Nielsen calls for brands to keep up spending on ads

Nielsen calls for brands to keep up spending on ads

Despite the pandemic, brands must continue media spending to shore up sales and adopt data analytics to make a prudent outlay, says Nielsen Media Thailand, a market research firm.

In 2020, a Nielsen survey found TV viewership spiked as more people worked from home, particularly those in Bangkok and aged above 35.

"Despite numerous challenges brought by the pandemic, there was also a major shift in consumer behaviour towards increased media consumption," said Runchita Srivoravilai, director of Nielsen Media Thailand.

Media consumption across all key platforms including TV, internet and radio increased in 2020, especially during the initial period of the outbreak.

The survey found 99% of respondents watched TV in the past seven days, and that they spent the majority of their free time watching TV. Consumers spent an average of 4.09 hours each day watching TV in 2020, exceeding the average in 2019.

Thais also spent more time on digital media, at 3.34 hours per day. Radio consumption remained stable in 2020, at two hours each day.

Linear TV viewing grew in penetration and time spent, mainly from viewers in Bangkok and those aged over 35.

Daytime television has seen a shift in its usual viewer demographics as people work from home.

Overall TV ratings among viewers in Bangkok spiked 25% during prime time and 9% during the non-prime time due to the pandemic.

Radio audiences increased 12% year-on-year in 2020 to nearly 11.2 million cumulative listeners.

The number of people listening among audiences aged 35 and above was up 11% to 7.3 million.

"There has been a strong increase in listeners across digital, mobile and online platforms, and we expect to continue seeing these opportunities in 2021," said Ms Runchita.

However, media spending fell 14% year-on-year to 106 billion baht in 2020, a similar level to a decade ago. Only the online channel grew.

"Cutting back on advertising budget during a recession can hurt sales," she said.

She said brands can increase their market share by around 0.5% through ad spending, compared with those brands that do not advertise.

Brands could face a 2% decline in long-term revenue for every quarter without media on air, said Ms Runchita.

Thais' engagement with digital media hit a record high in 2020, she said.

Consumers doubled the amount of time they spend each day consuming content from 2019 to 2020: smartphone time increased from 3.51 to 6 hours; desktop/laptop time from 2.08 to 4.17 hours; and tablets from 1.16 to 2.51 hours.

The survey found 50% of consumers spent more time on social platforms last year than in 2019.

Popular online activities were browsing, shopping, messaging to stay connected with friends and family, accessing online news, watching TV shows, streaming content and online gaming.

Another major shift in digital consumption is an increase in usage among those with low to mid-level incomes, those in their late 50, as well as rural and blue collar consumers, said Nielsen.

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