True launches budget plan
Content package to cost B49 per month
True Group, a telecom, tech and digital media service provider, has ushered in a budget content package combining content from both TrueID+ and TrueVisions Now Lite streaming services on the TrueID app as people spend more time online during the pandemic.
The move is also seen as a method of ramping up its fight against rival Advanced Info Services (AIS), which secured the rights to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics and distribute Disney+ Hotstar streaming service in Thailand.
Thailand's video-streaming subscriptions are expected to reach 3 million by 2023, the company said. The country's over-the-top (OTT) market is now worth 30 billion baht.
"The pandemic has caused Thais to increase the amount of time viewing entertainment content from two hours a day on True ID before Covid-19 to three to four hours now as they need to relax after working remotely or learning online," said Torboon Puangmaha, managing director of True Digital & Media Platform and Online Station of True Digital Group, one of the four core business segments of True Group.
Before the pandemic, the peak time for content consumption was around 8pm but viewership now is scattered throughout the day. True has 26 million users on TrueID.
Mr Torboon said he is aware of OTT rivals streaming into the market but stated this would broaden the segment. However, True needs to adjust faster to respond to the competition, he added.
"We need to act fast and capitalise on artificial intelligence [AI] to provide better personalised experiences to users," he said.
The new budget package costing 49 baht a month will be available to over 30 million TrueMove H mobile customers.
Previously, TrueID+ and TrueVisions Now Lite had a starting price of 119 baht per month.
"This price reduction is meant to make customers happy despite the economic woes," he said.
True also provides football fans with a "True Premier Football Lite" English Premier League package costing 49 baht a month with four matches per week.
Mr Torboon said research indicates video-on-demand subscriptions in Thailand are expected to reach 3 million by 2023, up from 1.7 million now. Video-on-demand users account for 30% of the country's internet users.
"Personally, subscriptions could double within five years," Mr Torboon said.