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  • Writer's pictureEdoardo Lipari


Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Insights for rights holders and brands


Viewing All Ways and Any Ways

It’s no secret that video is a dominating content format worldwide. As mobile data gets cheaper and connection speeds get faster, the Asia-Pacific region has seen skyrocketing growth in the consumption and creation of videos, as well as a rise in new video platforms and formats.

64% of connected users in the Asia-Pacific region watch online video content daily. More than half (51%) treat videos and live-stream as a way of connecting with friends. It’s truly become part of everyday life and is intrinsic to the way people socialise in this part of the world.

Video advertising and subscription revenue of online videos in the region is expected to double over the next four years. Plus, India and Indonesia are the fastest-growing markets in the region in terms of the creation and consumption of YouTube videos, respectively.

Culture, society and technology adoption have developed a number of emerging video trends across this region, understanding how to apply them to your international marketing strategy can help you more efficiently communicate and see engagement across the region.

This report focuses on just five video trends we’ve observed across Asia-Pacific, each of which present opportunities for global sports marketers and brands.

‘Watch with Me’

Videos Keep Viewers Connected in South Korea

‘With me’ videos are all the rage in the Asia-Pacific region, making them a valuable format option for marketers in the sports industry.

‘With me’ videos feature people doing everyday tasks like eating, shopping, studying, or cleaning while occasionally explaining what they’re doing and why. Videos range between 30 and 90 minutes, and Asia-Pacific viewers are increasingly attracted to this lengthy format.

In the first half of 2019 alone, YouTube viewers in South Korea watched more than 500 years’ worth of ‘with me’ videos across various categories like ‘draw with me’ and ‘eat with me.’ This style of content grew significantly also in Japan by 500% in 2019 as well as in Indonesia (+180%), Australia (+250%) and India (+260%).

The ‘with me’ format highlights the distinct need for users to connect with others while still feeling productive and diligent. These social pressures, often widespread across Asian culture and society, seem to be mirrored online through these kinds of videos.

And it shows in the numbers. More than half of Asia-Pacific consumers treat videos and live-stream as a way to connect with friends. The ongoing global pandemic is further boosting this trend, allowing viewers not only to feel connected but also helping them to learn new skills.

Got a Question?

Videos are the Answer in India

Most people typically learn best from either experiencing something or having it explained to them face-to-face. Videos can often do both.

Indians believe consuming video enriches knowledge and validates their purchases. They use YouTube like Google: find answers, how-to jobs, reviews. It's a go-to guide for everything.

Say you’d like to renovate your balcony. Indians are likely to turn to YouTube and learn how from a video.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, these trends have only increased. In March, searches for ‘learn online’ increased 85% when compared to the numbers from January and February. Other searches like ‘teach online’ went up 148%, ‘at-home learning’ went up 79%, and ‘classes online’ went up 300% during the same time frame.

COVID has caused economic downturn and job losses, meaning online videos will remain a staple for learning skills in a competitive market.

Overall, videos account for 70% of India’s total data usage, with an average of 67 minutes of daily watch time. 43% of this video viewing is aimed toward learning and 62% of Indian consumers do pre-purchase research on a product online via videos. With this in mind, sports marketers have an opportunity to educate viewers about their products and take advantage of the fact that viewers are more than willing to learn from online videos.


Indonesia Blends Shopping and Entertainment with Success

Companies in Southeast Asia have been selling goods during live-stream videos in a format called “shoppertainment.” Users demand convenience and interactivity, and shoppertainment videos meet those demands by elevating the shopping experience with an engaging format designed to sell.

In March 2019, Lazada live-streamed a music concert from Jakarta on their app across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, reaching 12 million viewers. It generated sales 15 times higher than the platform’s daily average.

Lazada has also produced other versions of the shoppertainment format such as a live-stream fashion show where viewers could buy straight from the runway and an in-app game where users win vouchers and discounts, both with great success.

Other companies have been taking advantage of shoppertainment videos as well. Shopee LIVE in Singapore allows users to chat with sellers, learn about products, and ask questions in real-time before buying them, all without leaving the app. With this approach, Shopee saw a 75% increase in sales.

Hyper-Personalised Videos

Advertising in Vietnam Gets Up Close and Personal

Hyper-personalised video advertising has increasingly become part of global sports brands’ marketing strategies for Asia-Pacific. By creating different variations of the same video, marketers can target thousands of viewers according to their unique persona, location, language, desired destination, and platform relevance.

By optimising ads to address the linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity in Southeast Asia, it’s understood that using a one-size-fits-all approach leads to missed opportunities.

For example, Japan Airlines created a campaign targeting five Asia-Pacific markets using 24 different versions of their “Fly Once, Fly Always” video ad.

The version that targeted viewers in Indonesia featured a woman wearing a hijab to illustrate that Japan Airlines serves halal food. Then, in the Thailand version, a man on a subway is being served by a flight attendant. Furthermore, the ad that shows in Vietnam, while similar, doesn’t take place on a subway since Vietnam’s subway system has not yet been completed.

Amateur Commentary

The Hidden Gem of Thailand

Thai commentary is a phenomenon influencing entertainment as a whole that can be seen everywhere from sports to flea markets.

Especially in sports, videos are not considered complete without Thai commentary, partly due to the fact that many only understand the local language. Thai people are already familiar with the “voice” that narrates exactly what happens. Plus, commentary helps people remain aware of what’s happening, while only half paying attention. As a result, these commentators are so popular that they’re seen as public figures and celebrities.

Pirate streams have become also popular, not only for their free access but also for the commentary. Some users even pirate free streams to listen to their favourite commentators. To tackle this issue, TrueVision Sports now offers a ‘watch together’ channel where different hosts lead the commentary, attracting a specific group of followers.

Thai commentary for each sport and activity has a unique style, tone, and rhythm. Dragon Boat commentary is renowned for its intensity and is considered part of the entertainment, just as much as the sport itself.

However, it’s not only sports that have felt the influence of Thai commentary. Amateur commentators are attracting millions of views, commentating anything from video game playthroughs, documentaries, random animal footage, and more.

Commentators set the tone of stories, sending them in any direction. For example, video game footage can turn into a bedtime story. Cat footage can turn into a Man vs. Wild documentary. A Charlie Chaplin silent film turns into a local film in the local dialect. It makes everything for everyone.


Relevance through market-specific strategies

Video has quickly become the dominant medium for marketing communication across Asia-Pacific. This trend will likely continue to rise as 5G technologies expand across the region and the cost of high-quality smartphones becomes increasingly more available to everyone.

However, as we’ve demonstrated, each market presents a unique set of cultural, societal and behaviour differences in the way they prefer to engage with brands and influencers. We believe to extract the most value out of your communication plan, marketers need to recognise how these behaviours drive engagement in each unique market.

Whether it's shopping tied to sports in Indonesia, learning all things in India, building on the ‘with me’ culture in Korea, or even layering on amateur commentary with live sports in Thailand. Each presents a unique and creative method to deliver your goals and build relevance at the same time.


Mailman / Seven League is Asia’s leading sports digital agency and consultancy. Headquartered in Shanghai, now with teams across Asia we help the best in global sport build audience, community and brand equity. Through this we invest in digital rights, ecommerce and drive partnerships for continued success.

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