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With 1.10 billion digital video viewers in 2017, Asia-Pacific will account for more than half of the worldwide total. However, that number will represent only 27.0% of the total population in Asia-Pacific. eMarketer expects digital video viewers in Asia-Pacific will rise 10.3% this year and climb at a steady pace through the forecast period due to increased smartphone penetration and mobile broadband growth, along with faster data speeds, according to a new eMarketer report, “Worldwide Digital Video Viewers: eMarketer's Estimates for 2016–2020” (eMarketer PRO customers only).
Asia-Pacific exhibits high video viewing penetration in mature markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. At least half of the population in each of these countries will view at least one digital video per month in 2017. Such countries already have high internet user penetration rates and support consumer access and demand for digital video.
China will have 569.0 million digital video viewers in 2017 but will rank behind these countries in population penetration, at 41.5%. Large parts of China lag in access to household broadband and mobile. Still, the share of internet users who watch digital video is high, at 75.4%, as parts of the country have very developed infrastructure with fast internet speeds at affordable costs. This foundation has enabled social media to become ingrained in the culture, even in areas without the bandwidth to stream video.
As such, digital video in China lags behind social media penetration as one of the leading social platforms, Tencent's WeChat, acts as a gateway for video consumption. However, video-on-demand (VOD) services are making headway, including iQiyi, an on-demand video streaming service that reported $1.5 billion in revenues for 2016 from video subscriptions, advertising and other sources.
Total population penetration for digital video viewership across Asia-Pacific is lower than other regions worldwide due to countries with high population counts and low household broadband accessibility. India is a primary example. In a population of over 1.28 billion people, a little over a third are connected to the internet, and only 13.9% of the population will view digital video in 2017.
In December 2016, Google announced that YouTube, one of the country's leading platforms, would add 11 local languages to YouTube India's homepage and trending section. There has also been traction in urban India, with consumers accessing Hotstar (part of the Star Network) for online TV streaming while on the go. Other digital TV platforms garnering the attention of advertisers and viewers include Sony LIV (part of the Sony Television Network) and Voot (part of Viacom 18).
Indonesia will also have low digital video penetration among the overall population, at 29.1% in 2017. However, when it comes to penetration among internet viewers, Indonesia will rank just ahead of Japan's internet users, with 67.4% viewing digital video this year. This is due to consumers having fast mobile internet speeds and consuming large amounts of Facebook and YouTube content.
Asia-Pacific will trail only the Middle East and Africa in digital video viewer growth over the forecast period. As infrastructure develops, eMarketer expects at least 5% gains each year through 2020. By then, digital video viewers in Asia-Pacific will surpass 1.33 billion.
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