Excluding China, Asia’s online video industry is projected to grow 15% annually until 2024, according to Media Asia Partners. The continent’s main streaming platforms include Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Disney+, HBO, Baidu, Tencent and Viu, with south-east Asia being a key market. 

The rise of streaming in Asia has created an opportunity for real estate and economic development. In Asia, Chinese streamers contributed the most to streaming growth in 2021. China’s streaming landscape is diverse, too. Tencent hosts a range of audiovisual content through its platforms. Baidu’s iQiYi has a popular video streaming platform, while Alibaba’s Taobao Live dominates in commerce-related streaming. 

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Aided by stay-at-home orders and mobile viewing across multiple devices, the demand for studio space to produce content is increasing, coming from streaming platforms, movie studios, network television and advertising companies. If content is king, then infrastructure, both digital and physical studio space, may be queen. 

Netflix is expanding its studio operations in South Korea. It has leased nine stages in the Gyeonggi province, totalling 16,000 square metres of stage and supporting space. In Japan, Netflix is leasing two sound stages in Tokyo.

Live streaming is more than just entertainment, however; it is also boosting real estate sales and sales efficiency by hosting virtual open houses, using drones to show off residences. Just one streaming platform alone, Fang.com in China, can handle more than 120,000 live streams a month, helping sell more than 1000 apartments daily.

While Asia is currently experiencing an explosion in the streaming industry, the inevitable will follow: consolidation. As more mergers, acquisitions and exits take place in this overcrowded space, the real estate studio space demand will also gradually reduce. Until this happens, however, we can expect Asia’s streaming market to continue to grow. 

Lawrence Yeo is CEO of AsiaBIZ Strategy, a Singapore-based consultancy that provides Asian market research and investment/trade promotion services. E-mail: lawrence@asiabizstrategy.com

This article was first published in the December 2021/January 2022 edition of fDi Intelligence magazine. Read the online edition here.