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Disney+ drives growth in Japan’s streaming market in the third quarter

Disney+ drives growth in Japan’s streaming market in the third quarter

Disney+ was the largest component of growth in the Japanese streaming market in the July to September quarter. It overtook Hulu Japan to become the third largest streamer in the country, according to a new report.

Japan added 1.1 million net new SVOD subscriptions during the third quarter of 2022, according to research from consultancy Media Partners Asia and its proprietary AMPD Research Platform. The total Japanese market counted 49.4 million SVOD subscriptions in Q3 2022.

Amazon Prime Video is still the market leader with around 16.5 million subscribers in the country, ahead of Netflix with seven million. With 3.6 million at the end of September, Disney+ has risen to third place. (Hulu Japan is not affiliated with Disney and is instead owned by Nippon Television.)

Media Partners Asia said Disney+ subscriber acquisition was boosted by marketing and promotional discounts, kids, Korean and tentpole franchises in the quarter.

The report emphasizes the continued importance of anime in the Japanese market and the growing role of Korean content.

“Anime is a defining feature of premium video streaming in Japan, accounting for 44% of premium video consumption in Q3 2022. Korean content has a significant impact on subscription purchases on Netflix and Disney+, driving over 26% of new user consumption, while it’s licensed live-action content is particularly important on Hulu Japan and U-Next, the report said.

“Ex-Disney+, SVOD growth in Japan was relatively flat over Q2 and Q3. Amazon Prime Video continues to lead the category, followed by Netflix, both of which leverage large, non-exclusive anime libraries to drive consumption,” said Vivek Couto, Media Partners Asia managing partner. “Local TV consortium and AVOD platform TVs continue to increase its share of premium video consumption, meet the demand for TV live streams and capture popular variety and drama programming.

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“Licensed TV content also drives subscriber acquisition at Hulu Japan and U-Next. In particular, Korean dramas play a large role in subscriber acquisition for Netflix and Disney+, providing competitive differentiation among largely non-exclusive anime libraries. Disney+ has also begun to build an exclusive anime library, emphasizing strategies for content differentiation in a growing SVOD environment.”

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