Prime Video & Netflix Tussle For Top Spot In Japan Subscription Streaming Battle, Report Reveals

Amazon’s Prime Video has more monthly paying users than Netflix in Japan, but Netflix’s subs appear more engaged, a report has revealed.

Prime Video is currently commanding 19.7 million monthly active users (MAUs), ahead of U-Next (8.2 million) and Netflix (7.5 million), according to Ampd, a data analytics company owned by Media Partners Asia.

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Local broadcaster-led AVOD platform Tver had the highest MAU base overall (20.2 million) and also led premium VOD viewership in 2023, capturing 38% of the market. Along with Netflix, it also recorded the highest engagement, with Tver getting an average of 8.8 and Netflix 7.3 hours per user each quarter.

In effect, this all means Prime Video is bringing more than double the number of MAUs to its service than Netflix each month, but Netflix’s smaller audience is consuming more content.

Japan’s premium VOD category generated more than 100 billion minutes and $4.5B in subscription revenue in 2023. The five key players for Japanese subscription streaming are Prime Video, Netflix, U-Next, Disney+ and Hulu Japan, which generated a cumulative $3.3B in subscription revenue with an aggregate 38 million subscriptions at year-end.

The report also revealed Japanese anime, live-action dramas and variety content powered 65% of premium VOD viewership and was the driving factor behind over 50% of SVOD customer acquisition in 2023.

Prime Video and Netflix led monetization in 2023 with 23% and 21% of total subscription revenue, respectively. Meanwhile, U-Next was the fastest growing player in SVOD in 2023 with a 30% share of net new subscriber additions.

Ampd accrued the data through a passive panel measuring digital activity from over 19,000 members in partnership with the Intage Group.

Ampd lead analyst Dhivya T said: “Japanese anime, live-action dramas and variety content represented 65% of viewership in the premium VOD category and contributed over 50% of customer acquisition in the SVOD category in licensed local dramas are important engagement drivers for Tver, U-Next and Hulu Japan, where TV hits have a second-life, while original dramas and variety have had clear acquisition impact on Netflix [Love Village, First Love] and Amazon Prime Video (The Bachelor).

“In addition, anime remains a core pillar of SVOD viewership, with all major SVOD services offering large, non-exclusive and current anime libraries. Exclusive anime such as One Piece Film: Red [for Prime Video] demonstrated notable customer acquisition impact.”

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