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Will anyone pay for online content?

Online video viewing is increasing across South East Asia. Recent research has shown that urban consumers in the majority of markets in this region are already spending an average of 2 hours every day watching online videos.

With the increase in demand for online content, the number of OTT video services has proliferated in the region. To attract users to their services, the majority of these providers offer free trial periods (usually 30 days) with the aim of converting the free users into paid users at the end of the trial. While the take up rates for free trials have been encouraging, the majority of OTT players have faced challenges in converting free users to paid users. The market reality is that people in these markets don’t have pay-for-content mindset; they are accustomed to feeding their content needs with free online content from both legal and pirated sources.

However, according to our research there is a silver lining to the situation. There are specific demographics defined by age who are willing to pay for content in each country.

Which age groups are willing to pay?

Based on PCA’s surveys conducted in South East Asia, we have identified which demographics have the highest willingness to pay for content. For instance, in Singapore and Thailand, two of the markets covered in the survey, the results show that people within the age brackets of 25-34 years old and 35+ years old respectively are more willing to pay for content.

Our research also identified the types of content that are attractive to these demographics. The top three genres that appeal in Singapore to those aged 25-34 are international and local dramas, Hollywood movies and dramas as well as sports. As for Thailand, the top three genres are Hollywood movies, sports and lifestyle.

For full results of PCA’s market research in Singapore, Thailand and other countries please contact us at


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