Digital markets and opportunities in Southeast Asia

30 September 2020

Opportunities for business in Southeast Asia continue to grow, however, some industries face challenges as highlighted in the following two articles. The first article looks at the newly formed strategic partnership between Vietnam and New Zealand and the opportunities it will offer, while the second article takes a look at the digital streaming market in Southeast Asia and the need for businesses in this industry to develop new strategies.

Vietnam and New Zealand announce strategic partnership

In recent years, the relationship between New Zealand and Vietnam has grown significantly, especially in terms of trade. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of collaborations, cooperation and partnerships between countries as they can help in reducing economic challenges and in increasing resilience.

Due to these developments, in late July Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a virtual meeting with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss the possibility of the two countries entering a bilateral partnership. This partnership aims to focus on agriculture, trade, education and development of matters of mutual interest. It will also help to reduce barriers to bilateral trade, remove protectionism, promote trade liberalisation and increase market access, particularly in the timber, agriculture and seafood sectors. The partnership will also enable greater opportunities for joint research and collaboration on climate change, agritech, food safety management, plant breeding, sustainable water management and other projects aimed to improve the health and wellbeing of both countries.

New Zealand business leaders and experts view this partnership as a major opportunity and while “Made in New Zealand” is already a trusted brand in Vietnam, further collaboration and cooperation will help both economies to grow and develop. Experts also highlight that the government can only do so much and it is up to businesses to do their part and engage with projects and collaborations offered through this new partnership.

Read the full article on Asia Media Centre website

Boom or bust: Making sense of the video-streaming market in Southeast Asia

The video-streaming market in Southeast Asia has been undergoing big changes, with some streaming companies growing and expanding while others go into liquidation. These events show that streaming businesses need to be aware of the trends and be able to adapt to the changing business landscape in this region.

The video streaming market remains highly attractive in Southeast Asia due to its tech-savvy population and increasing internet and smartphone penetration. The online video industry is expected to grow by 15 percent per year and, due to the entry or expansion of streaming leaders such as HBO and Netflix, overall profitability is expected to advance. However, as more streaming businesses enter these markets the need to differentiate themselves has become crucial. This has led to some businesses implementing strategies focusing on the development or acquisition of exclusive content. While such strategies were effective for a time, they have also led to inefficiencies and price increases. These strategies also mean that some companies are no longer offering as much content, leaving subscribers frustrated as they are forced to have multiple platform transcriptions. This has also encouraged an increase in piracy.

So what can streaming businesses do to survive in this region? Firstly, it is crucial to understand and adapt to the region’s dynamics. Southeast Asia is incredibly diverse in terms of its cultures, people, customs and languages, meaning that every country in the region will require a different approach. Due to a higher tolerance for advertising among Southeast Asian consumers, some businesses have found success by using advertisement-based video on demand (AVOD) business models instead of a subscription video on demand (SVOD) model. This does however require having a strong sales team and reliable adtech infrastructure. It is also important to remember that video streaming companies also face competition from social media, free-to-air, cable TV, user-generated content, digital games and others. These trends mean that streaming companies will need to come up with new strategies, including improved customer service, new product features, better user interfaces and deeper localisation to remain competitive and profitable in Southeast Asia.

Read the full article on the Tech in Asia website

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