Thai digital content set to hit B62.4bn

Thai digital content set to hit B62.4bn

Gaming sector seen as key growth driver

The value of Thailand's digital content industry is expected to reach 62.4 billion baht by 2024, up from 42 billion baht last year, driven by strong growth in the gaming sector and the recovery of the animation industry, says the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa).

However, the character market slumped last year as weaker consumer demand during the pandemic adversely impacted the growth of the sector.

According to Depa's latest study of the digital content industry in 2021, its value grew by 7% to 42 billion baht last year, buoyed by a flourishing gaming sector.

The study was conducted by Depa in collaboration with the Digital Content Association of Thailand, Thai Animation and Computer Graphic Association, Thai Game Software Industry Association, Bangkok ACM SIGGRAPH and Atwise Consulting.

Kasititorn Pooparadai, senior executive vice-president at Depa, said the study gauges the digital content industry by taking into account three categories -- games, animation and character.

Each category comprises intellectual property owners, outsourcing business and distributors.

She said the country's digital content industry will continue to grow in the coming years. It is projected to hit 53.7 billion baht in 2022 and surge to 62.4 billion in 2024.

A recovery in post-pandemic demand in the animation and character sectors is expected to stimulate the industry's value, alongside thriving demand in the gaming sector.

Ms Kasititorn said Thailand still has a small number of key players in each sector of the digital content industry.

There are only 10 key players in the gaming industry with registered capital of more than 100 million baht, 14 major players in the character sector with registered capital of more than 10 million baht, and 10 key players in the animation business with more than 20 million baht in registered capital.

Annual growth in the gaming sector in the three years between 2019-2021 was 16%, 35% and 8%, respectively.

The gaming industry had a value of 37 billion baht last year, driven by revenue from mobile game publishers.

Revenue from iOS and Android games constituted 60% of the total value.

The animation sector grew by 11% in 2021, giving it a value of 3.4 billion baht.

Ms Kasititorn said the pandemic had led to crucial changes in the behaviour of those watching animation.

New digital platforms also increased demand for outsourcing services as animation publishers rushed to develop more titles to feed a myriad of new digital platforms.

Revenue from outsourcing services surged 16% year-on-year to 2.9 billion baht in 2021.

Revenue from character licensing plunged by 50% to 486 million baht in 2021, caused by a dip in demand for gifts, accessories and fashion products, which was the result of declining consumer spending and cross-border restrictions.

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