their partners at anime distribution company Aniplex and Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

He added that with the acquisition, the combined company forces will be committed to creating the ultimate anime experience for fans and presenting a unique opportunity for their key partners, publishers, and the immensely talented creators to continue to deliver masterful content to audiences around the world.

“With the addition of Crunchyroll, we have an unprecedented opportunity to serve anime fans like never before and deliver the anime experience across any platform they choose, from theatrical, events, home entertainment, games, streaming, linear TV — everywhere and every way fans want to experience their anime. Our goal is to create a unified anime subscription experience as soon as possible,” Vinciquerra stated.

Crunchyroll is part of AT&T’s segment from global media company WarnerMedia.

During the acquisition announcement last December 2020, Tony Goncalves, chief revenue officer at WarnerMedia, said, “By combining with Funimation, they will continue to nurture a global community and bring more anime to more people. I’m incredibly proud of the Crunchyroll team and what they have been able to accomplish in the digital media space in such a short period of time. They’ve created an end-to-end global ecosystem for this incredible art form,” 

Vinciquerra added, “Together with Crunchyroll, we will create the best possible experience for fans and greater opportunity for creators, producers and publishers in Japan and elsewhere. Funimation has been doing this for over 25 years and we look forward to continuing to leverage the power of creativity and technology to succeed in this rapidly growing segment of entertainment.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Newly-launched streaming platform sooka offers free on-demand live sports, local content

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Aimed at bridging the gap between availability and accessibility of local content millenials love, Malaysian streaming platform sooka has recently been launched, which will offer a diversity of global content such as live sports, as well as hyperlocal content.

According to the company, sooka is on the path to create more hyper local, relevant content, and making it more accessible than ever before to a mobile-first entertainment audience. These include Malaysian dramas and entertainment programs, and of course, sooka exclusives and originals that aim to resonate with millennials on a mobile-based streaming platform.

Aside from the free tier the streaming service offers, sooka is also offering two-tier options: ‘VIP+Sports’ plan priced at RM41.90 per month for avid sports fans to experience unlimited and first-hand access to the best live sports actions all year round; and ‘VIP Entertainment’ plan which is priced at RM15.90 per month that unlocks the best Malaysian entertainment content from local dramas, variety shows, and movies, as well as sooka exclusives and originals.

As part of the ‘VIP+Sports’ plan, there is also an exclusive promotion in conjunction with the upcoming football event UEFA Euro, where sports enthusiasts can enjoy all 51 UEFA EURO 2020 live matches, and other ground-breaking live sports actions, alongside much-loved Malaysian entertainment and local exclusives and originals under the price of RM15.90 per month.

According to Emarina Mohd Kamal, head of programming at sooka, they believe that the platform’s launch comes at a time where users today are now embracing a mobile-first lifestyle and as such are attuned to consuming content online. Furthermore, Kamal states as well that the shift in viewing trends had consumers rapidly embracing the ‘new normal’ digital lifestyle, and great content has become a vital digital asset.

“It is of no surprise that they are reliant on their smartphones and active on social media, and constantly search for great content that they can consume on-the-go immediately from their mobile devices. sooka’s content is curated for this immediate consumption, at affordable price points and simple plans, and we invite all millennials to try sooka,” Kamal said.

She also explained that the platform’s main differentiator is its ability to deliver live sports streaming for passionate fans to enjoy on their mobile devices, enabling them to get their sports ‘fix’ anytime and anywhere. She added that the platform has a strong sports content line up until year-end and will continue to strengthen their sports proposition in order to bring the best for Malaysian sports fans.

“In addition, we are thrilled to offer a deep, current and curated library of premium Malay day-date drama series, movies, LIVE variety, and entertainment plus Chinese and Indian shows to satisfy local viewing preferences. We are also working with the industry’s best creators and production houses to create fresh and engaging originals specifically targeted at millennials, so expect to see more of these in the months to come,” she concluded.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

New report shows how the pandemic brought about a ‘new media normal’ in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As the COVID-19 pandemic pushed people into lockdown restrictions, making way for prolonged work-from-home setups and social distancing protocols, media consumption in Malaysians have seen some significant change, statistics from a recent study from marketing consultancy Entropia shows.

The report stated that radio, streaming media which includes audio and video, reading online news, watching television and checking social media are the ‘gainers’ from this newly-found media consumption, while out-of-home (OOH) media, cinemas, newspapers and physical events have downplayed to become the ‘losers’.

Spending more time on Facebook and Instagram ranked first in media activities to which respondents engaged in during the country’s movement control order (MCO) with 58.6% followed by listening to radio while at home and working (34.6%), watching YouTube while exercising (34.2%), and spending more time streaming on Netflix and watching with friends and family (26.7%). 

In terms of age profiles and media behavior, the study noted that there has been an overall marked increase across age segments for Facebook and Instagram, with over 25% of all segments between 21 to 55 years indicating increased time spent on these platforms. A higher increase in radio consumption has been also among those over 45 years, while young adults under 24 years showed higher consumption of YouTube and Netflix. Meanwhile, those over 55 years showed the greatest increase in time spent on news channels.

The report said that increase of media consumption across all age groups can be attributed to increased need for news where viewers turn to channels they perceive as credible. 

“As people around the world sought to remain updated on the rapidly changing crisis, consumers’ reliance on media also increased, resulting in a more captive audience. Here’s where media companies and advertisers can benefit most – the opportunity to leverage this enhanced engagement, grow their subscriber base, and expand their reach,” said Syahar Khalid, partner for integrated media at Entropia.

“Our clients’ universal objective is to make an impression on audiences and break through the clutter. Going forward, media strategy will require retaining consumers’ attention where they’re most likely to spend their time – be it for leisure, career, education or wellness,” added Khalid.

“The Malaysian government has just announced MCO 2.0 and with it, brands in some categories will again face challenges owing to adverse market forces. Some have already made significant moves towards continued investment in advertising, and we hope this study will provide some clarity on the media channels appealing to their specific target audiences,” Syahar concluded.