On-demand viewer service competition heats up in Vietnam hinh anh 1The competition among VOD apps has become fiercer (Illustrative image)

Hanoi (VNA) – The past year witnessed the fierce competition of VOD (video-on-demand) service suppliers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which mostly benefited the viewers.

According to Vietnam Investment Review (VIR), interest in subscription VOD services in Vietnam has been growing steadily over the last few years, with ever-larger slices of the population proving themselves willing to access and pay for streaming video content from a mixture of local and global providers.

That was particularly true in 2020 when the introduction of economic restrictions and social distancing rules pushed VOD subscriber numbers up 21% year on year to reach 5.1 million, according to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook. Those numbers increased again by another 10% to hit 5.1 million in 2021, while Vietnamese subscription VOD services are expected to add anything between 400,000-600,000 paying customers a year between 2022 and 2025 and will total 7.5 million by the end of Statista’s forecast period.

Most Vietnamese adults aged between 16-64 (60%) said that the main reason they use the internet is to watch videos, TV shows, and movies, according to GWI data compiled in the third quarter of 2021. Separate research appears to confirm that upward trend. According to a survey of 1,631 Vietnamese residents aged 16+ conducted by Rakuten Insight in May 2021, 47% now use a subscription VOD service every day, and 35% several times a week.

GWI, an audience targeting company, found that as of the third quarter of 2021, almost all (94%) Vietnamese adults stream TV content over the internet at least once a month and spend an average of 84 minutes a day doing it. That represents half of the total time watching TV in any format, including linear and broadcast.

Turnover from VOD services has accelerated in parallel, surging 41% year on year to reach 126 million USD in 2020. High levels of growth came again in 2021 when subscription VOD revenue jumped 28% year on year to reach 162 million USD, VIR cited Statista’s Digital Market Outlook. What’s more, turnover is expected to hit 200 million USD this year and 302 million USD by 2025, according to the VIR.

While domestic services such as K+, VTV Go, Galaxy Play and VieOn are attractive to users with many Vietnamese TV series and movies, Asian and European-American films are the strength of FPT and Netflix.

Statistics from Decision Lab Vietnam showed that the six most popular online TV service suppliers in Vietnam are FPT Play, K+, My TV, VTV Go, and Viettel TV. Meanwhile, Netflix is the only foreign representative in the market, but with the strongest growth. If in the first quarter of 2021, Netflix market share was 16%, by the third quarter, the rate increased to 22%.

Recognising the golden chance to win the market, enterprises continuously rolled out measures to approach customers. While VTV Go has sold the VTV Box receiver for about 1 million VND each, allowing users to watch all VTV channels, MyTV has launched a variety of movie packages from 22,000 VND to 50,000 VND per month.

Galaxy Play, VieOn or K+ apps have also tried to assert themselves through self-produced, "exclusive" films in many genres.

According to experts, in the coming time, there will be more attractive packages from VOD service suppliers, or cooperation between domestic and foreign firms like FPT Play and HBO Go to bring to audience more TV series and international contents from platforms that are not currently operating in Vietnam.

This direction is expected to not only attract viewers to Vietnamese applications, but also encourage the habit of watching films with copyright instead of searching on pirated movie sites.

Producer Do Quang Minh of Dofilm affirmed that the audiences are the decision makers. Therefore, companies always need to focus on increasing content quality, he said.

The more applications there are, the more choices the audience have, he said./.