Highlights from PCA’s 2018 market research on consumers’ online video viewing habits in Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam
Online viewing habits in Asia are evolving rapidly driven by both better telecoms infrastructure, smart phone technology and affordability and an ever growing stable of new digital content providers. On the supply side, in the last 12 months we have seen a migration to hybrid business models that combine AVOD and SVOD by major regional players, the launch of streaming skinny pay-TV bouquets offering household channel names and some aggressive new start-ups looking to revolutionize the space by gamifying ad viewing. To keep our clients’ fingers on the pulse of the demand side, Pioneer Consulting Asia runs yearly surveys across 10 Asian countries to hear directly from consumers about their online viewing habits and preferences.
Below are country level highlights from our 3 most recent surveys which polled online urban residents 13 years and older across multiple cities in each of the countries we undertook the study in.
Since our 2016 survey, the number of respondents watching online video content on their mobile device has increased from 67% to 88%. There was also a large increase in the number of respondents watching video for 3 hours or longer with only 3% doing so in 2016 compared to 22% in 2018.
Unlike many other countries in the region, more respondents said they use Facebook (80%) to watch videos rather than YouTube (77%) while services that offer a subscription option gained traction with 25% of respondents claiming to have watched a particular SVOD service in the last 30 days.
While the biggest reason for not subscribing was the inability to afford subscription services, close to 56% of respondents said they were likely or definitely likely to sign up for a service in the next 3 months.
Compared to PCA’s 2017 Vietnam survey, the percentage of respondents who said they watched over 2 hours of online content on their mobile devices a day doubled. Women in particular have started watching online content with fervour, with 11% saying they watch more than 3 hours per day compared to only 3% of male respondents.
Online subscription services have started to gain traction with 21% of respondents saying they lived in a household with an online video subscription. Respondents with subscriptions said the most important reason they signed up was to enjoy a large library of mixed content but a clear enabler of subscription services in the country was good video quality and fast loading which was the second most common reason respondents gave for subscribing to a service.
However, access to the same content on free sites as that offered on paid sites, which PCA used as a proxy for piracy, was the primary reason people did not want to sign up for a paying service.
Since 2017, the number of respondents who said they watched online video daily on their mobile device increased from 90% to 98% with 42% of respondents saying they watched for over 1 hour in 2018 compared to just 33% in 2017.
While female respondents were more likely to watch online video on their mobiles for longer periods of time, males were more likely to have signed up for a free trial to an online video service in the last 12 months. The most commonly cited paid online video service respondents subscribed to in Thailand was Netflix while the most popular reason for not signing up for a service given by Thai respondents was that they were satisfied with alternative content provided by free sources.
Exhibit: Respondents who Spent Over an Hour Watching Online Video Content on Their Mobile Phone per Day (%)