Exponential growth in mobile internet users will drive digital advertising to become a mainstream marketing platform this year, with industry-leading performance and unprecedented growth, says Google (Thailand).
As of last June 30, Thailand had 44.6 million mobile internet users out of 94.3 million mobile subscribers. The country's internet penetration was 33 million.
"The local digital advertising market will see a critical change this year, as the internet is quickly becoming the centre of mass media," country head Ariya Banomyong said.
He said given continuing exponential growth of internet users, especially on mobile internet, companies were increasingly allocating more of their budget to digital marketing.
The Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) or DAAT said as of June 30, the number of YouTube viewers in Thailand totalled 26.6 million.
"Thais watched millions of hours of video on YouTube, with one-third viewing via mobile devices," Mr Ariya said.
YouTube attracts more than 1 billion global viewers a month.
Mr Ariya said 87% of YouTube viewers in Thailand cited it as their first website to view video content.
Half of YouTube viewers browse the internet while watching TV, with 10pm the peak viewing time.
To produce effective mobile video ads, Mr Ariya said the content strategy must be leveraged across multiple devices such as TV and mobiles.
Vatcharaphong Siripark, a senior vice-president of Total Access Communication Plc, said greater availability of affordable smartphones and attractive mobile data tariff plans were driving the growth of mobile data users and digital media spending.
The DAAT said the country's digital ad spending accounted for 4.8% of total ad budgets last year, at 5.8 billion baht, up by 38% from 2013.
Yukontorn Wisadkosin, managing director of Ford Thailand, said Ford planned to allocate 20-25% of its marketing budget to digital ads this year, up from 15% last year.