Japan’s streaming industry is maturing with growing subscriptions and revenues

Introduction:
While Japan was initially slow to embrace video streaming, preferring physical media, recent data suggests that the country’s streaming industry is now very mature. A new report from data analytics firm AMPD shows significant growth in the premium video-on-demand (VOD) category in Japan, indicating a shift in consumer preference towards digital content consumption.

Japan’s streaming industry is maturing with growing subscriptions and revenues

Key findings of the AMPD report:
According to AMPD’s report, subscriptions to the premium video-on-demand category in Japan have increased significantly from 50.6 million in 2022 to 52.6 million in 2023, with subscription revenues reaching $4.5 billion. Interestingly, despite the increase in subscriptions, the total viewing hours of premium streaming services decrease from 110 billion minutes in 2022 to 102 billion minutes in 2023.

Competitive Landscape and Platform Engagement:
The report highlights the competitiveness of the Japanese VOD ecosystem, with Tver, an AVOD platform dominated by local broadcasters, accounting for a large share of premium VOD viewing. Amazon’s Prime Video leads the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) category, followed by U-Next and Netflix.Tver and Netflix have high levels of subscriber engagement, with average engagement hours per subscriber per quarter of 8.8 and 7.3 hours, respectively.

Key Players and Revenue Generation:
Five major platforms – Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, U-Next, Disney+ and Hulu Japan – will dominate the SVOD economy in Japan in 2023. Together, these platforms generate $3.3 billion in subscription revenue, with Prime Video and Netflix leading the way in monetization. Notably, U-Next emerged as the fastest-growing company in the SVOD space, capturing a sizable share of net additional subscribers.

Content Preferences and Audience Engagement:
Japanese anime, live-action dramas and variety content played a key role in driving viewership and subscriber numbers in the SVOD category. Licensed local dramas became engagement drivers for platforms such as Tver, U-Next and Hulu Japan, while original content, including dramas and variety shows, had a significant impact on platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video. Anime content remained a core pillar of SVOD ratings, with exclusive content such as “The King of Thieves Movie: Red” standing out among subscribers: Exclusive content such as “Red” stood out in terms of customer acquisition: Exclusive content such as “Red” had a significant impact on customer acquisition.

Conclusion
The AMPD report highlights the maturity of the Japanese streaming industry, characterized by strong subscription growth and evolving content preferences. As consumer behavior continues to shift towards digital consumption, platforms are poised to capitalize on the demand for diverse and engaging content, driving further expansion and innovation in the Japanese streaming space.

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