Thais and their TVs: A relationship with a new twist

movie & TV December 01, 2017 10:03

By The Nation

2,869 Viewed

In a world where all-episodes-at-once has quickly become ubiquitous, what else could consumers want out of their future entertainment experiences?

Netflix believes that although consumers access their favourite TV shows and films across a number of electronic devices in this age of streaming, the television still endures as an important viewing device for consumers across Asia Pacific.

In other words, TV is here to stay in Thailand.

“As entertainment shifts online, consumers are discovering that they have more control over their viewing experiences than ever before,” said Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix.

“What they're looking for today is choice, quality and greater flexibility, and these demands are driving new trends that are shaping the future of entertainment,” he said

"We are moving into an era of multi-device connectivity and contextual entertainment.”

Today, Netflix users across Asia Pacific are using between three and five different Internet-connected devices for their entertainment needs, completing their binges on everything from smartphones to smart TVs.

It is clear that no single device will dominate entertainment in the near future. The future appears to hold even more “contextual entertainment”., where consumers access their favourite shows on any device they want, in a way that fits seamlessly with where they are connecting from. In Bangkok, contextual entertainment may take the form of watching a show on a mobile device on the go, or during a commute on the BTS Skytrain after work, or at home after a long day immersed for hours in their favourite film on the big screen while sitting on the sofa.

Streaming on TV devices has grown in popularity, with connected TV accounting for 41 per cent of Netflix viewing hours in Thailand. Smart TVs lead the charge as the most popular connected TV device. This is followed by media streaming devices such as Apple TV, Rokus or Chromecast, and game consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation.

Despite increasing mobility, the TV remains the enduring centrepiece of a typical consumer’s entertainment experience with the shift from the linear to the connected world. Consumers today are now discovering a new world of entertainment in their homes on connected TVs.

“People have always enjoyed watching TV and this won't change anytime soon,” said Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix. “The beauty of connected TVs is that they’re able to exploit the best part of the conventional linear TV experience, while leveraging all of the benefits of the connected technology,” he said.

“People can now enjoy big-screen time at home that is personalised to their unique tastes and preferences, on-demand, immersive and interactive. As people discover this with Netflix, the more they love their connected TV experience."

In Thailand, Netflix finds that while majority of membership signups are through mobile devices and laptops, consumers move on to discover the connected TV experience. Within six months of subscribing, the primary viewing device for 50 per cent of accounts has become their connected TVs. Members across the region are also spending twice as long watching on their connected TVs as they do on their mobile devices. This behaviour points to a growing demand for connected TV viewings and sure enough, sales of “smart TVs” across Asia have increased 40 per cent over the last year.

Innovation in TV technology is also driving audio-visual entertainment experiences right in consumers’ homes. With sales of ultra HD 4k TV in the Asia Pacific region surging 103 per cent over the past 12 months, consumers can now also access top-quality entertainment, not just on full-fledged home theatre systems, but also on sound bars and headsets.

"These audio-video innovations come at a time when there is a growing library of high-quality content available for streaming,” said Jaffe. “Netflix has endless hours of ultra HD 4k and high dynamic range (HDR) content; and more than half of our catalogue already supports 5.1 surround sound. We have also just announced our support for Dolby Atmos three-dimensional sound."