Sun, December 05, 2021

perspective

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings


Representatives from public and private sectors related to digital media got together to share their ideas on the virtual forum “Thailand Platform – A Pipe Dream or Reality” hosted by Spring News on Friday.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA).

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

Pathom Intharodom, president of the Thai Digital Trade Association (TDTA) and director of Thailand’s Digital Council, said the Covid-19 outbreak has changed consumer behaviour and now Thais are spending more time on international digital platforms like Netflix and Spotify.

“Establishing the ‘Thailand Platform’ will promote the creation of local digital content that can compete with foreign alternatives,” he said. “The government should play the role of facilitator or regulator to ensure the private sector has what it needs and can compete fairly.”

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

Pawin Phurijitpanya, a film director with the GDH studio, added that promoting locally made films will not only add more content to the Thailand Platform but can also be distributed via big streaming services like Netflix or Disney Plus. He said this will help expose Thai films to global audiences.

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

“Content is key to attracting customers to a platform, not the subscription rate,” he said. “We must ensure that the content on Thailand Platform is of high quality that is constantly updated to keep audiences interested.”

Tharaphut Jaruwatthana, president of Media Agency Association, added that most OTT (over-the-top) platforms in Thailand have generated about 2 billion baht in advertising revenue scattered across several services.

“If we can combine these media into one centralised platform, then they can potentially generate up to 100 billion baht in advertising revenue yearly,” he said.

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

Meanwhile, Chaichana Mittraphan, president of ETDA, said that Thailand having its own digital platform will make the handling of regulations and complaints easier.

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

“More than 40,000 complaints are filed every year concerning digital platforms, but the ETDA cannot tackle all of them because most of these platforms do not have an office in Thailand and hence do not fall under Thai law,” he said. “ETDA is drafting a law to regulate all digital platforms available in Thailand, regardless of their country of origin, to ensure a fair competition between service providers.”

‘Thailand Platform’ necessary to woo Thais back from foreign digital offerings

Lastly, DGA director Suphoj Thianwut said the agency has launched a mobile application “Tang Rat” (The State’s Path) as a portal for all government digital services to serve people’s needs in the new normal.

“Private entrepreneurs are welcome to join Tang Rat to integrate their services with those of government,” he said. “The DGA supports the idea of building a ‘Thailand Platform’ and believes the government must remove regulations that obstruct the private sector from joining the platform.

“The ‘Thailand Platform’ cannot be built alone by a single agency. It will require cooperation from all related public and private organisations who can pool their resources and expertise in respective fields to make the platform a reality,” he added.

 

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