Streaming trend driving 6% rise in Thai entertainment-media revenue this year: PwC
Thai entertainment and media (E&M) revenues are forecast to climb above 500 billion baht this year, bouncing back from a drop of 6 per cent last year (484 billion baht) during the Covid-19 crisis. The forecast comes from PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2021-2025, which estimates E&M revenues will grow by 4.45 per cent to hit 601 billion baht in 2025.
Driving this year’s revenue rise is the resurgence of cinema, music, radio and podcasts and out-of-home advertising businesses, PwC said.
“While the Entertainment and Media outlook in Thailand will continue to be impacted by the pandemic this year, some E&M segments have benefited from a consumer shift toward digital platforms. This has helped offset the slower growth in other major segments that we saw a year earlier. We expect to see average growth over the next five years to be around 4 to 5 per cent per year,” said Tithinun Vankeo, assurance partner and entertainment & media leader for PwC Thailand.
PwC’s Outlook forecasts the top three fastest-growing segments this year will be cinema (growing at 47% from last year to 7.8 billion baht), followed by music, radio and podcasts (27% to 11.9 billion baht) and finally out-of-home advertising (24% to 5 billion baht).
In contrast, the traditional TV-and-home video segment and the books segment will be the most vulnerable, shrinking 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
The spending rebound for Thai E&M is in line with global spending, which is expected to grow 7 per cent from last year to 68 trillion baht (US$2 trillion) with 4.61 per cent annual growth across the next five years. This growth is fuelled by strong demand for digital content and advertising.
Streaming a game-changer for Thai E&M
Outlook shows that Covid-19 is driving shifts in the E&M industry as a whole. Cinema visits have dropped in favour of streaming platforms. And since they’re stuck inside, many younger consumers immerse themselves in their mobile devices, searching for content and playing games.
“As long as consumers spend more and more time on online platforms, over-the-top video and streaming video businesses will keep up their pace and continue to grow,” Tithinun said.
“We’re seeing the rising trend of competitiveness in OTT video and subscription video-on-demand business, both in terms of price and promotion. Video games and e-sports is another segment that has been growing continuously for many years, and according to the study, Thailand has the highest number of people who play video games in the world,” she said.
According to the Digital 2021: Thailand report by DataReportal, there were 48.59 million internet users in Thailand in January 2021. Internet penetration stood at 69.5 per cent and the country also had 90.66 million mobile connections in the same period. These statistics indicate an increasing demand for media and entertainment.
“The popularity of OTT and video streaming will create more opportunities, but also more challenges. Operators will see more and more competition and will have to formulate strategies to penetrate the growing market and generate sales.
“Choosing the right platforms and content customised for each target audience, together with understanding the external and internal context and market factors, will help operators to adapt and offer services or content at the expected speed. These will help create a competitive advantage as well,” Tithinun said.