return icon

Profits from advertising flow into pockets of foreign OTT companies

Cross-border OTT television services are competing unfairly with Vietnamese firms, analysts say.

According to a report of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), by Q2 2022, Vietnam's pay TV market reached 16.9 million subscribers, with revenue of 4,500 billion VND, up 9.5% over the same period in 2021. 

Revenue from OTT television services grew strongly, reaching  370 billion VND, up by approximately 300% year on year.

However, these are just statistics about OTT television services. In fact, the revenue and number of subscribers of cross-border TV service providers such as Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, WeTV, and more have not been reported yet, because they do not have legal entities and representative offices in Vietnam.

Statistics show that nearly 80% of the market share of pay TV services via OTT applications in Vietnam belongs to cross-border businesses. 

According to App Annie, on Android phones alone, Netflix had 1.6 million service users in Vietnam by early 2020 while WeTV had more than 630,000 users, and IQIYI had more than 445,000 users.

With a large number of subscribers, earning huge revenue and profit from the Vietnamese market, cross-border OTT television service providers avoid tax obligations in Vietnam. 

Only Netflix has paid 7.8 billion VND in tax. The basic package is 180,000 VND/month.

According to the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information (Ministry of Information and Communications), the domestic pay TV market had a number of foreign enterprises providing television services. They mainly provide content on demand, such as movies, cartoons, documentaries, TV series, reality TV shows and TV games.

Some services of this type have been found to have content that violates Vietnam's legal regulations on journalism and cinema. "In 2020-2021, some content infringed on Vietnam’s sovereignty,  and showed a lewd, depraved lifestyle that is not in line with Vietnamese customs and traditions on Netflix," said the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information.

Regulating cross-border OTTs

Huynh Long Thuy, General Director of VieON Joint Stock Company, said that the content broadcast on local OTT platforms must pass a strict process, while that of cross-border OTTs do not have to pass this procedure. 

Cross-border OTTs can also collect subscription fees without paying taxes and promote content that violates Vietnam’s customs without being fined.

The Vietnam Pay Television Association has proposed that the Government tighten regulations on management of cross-border OTT services. Accordingly, cross-border services need to carry out registration procedures under Vietnamese rules and the content provided on their platforms must be pre-checked in order to ensure State management of television and movie content like domestic OTT service providers. In addition, cross-border services have to declare revenue generated in Vietnam.

According to the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information, in the coming time, a number of legal documents will be issued to strengthen management of OTT services. 

It is expected that from 2023, the new regulations will handle inadequacies, forcing foreign OTT television service providers to comply with Vietnam’s regulations as domestic enterprises. 

The new regulations will promote the growth of the pay TV service market and create a healthy competitive environment.

The agency estimated that revenue of pay TV services in 2022 will reach about VND 9,300 billion, compared to VND 9,200 billion in 2021.

According to Akamai, the number of users of OTT platforms will create a market of $54 billion by 2026. In Vietnam, users of OTT TV services are expected to reach 36 million out of 180 million users in Southeast Asia.

Dau Tu


President to pay State visit to RoK next week

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea from December 4-6.

Fansipan among five top destinations for mountain trekking at year-end

Renowned tourism website Women's Weekly of Singapore has named Fansipan among the leading five destinations to visit for mountain trekking at the end of the year, with the website noting the Vietnamese mountain’s impressive views.

Dortmund chiefs predict bright future for VN football

Although this was only a friendly game with many of the German stars absent from the starting eleven due to the Qatar World Cup, the victory gave the Bundesliga team food for thought about Vietnamese players.

International designers dazzle fashion fans in Hanoi

International designers left a deep impression on fans of fashion in Hanoi with hundreds of fascinating designs presented at the Aquafina VN International Fashion Week (AVIFW) Fall/Winter 2022.

Monthly Government meeting focuses on year-end key tasks

The Government has established working groups on liquidity and currency, the real estate market and corporate bonds led by deputy prime ministers to stabilise these markets.

Vietnam to reduce environmental impact of textile-garment industry by 2030

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has set a goal of helping Vietnam's textile and garment industry be more environmentally friendly by 2030.

Property brokers no longer manipulate prices as buyers become more cautious

As buyers have become more aware and careful about shady practices, real estate brokers have not been able to sell properties at prices much higher than their real value.

Hanoi to turn middle alluvium ground into park

One more park has been designed for Hanoians. However, it is still unclear when the project will appear, as a number of other projects are still on paper or pending.

Asian investors eye more M&A opportunities in Vietnam

Investors from Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and Singapore are looking for more potential merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities in Vietnam, pinning high hopes on the long-term growth prospects of the market.

Vietnam's fishery exports exceed 10 billion USD in 11 months

Fishery exports reeled in 10.14 billion USD as of November this year, up 27% annually, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

HCM City want foreign doctors to be fluent in Vietnamese

The HCM City Department of Health has just proposed that foreign doctors should be fluent in Vietnamese if they want to work in the country.

Use of toxic e-cigarettes among students on the rise

After a trial smoke, T lost consciousness, was foaming at the mouth, and his limbs were curled up. Two days later, T regained consciousness at the hospital, but was still in the status of extreme fear.

Vietnam spends US$7.74 billion importing petroleum products

Vietnam imported over 7.5 million tonnes of oil and petrol worth around US$7.74 billion as of mid-November, up 24.1% in volume and 122% in value year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam won’t sacrifice the environment for economic growth: Prime Minister

Vietnam takes people as the goal in development. People will enjoy the fruits of a green economy and the government will not sacrifice the environment to pursue economic growth.

Vietnam’s bond market contracts amid monetary tightening

After strong growth in the previous quarter, Vietnam’s currency bond market contracted 0.2% due to a decline in the Government bond market and slower growth in corporate bonds.