TV ownership nears 100% nationwide, says Nielsen Thailand
Almost every Thai household will own a TV set this year, says ACNielsen (Thailand), the local unit of the global information and measurement company.
The figure reflects the success of the government in bridging the digital divide between Greater Bangkok and rural areas.
Nielsen forecasts up to 22.6 million households in Thailand will have a TV set this year or 99.6% of the 22.688 million households, up from a 92.8% rate in 2008.
The data show that growing awareness of the value of information and news content are key factors in the significant increase in TV ownership in Thailand.
The percentage of Thai households with TV in and around Bangkok is close to 100%.
Interestingly, Nielsen said TV ownership in rural areas looks set to exceed 99% of households this year, up from 94.7% in 2008.
Consumers are viewing more content on computers, smartphones and tablets, but TV remains the dominant platform.
Sinthu Peatrarut, Nielsen Thailand's managing director for media client leadership, said a company survey found Thais spend 3.49 hours a day watching TV, up from three hours in 2011. Soap operas are the most popular content, followed by entertainment, news and miniseries.
Mr Sinthu said TV remains the most effective advertising tool for mass audiences.
Jakkrit Keeratichokchaikun, senior vice-president and chief merchandising officer at Power Mall, said sales of TV sets in Thailand declined by 20% year-on-year to 4 billion baht in the first five months of this year. Consumers delayed purchases to wait for a clear resolution by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on digital TV.
The Kasikorn Research Center (K-Research) predicts the sales value of TV sets will grow by 6.4% to 10.7% to 37-38 billion baht this year.
TV sales could reach 2.8 to 3.1 million units for the full year, as the NBTC is on the verge of switching the country's analogue broadcasting system to digital technology.
K-Research predicts the average Thai household will have two or three sets in the near future compared with one per household in rural areas and two or three in Greater Bangkok.