A Look at Streaming in Asia this 2016

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

We did a quick roundup of observations made in the music streaming industry this year.

Taking reference from recently released Digital McKinsey’s report, “The beat of progress: The rise of music streaming in Asia”, it’s invigorating to know that while Asia only accounts for 14% of global digital music revenues, the internet penetration last tracked in 2015 was 44%. And the figures are increasing.

In Asia, digital media consumption is fast growing, thanks to not only word of mouth, but with affordability of data and smartphones. Consumers under 35 years old are now more tech savvy than ever.

Infrastructure aside, business intelligence of music streaming companies have made the overall user experience more personalized. Services such as YouTube and Spotify have used algorithms to determine pieces of content consumers would be interested in based on their watch or listening history. Newsletters with recommendations from channels you follow are sent every time they are updated (if you opt in). Spotify did a recent email newsletter with a roundup of your most heard tunes with accompanying statistics, solidifying their position as a data-driven music streaming company.

Instead of one-size fits all strategy, these platforms also recognize consumers still like some form of localization incorporated in their recommendation mix. Either with algorithms or curation, recommending local acts are still vital in any music content marketing strategy. Especially in Taiwan and Thailand, more than 40% of chart toppers are from their respective local acts.

Some digital music providers have taken a further step to customize their apps based on cultural preferences. Three examples with reference to the above-mentioned report:

1. Given the popularity of Karaoke in Asia, the report references JOOX, a streaming service launched by Tencent outside China, has lyrics streamed together with the music.

2. Brand partnerships aren’t a new concept, but enhancing brands’ marketing campaigns through premium subscription giveaways has been widely adopted. Examples include Nike with Spotify or Coca Cola with JOOX for World Music Day.

3. Social media experimentation creates a new revenue stream. Bummed you didn’t get tickets to your favourite pop act? Streaming services gets you access (with a subscription) and more, with backstage exclusives and interviews.

The user experience will only get better with time and consumers will be spoiled for choice. Now how will music & video streaming services uniquely define themselves? 2017 will be an exciting year to watch.