Local broadcasters and media should increase their international reach to reduce the negative impact of over-the-top (OTT) services, says management consultancy Time Consulting.
"Thai broadcasters have been slow to build an overseas market, compared with Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea," said Jackkit Sangkittiwan, founder of Time Consulting. "Local broadcasters and production firms are just starting to export their content."
In Europe, public broadcasters have co-produced drama, animation and entertainment programmes to cope with strong competition from Netflix and Amazon.
Local content can be co-produced with other linear TV firms or be set as exclusive content for OTT players like Line TV and GMM Grammy Plc.
"Local broadcasting companies cannot hold off the negative impact OTT is having on their revenue. However, they can offset this trend by increasing their international reach," said Mr Jackkit.
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China are potentially profitable oversea markets for local producers.
South Korea has expressed interest in co-producing projects in Thailand destined for the Thai market, as well as co-produceing game shows destined for international markets.
Policymakers and regulators should promote content and co-production as a strategic approach to support the domestic broadcast market by making minimum contract condition agreements to protect small, local producers in their dealings with giant broadcasters and distributor networks, he said.
Moving forward, the digital TV sector will experience increasing merger and acquisition activity, said Mr Jackkit. There are still too many channels and the government does not allow players to transfer or return their licences, hampering the quality and variety of content, he said.
Global revenue from online video advertising on the video on demand platform are estimated to grow from US$32.9 billion (1.07 trillion baht) in 2017 to $67.3 billion (2.20 trillion baht) in 2022.
"YouTube and Facebook are dominant players in the global advertising market, as well as in Thailand," said Mr Jackkit. These numbers will quantify the impact of OTT services on ad revenue generated by cable TV, internet protocol TV, direct-to-home TV, and digital TV over the next five years.
The local media and broadcast industry are being affected by the rise of OTT technology, and they need to defend themselves by providing quality content and finding new revenue sources, said Mr Jackkit.