MCO: Malaysians stuck at home give Netflix, Tonton biggest traffic growth rates against competitors

As Malaysians kept indoors, the study noted that Netflix had as expected gained 195 per cent in year-on-year growth in traffic in the third week of March. — Reuters pic
As Malaysians kept indoors, the study noted that Netflix had as expected gained 195 per cent in year-on-year growth in traffic in the third week of March. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Video-streaming platforms Netflix and Tonton enjoyed the highest traffic growth rates among other rivals recently, as Malaysians heavily spurred demand for online entertainment while being stuck at home to slow the Covid-19 spread, a new study has shown.

In the study by the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) produced by its market intelligence partner SimilarWeb, the report noted Malaysians’ “mass migration” to online services for various needs such as news, grocery shopping and even entertainment during the third week of March.

The third week of March (March 15 to March 21) coincides with the first week of the government’s movement control order, which started on March 18 and has been extended until April 14.

In the study, a comparison was made on the flow of internet traffic in Malaysia using desktop and mobile devices to five key over-the-top platforms or streaming services that deliver videos directly to viewers, namely Tonton, Netflix, Dimsum, Viu and iFlix.

Using January as a base, the three selected periods where annual growth rate in online traffic to these five sites were measured are February against January, the first two weeks of March against January, and the third week of March against January.

As Malaysians kept indoors, the study noted that Netflix had as expected gained 195 per cent in year-on-year growth in traffic in the third week of March.

“Visits to homegrown video streaming service Tonton (tonton.com.my) jumped 232 per cent in sequential traffic in the third week of March, while those to local subscription service dimsum (dimsum.my) and Asian drama streaming service Viu (viu.com) increased 140 per cent,” said the report titled “Covid-19 lockdown: Malaysians go online for work, food and TV”.

Prior to that, these platforms had either experienced minimal or negative annual growth rates in online traffic in Malaysia for the month of February and for the first two weeks of March.

Sequential change in year-on-year growth rates in traffic in Malaysia to key over-the-top platforms. — Screengrab of the Malaysian Digital Association and market intelligence SimilarWeb's report
Sequential change in year-on-year growth rates in traffic in Malaysia to key over-the-top platforms. — Screengrab of the Malaysian Digital Association and market intelligence SimilarWeb's report

A similar trend was detected when the study compared the annual growth rate in daily active users (DAUs) of Android mobile apps used to access six OTT or video-streaming providers — including the five and Astro Go — during the same three periods.

“OTT mobile app DAU growth is also trending up. Astro Go, Netflix and Tonton grew more than 80 per cent in sequential DAUs in the third week of March,” the report said in highlighting the three platforms that showed marked and drastic annual growth rates from March 15 to March 21.

Sequential change in year-on-year growth rates in daily active users of Android apps in Malaysia for key over-the-top platforms. — Screengrab of the Malaysian Digital Association and market intelligence SimilarWeb's report
Sequential change in year-on-year growth rates in daily active users of Android apps in Malaysia for key over-the-top platforms. — Screengrab of the Malaysian Digital Association and market intelligence SimilarWeb's report

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