Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery Reveal Their Streaming Strategies for Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific Online Video & Media Summit (APOS) is an annual event that brings together industry leaders and experts to discuss the latest trends and challenges in the streaming and digital media sector. This year, the conference was held online from September 27 to 29, 2023, and featured speakers from major global and regional players such as Amazon, Warner Bros. Discovery, Viu, Netflix, Disney+, and more.

One of the main topics of discussion was how to increase profitability and customer loyalty in a highly competitive and fragmented market, where consumers face overwhelming choices and subscription fatigue. Some of the strategies that were explored included aggregation, advertising, partnerships, and rationalizing content costs.

Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery Reveal Their Streaming Strategies for Asia Pacific
Amazon and Warner Bros. Discovery Reveal Their Streaming Strategies for Asia Pacific

Amazon’s Kelly Day on Aggregation and Advertising

Kelly Day, Amazon Prime Video VP International, said that a combination of original content and aggregated channels, delivered through a single app and billing relationship, was key to driving usage in an era where customers face overwhelming choices and “we’re starting to see a little bit of subscription fatigue”.

“At Prime Video we’re focused on delivering great selection – and that can come from our original SVOD content and sports. But it’s also increasingly coming from our partners – services like Paramount+, HBO Max, Starz and BritBox – we have over 500 channels and partners, who are also delivering incredible value to customers, along with FAST channels, AVOD and our TVOD store,” Day said.

Day also addressed Amazon’s decision to introduce advertising to its service, announced last week, echoing Netflix’s move into advertising announced last year. “Obviously it’s very early, but we want to continue to invest in great content in lots of different countries, and this is one way we subsidise the costs of producing super high-quality content.” She continued: “We’ve announced the first wave of countries – there are nine countries where ads will be introduced into Prime Video next year and customers will have the option to buy out of that experience. We think it’s going to be a great way for us to be able to keep prices low and keep delivering that value”.

Day also said that local content continues to drive customer acquisition and retention, sitting alongside international originals such as The Lord Of The Rings, Citadel and Jack Ryan, which “really resonate with our Prime customers all over the world”. When asked if Prime Video was reining in local content investment, she said the service has invested in 280 local original titles across 25 countries since early 2022, with a focus on Japan, India and increasingly Korea in the APAC region. “I would not say we’re reining in investment, but we are looking to continually diversify, so we don’t necessarily need to always produce and own everything ourselves”.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s JB Perrette on Integration and Expansion

JB Perrette, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President of Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, will take on the role of combining HBO Max and Discovery+ into one service that can compete with Netflix and Disney+ globally. Perrette was a key NBC exec behind the launch of Hulu and led streaming and international at Discovery before the merger with Warner Bros..

Perrette said that the new combined product will offer customers “the best of both worlds” with a mix of premium scripted content from HBO Max and factual entertainment from Discovery+. He also said that the service will leverage Warner Bros.’s library of movies and TV shows, as well as Discovery’s portfolio of sports rights.

Perrette reiterated WBD’s plans to rollout the new combined product in the U.S. first, then LatAm territories in fall 2023, followed by Europe in early 2024 and Asia-Pacific in mid 2024, with “new markets” to be tapped come fall 2024. He also said that WBD will offer different pricing tiers for different regions and customer segments.

Perrette also showed his lighter side on stage at WBD’s first Upfront presentation to advertisers, investors, and the media on Wednesday. He laughed along when musical act Lizzo made some crude comments. He also said that WBD will introduce advertising to its streaming service next year as a way to generate more revenue and reach more customers.

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