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In a Streaming Content World, Asians Lead the Way Reveals Horowitz Research FOCUS Asian: The Media Landscape 2019 report

New Rochelle, NY(10 Sep 2019)

Asians continue to lead the market in streaming TV content, according to the latest FOCUS Asian: The Media Landscape 2019 report from Horowitz Research.

The report, which covers TV and video subscriptions, viewing behaviors, attitudes towards TV content and more among Asian TV content viewers, found that about eight in 10 (78%) Asian TV content viewers are streamers, compared to 65% of TV content viewers overall. Overall, the average Asian TV content viewer spends more than half (52%) of their viewing time with streamed content; just 39% of content is watched live through traditional TV platforms. Moreover, one in four Asians stream
all their content.

Asians streaming content from the internet is not a new development, and much of it is driven by the demand for culturally resonant content from their countries of origin. In-language and international content play an important role in the viewing ecosystem of most Asian TV content viewers, with six in ten (59%) Asians watching at least some in-language content weekly.

Among Asian-language viewers, 59% say they access Asian-language content via streaming frequently, vs. just 31% who access it via traditional cable/satellite/antenna. According to Adriana Waterston, SVP of Insights for Horowitz Research, “Even back in the 1990s, when internet meant dial-up and streaming videos was not even in our consideration sets, we found that many tech-forward Asian households had found ways to access and download content from their countries of origin to their computer— a painstakingly slow process that would take all night— so that they could watch their episode the next day.”

'Perfect Storm' for Asian Viewers
The combination of tech-savviness, the demand for international content that was generally unavailable or expensive to subscribe to stateside, and the programming and marketing challenges the pay TV industry faced in serving a culturally and linguistically diverse consumer segment, created the perfect storm for Asians to become the leading-edge streamers that they are today.

While Asians tend to over-index on being connected, internet access, smartphones, etc., Asians continue to under-index for pay TV: Only 71% of Asians report having a traditional MVPD, substantially lower than the total market at 82%. Notably, among those who do subscribe to pay TV, 38% of Asians also pay for an in-language or international package, highest among Indians (38%) and Filipinos (36%), and lowest among Chinese (19%).

As pay TV and internet-delivered streaming services converge, are there new opportunities to superserve the Asian market? According to Horowitz, the answer is yes. In the recent FOCUS Asian study, Horowitz found that having access to channels geared toward Asian audiences and international content in general are important factors that impact TV subscription decisions for over four in ten Asians. The question is, which of the providers will best address this opportunity?


Netflix has already become a main provider of Asian content, with 39% of in-language viewers saying they access Asian-language content through the service. New internet-enabled streaming TV services like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW are specifically targeting Asian audiences with packages of in-language content.

Cable and broadband providers such as Comcast, Cox, Charter, and Altice have internet and TV cross-platform services that allow subscribers to search across broadcast, cable, premium, and international channels, on-demand services, their DVR, and streaming apps to discover content. With this convergence of internet and TV, it may become more feasible for traditional operators to offer international content to their customers without being tied down to markets.

A Challenge to Pay TV
"The Asian market has always been a challenge for the pay TV industry," Waterston notes. "We have always known that there is a strong market for in-language and culturally relevant content, but with the Asian population hailing from so many countries and with so many linguistic and cultural nuances, scalability has been a major hurdle. The efficiency and personalization of streaming solves many of the inherent challenges of serving this audience. Now the question will be which players will rise to the occasion."

The full FOCUS Asian: The Media Landscape 2019 report provides analysis of U.S. Asian TV content viewers 18+ by key demographic and viewer segments, including country of origin (Chinese, Indian, and Filipino), age, and acculturation. The survey was conducted in January/February 2019 in English among 307 Asian TV content viewers.

About Horowitz Research
Horowitz Research is a leading provider of consumer market research specializing in media content, services, and technology. Founded in 1985, Horowitz Research provides an annual syndicated research subscription and a full suite of à la carte syndicated reports about consumer attitudes, behaviors, and relationships with media, telecommunications, social media, technology, and advertising. Horowitz also provides primary quantitative and qualitative consumer and market research for companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500. The company’s expertise includes telecommunication services; traditional and new subscription pay TV services; digital media and platforms; TV and video attitudes, behaviors, and expectations; mobile apps; and consumer technology. For more information, visit