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In battle for eyeballs, Netflix boosts Southeast Asian content in bid to fend off local rivals

According to ampd research, MPA’s research arm, 11 per cent and 21 per cent of Netflix viewers became subscribers in Indonesia and Thailand, respectively, between January 2023 to March this year through first watching their local content offerings.

Joko’s series, which premiered on June 14, went on to become the platform’s fourth most watched non-English language programme globally, gaining 2.1 million views as of Thursday.

“It’s not often for me to binge-watch Indonesian series, let alone a sci-fi one. Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams is an exquisite, mind-blowing masterpiece,” user Ola wrote on X.

Hikmat Darmawan, an Indonesian film industry observer and producer at Jakarta-based production house Imaginarium Pictures, said “it’s only natural” that Nightmares and Daydreams was popular with Indonesian audiences due to its high production values.

“Netflix’s content has the latest production standards. This has an impact because there is a transfer of technology and a transfer of knowledge to Indonesian filmmakers.

Netflix entered Southeast Asia in 2016 and remains committed to commissioning content in the region, including Indonesia, amid a push in Hollywood to find new growth markets in Asia, according to Hikmat.

Marvel Studios’ 2023 release of The Marvels was its worst-performing film to date, with a box-office run of only US$205 million worldwide. Deadpool & Wolverine is the only Marvel film slated for this year.

Southeast Asian producers are also competing for eyeballs with Korean and Chinese content, which still rules streaming platforms in the region.

According to MPA’s report, K-dramas were the most popular content among Asian viewers on streaming platforms between January 2023 to March this year, with over 40 per