Realising the potential of the Southeast Asia market, Amazon’s video streaming service Prime Video has decided to increase its investment for customers in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

According to the company, it is now going to be creating a localised content slate and user experience on Prime Video and the Prime Video app. The streaming service also underlining its commitment to the local creative community by creating its first ever local Southeast Asian Originals Comedy Island: Indonesia; Comedy Island: Thailand and Comedy Island: Philippines.

Moreover, there are currently local productions with film houses underway in both Indonesia and Thailand. Understanding the regions obsession with K-content, Prime Video has also inked deals to license top Korean titles.

“We’re delighted to be increasing our investment in Prime Video for customers in Southeast Asia, making it a truly localised experience—from local content specifically sourced for our customers,  to a localised user experience, and the first full-scale local marketing campaign,” said Josh McIvor, director of international expansion, Prime Video.

“Our support of local production companies in Southeast Asia is a significant step towards our broader international expansion plans and our ambition to become the most local of global streaming services.”

Amplification in Asia markets

To amplify its presence, Prime Video has also launched its first localised marketing campaigns featuring Iqbaal Ramadhan, Chicco Kurniawan and Kiky Saputri in Indonesia, Mario Maurer in Thailand and Anne Curtis in the Philippines. The campaign introduces Prime Video to local audiences as a premium video streaming service that entertains, delights and engages. 

In its first Indonesian campaign, Prime Video plays with the stereotype that Indonesians are always on ‘rubber time’ – and now Prime Video gives them another reason to ‘extend the rubber time’ because you will not want to miss it. 

The Thai campaign introduces the term “Prime” to local audiences and features the potential ways it may be mispronounced, leading to hilarious situations.

The Filipino campaign – created with local producers – plays with the stereotype that Filipinos are always late – and self-ironically claims that Prime Video is no different. The campaign showcases that  Prime Video is indeed late to the region, but it definitely was worth the wait just like all things fabulous.

The campaign highlights the content pillars that make Prime Video the home of entertainment: strong local content, the most loved regional content featuring Korean and Anime titles, and US hits.

Erika North, head of Asia-Pacific Originals, Prime Video added, “Southeast Asia is a tapestry of cultures, languages, and histories, and there has truly never been a better time to be a content creator or a content consumer in this part of the world. We are thrilled to be bringing our first three local Amazon Originals, the hilarious world of Comedy Island to customers in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and worldwide.”

North added that the company is committed to the local TV and film industry and believe in working with the “most innovative creative talent in the region to bring the very best, most authentic and local storytelling to life”.

In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from Prime Video also shared that the company usually conceives and conducts a 360-degree campaigns for all of its local Originals across marketing and PR channels including social media.

Does Amazon think it is late to the OTT game in SEA?

In a prior article written by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, industry players we spoke to shared that Amazon has been rather late to introduce Prime Video in Southeast Asia. However, the potentials are undeniable given that the streaming industry in Southeast Asia is set to flourish, with over 180 million consumers streaming eight billion hours of over-the-top (OTT) content per month across the region, according to a study from The Trade Desk. 

Moreover, research done by ADNA in the second quarter of the year uncovered that with 1,406 customers in Indonesia and 1,282 in Philippines, Amazon Prime Video has a sizable double-digit presence in both markets.

Answering MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s queries on why the brand is only now making a big push in Southeast Asia, a spokesperson said that it is recognised that international is where the growth for video streaming lies. He added that there has never been a better time to consume content or to make content given the traditional barriers of language, distribution and windows have been upended.

“There’s never been a greater appetite for quality content globally and that’s certainly no different in Southeast Asia,” the spokesperson said.

“Before going big in Southeast Asia, we were already producing original content in 16 key countries around the world, and the next priority for us is to expand our original content production efforts into regions with a long history of storytelling, such as Southeast Asia, Africa and further countries in Europe,” he said.

Moreover, Amazon, in general, is guided by four principles - customer obsession rather than competitor focus; passion for invention; commitment to operational excellence; and long-term thinking.  “That is also true regarding our commitment for local originals in Southeast Asia. We’re excited about the line-up of Original content, development deals, and licensed local, Korean and Anime titles we announced. But it’s only Day One for us in Southeast Asia, so stay tuned for more local originals announcements coming soon,” he added.

Last month, Amazon Prime also redesigned its Prime Video, bringing a new interface for connected living room devices compatible with Prime Video such as Fire TV, within its app. The new redesign was created to make the interface more user friendly.

According to Amazon, the new interface has a carousels presenting richer cinematic imagery, while allowing customers to pick content to steam in a fast and efficient way. Its “Super Carousel,” allows featured titles to stand out against other titles in a larger poster-styled artwork. It also incorporates a blue tick sign to indicate content provided in the paid subscription and a gold shopping bag sign for content available for purchase, rent or subscribe. 

Related Articles: 
Amazon Prime refreshes UX for growth, but is it missing out on SEA's potential?  
Amazon gears up for Prime Day in SG, says owned and paid channels key in marketing mix


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