What’s New in Asian Entertainment Industry?


The fanatics of Netflix are well aware of the success of Crazy Rich Asians, which was based on a novel by Kevin Kwan. As the first-ever US blockbuster with an all-Asian cast, the movie made a whooping success of £200m worldwide and gave Hollywood a taste of the Asian Entertainment Industry. Then followed the historic win for the South Korean film ‘Parasite’ which was awarded the best picture at the Oscars and grabbed the attention of many stalwarts of the Entertainment and media industry. The Asian entertainment industry is now gradually emerging as the biggest film market in the world and is planning to surpass the US market soon. The major reason behind this is the massive hits delivered by the China and South Korean films community at present, which are not only making hefty sums as profit but have a devoted audience as well. We all are aware of the massive craze of South Korean dramas among teenagers and adults. Adding cherry on the top, arrived the most popular boys’ band to walk this earth - ‘BTS’, who soon became an iconic hip hop group with a musical style that has evolved to incorporate a wide range of genres. Last year, the world remained awestruck by the superior content delivered by the South Korean series ‘Squid Game’ which was streamed by Netflix. The first series created chaos in the entertainment segment after receiving fourteen Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including for Best Drama, becoming the first foreign work to be nominated in this category.

This change is certainly a breath of fresh air for audiences who were burdened with American cultural imperialism and are all used to waiting for the next Hollywood blockbuster. Thanks to the streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon having numerous subscribers in each country, the Asian film industry is finally reaching out to people around the globe and reaping the appreciation it deserves.

Through this article, let’s take a glance at what’s brewing new in the Asian entertainment industry.

5G Technology

The 5G technology is expected to become the most significant next-generation cellular network technology, especially in urban areas. And coxswained by this advanced technology, the increasing adoption of OTT (Over-the-top) content will continue to upsurge exponentially. If we take a look at the latest OTT trends, streaming 4K video requires up to around 30Mbps of internet bandwidth, and to stream such high-resolution video, the viewers must have at least double that of the bandwidth available at present for consumer-grade internet connections. With the rise of 5G, the extra bandwidth will ensure 4K and VR (Virtual Reality) streaming to be one of the crucial features in the upcoming days. This upsurge in demand for high-resolution video will ultimately pave the path to the adoption of superior wireless networking standards and consequently refurbish the media and entertainment market further.​

OTT Platforms

Fuelled by numerous factors such as the rise in disposable income levels and growing internet penetration, there has been a significant rise in online streaming subscriptions. According to Bain and Company’s ‘Unlocking Digital for Bharat: USD 50 Billion Opportunity’ report, “India is positioned second in the world in terms of active Internet users, and according to the IBEF, the market size of the OTT video streaming market of India is predicted to reach USD 5 billion by 2023. Currently, regarded as one of the top 10 global OTT markets, India is envisaging an increase in internet penetration, which can also be termed as a contributing factor to the widespread expansion of the media and entertainment market in India. However, not only in India but over the past few years, the creation of media content has witnessed a drastic change with a shift from traditional television to online digital platforms, all around the globe. As the leading online entertainment content providers, such as Netflix and Amazon, have successfully introduced acclaimed original video content in the OTT segment, they are also sponsoring content in regional languages to attract local customers, especially in multilingual countries, such as India.

Craze of Podcasts

Podcasts are currently reigning across the media and entertainment industry, as they permit listeners to take a plunge into their topic of interest while multitasking. Apart from that, listeners are also provided with playback control, enabling them to listen at their own pace. In the Asia Pacific region, India is currently positioned as the 3rd largest podcast listening market in the world, followed by China and the US, with more than 57 million monthly users. According to consumer conversations surrounding podcasts records in the past couple of months, ‘Technology’ is the most discussed topic, and Apple Podcasts have a greater share of voice than Spotify or YouTube. With the consumers continuing to tune in to podcasts as a form of entertainment, brands are leaving no stones unturned to engage their consumers with relevant content.

Virtual Sports and Games

We all know about the love of Asian consumers for sports as a source of entertainment, and after the pandemic struck, their love for sports made them seek solace in virtual sports and e-gaming events. For example, the SuperGamerFest 2020 was a virtual event that consisted of esports championships, awards, and interviews. Here, the world witnessed how the biggest telco providers in Singapore and the Philippines came forward to utilize their capabilities to leverage the popularity of e-sports and e-games in the region. Another significant trend in the world of sports is virtual marathons, a unique concept that most of us probably never thought was possible until the pandemic happened. Virtual marathons are just like common marathon races where participants compete at their own pace and time and prove that they’ve completed the marathon through a fitness app. The recorded events are easily available on respective online platforms, from where the viewers can access them as and when possible.

If we take a thorough look at the above-mentioned examples, the Asian media and entertainment industry has evolved greatly in the last few years. Since almost everything has become digitized now; the brands in the media and entertainment industry across the Asian continent have embraced this change gracefully and adjusted accordingly. Though some of these changes may pose a few challenges, they are also presenting new opportunities for the existing as well as upcoming media and entertainment brands to find innovative ways to stay relevant.

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