International streaming services had a huge increase in subscribers as a result of the outbreak, but US powerhouses have now switched their attention to other countries as they have reopened, with Thailand squarely in their sights. The kingdom offers a tremendous chance because of its high internet penetration, storied film industry, and six million or so active consumers of streaming platforms, per data from 2021.
As new sign-ups have leveled off in more mature regions like North America and Europe, major firms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which each claim 200 million and 220 million subscribers worldwide, have taken notice. Almost simultaneously with Netflix announcing six locally produced films and series for the upcoming months, Prime Video launched in Thailand in October. Malobika Banerji, head of programming for Southeast Asia at Netflix, which has a regional hub in Singapore, said, “The competition is everywhere.”
Nowhere is that more obvious than in the Thai capital, where the mega-production “Rings of Power,” a “Lord of the Rings” spinoff from Prime, competes on billboards with Netflix’s most recent South Korean series.
Josh McIvor, director of international development for Prime Video, stated that “We do believe that Thailand will be a big part of our subscriber growth in the years to come.” Regarding their earlier entry into Japan, where they outperform Netflix, he remarked, “Our goal is really to try to be the most local of the global streaming services.” Netflix witnessed a 20% increase in Asia-Pacific customers last year, according to the company’s most recent quarterly report, but their rival’s longer-term commitment is clear.
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