The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) held its first country-focused seminar of the year with a deep dive into the media and video industry of Thailand and the pursuit of growth in the market across both traditional and online platforms.
Thailand’s media industry is undergoing seismic transformation driven by technological and commercial change. With the first commercial 5G networks becoming available to consumers as early as next year, there is no doubt the market will see continued acceleration in the consumption of content across multiple devices and platforms.
For Truevisions, Thailand’s leading cable and satellite TV operator, Ongard Prapakamol, Chief Media Officer of True Corporation commented, “This is a time where we need to reinvent our pay-TV to see a new S-curve.”
Prapakamol shared that their strategy is to have different platforms serving different consumer needs, offering multiple services as a “super-app”, across free-to-air, pay-tv as well as streaming via their digital service, TrueID. This has enabled True Corporation to move from 99% of their revenue coming from Pay TV subscription when Truevisions first launched in Thailand, to only 60% now, with 30% from advertising across TV and digital, and the remaining 10% coming from a growing events arm which also includes licensing of True’s original content.
This growth in multi-platform consumption has also led to a plethora of regional and international OTT services launching in the Thai market, with iQiyi, China’s largest streaming video service, launching earlier this year. Kelvin Yau, VP of International Business Department and GM Thailand, iQIYI International, discussed their strategy for growth in Thailand. “It’s AVOD plus SVOD plus more…for iQiyi, SVOD is more than just a streaming service,” commented Yau. iQiyi will continue to focus on content and the technology they have, “but there is still so much more we haven’t shown to…users about what the app can do.”
With the growth of OTT comes greater diversification of ad spend in video, and greater importance of the AVOD model. However, not all video is created equally, and there needs to be a better understanding of why OTT warrants the premium that is charged, when media planners look for the best platform that advertisers should invest in. “OTT is the perfect love child between TV and programmatic,” added Nigel Kwan, VP of Marketing, APAC, SpotX. “You’ve got the impact and quality of the TV ad …[with] all the measurement capabilities and data capabilities of programmatic.”
However, challenges still remain and there is much work to be done in the area of measurement. But Greg Armshaw, Head of Media, Brightcove, ended the day’s sessions on a positive note, “There’s definitely opportunities for growth…clearly we are not at the reach situation yet…but it is growing very quickly.”
And to sum it up in the words of AVIA’s Chief Policy Officer, John Medeiros, who, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, reversed the words of economist John Maynard Keynes, “In the long run there is a lot of life to live, but we must get there first.”