The streaming company said this week the regulatory environment in the country is challenging and it will focus on licensing its content into the country rather than launch a full service.
Digital TV Research forecasts, issued this morning, suggest Netflix’s Asian subs base will reach 7.59 million by 2021, up from the 3.17 million it is expected to have at the end of this year.
The streaming service has faced issues with its edgier content in some territories in the region, and for a lack of local programming. It is also considered a premium service in Asia, often costing more than a regular pay TV subscription. It will, however, report strong growth in the years ahead.
“Australia, Japan, Korea and New Zealand will together account for nearly three-quarters of the total,” Murray said. “Netflix is considered expensive in most other countries. We do not believe that Netflix will launch as a standalone platform in China.”
Across the region, there will be 157.8 million SVOD subs by 2021 compared with 41.2 million at end-2015 and 76.12 million at end-2016.
Rapid smartphone subscription growth means that China will command 47% of the 2021 total SVOD subscribers – up from 38% in 2015. From the 82 million additions between 2016 and 2021, China will supply 34 million, Japan 9 million and India 15 million.
By 2021, 17.5% of the region’s TV households across the 17 countries studied will subscribe to an SVOD platform, up from only 5.1% by end-2015 and an expected 9.1% by the end of this year. Penetration rates in 2021 will vary from 53.5% in Australia, with four countries above 50%, to 8% in Pakistan.