Thailand among world top 10 in YouTube time
Thailand has moved up in the rankings in terms of YouTube watch time, retaining its place in the top 10 in 2016, aided by cheaper smart devices and burgeoning telecom infrastructure.
The ranking, revealed by Google Thailand, shows the mobile-first preference of Thai viewers and their fondness for sharing content and engaging with social media. Since Google Inc does not have a policy on conducting official rankings, the results were rough estimates.
"Thais have watched 1.7 hours of video daily on Google's YouTube this year, up from 1.1 hours last year," said Pete Nuchanatanon, head of marketing at Google Thailand.
Up to 65% of YouTube watch time in Thailand is spent on mobile devices, up from 52% last year, he said.
Mr Pete credited fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband, the nationwide high-speed wireless network and low-cost mobile data plans for the sharp increase in viewing.
Thailand, Vietnam and Japan are the three Asian countries to make the top 10 this year.
Mr Pete said the rocket fuel behind Thailand's growth is the young population of 18- to 45-year-olds.
"There are eight independent content creators in Thailand with a mass following of over 1 million subscribers each on their YouTube channels," he said.
"Thais have watched 1.7 hours of video daily on Google's YouTube this year, up from 1.1 hours last year," said Pete Nuchanatanon, head of marketing at Google Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Google Thailand)
The number of creator groups for user-generated content in Thailand now exceeds the number of professional content firms such as TV stations.
Mr Pete predicts continued growth in Thailand's digital ad spending. The typical length of ads on YouTube is 2-12 minutes, compared with 5-6 minutes last year.
Travel, e-commerce, retail and automotive are some of the biggest-spending sectors in digital advertising overall, Mr Pete said.
Content creators are rushing into a new era of 360-degree virtual reality content: an audiovisual simulation of an altered, augmented or substituted environment surrounds viewers, allowing them to look in all directions as in real life.
The Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) predicts YouTube's digital ad revenue to reach 1.66 billion baht in 2016, up from 1.59 billion last year.
By comparison, Facebook's ad revenue is expected to reach 2.8 billion baht, up from 1.9 billion last year.
A recent survey of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency found that Thais spent 5.7 hours a day accessing the internet on mobile devices in 2015.
YouTube, Facebook and Line were the most-visited social media platforms.
Mr Pete said YouTube is working with mobile operators in Thailand to make video available offline as well.