Disney+ Powers Japan Streaming Market Growth in Third Quarter

Disney+ was the biggest component of the 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 firm Media Partners Asia and its proprietary AMPD Research Platform. The overall Japan market counted 49.4 million SVOD subscriptions in the third quarter of 2022.

Amazon Prime Video remains by far the market leader with some 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 spot. (Hulu Japan is unaffiliated with Disney and instead is owned by Nippon Television.)

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

The report underlines the continuing importance of anime in the Japanese market and the growing role of Korean content.

“Anime is a defining attribute of premium video streaming in Japan, accounting for 44% of premium video consumption in Q3 2022. Korean content has significant subscriber acquisition impact on Netflix and Disney+, driving an outsize 26% of new user consumption, while 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 leveraging large, non-exclusive anime libraries to drive consumption,” said Vivek Couto, Media Partners Asia’s managing partner. “Local TV consortium and AVOD platform TVer continues to grow its share of premium video consumption, meeting demand for TV livestreams and catch-up of popular variety and drama programming.

“Licensed TV content also drives subscriber acquisition on Hulu Japan and U-Next. Notably, Korean dramas play an outsize role in subscriber acquisition for Netflix and Disney+, providing competitive differentiation amidst largely non-exclusive anime libraries. Disney+ has also started to build an exclusive anime library, underscoring strategies towards content differentiation in a maturing SVOD environment.”

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