The latest report of Trade Desk, a demand-side platform for ads and digital campaigns, found 36 million consumers stream 2 billion hours of over-the-top (OTT) content a month, making OTT one of the fastest-growing media channels in the country.
OTT is a means of providing television and film content over the internet from any device including smart TVs, personal computers, or mobile devices.
The study, which surveyed usage and viewing habits on OTT platforms across Southeast Asia, shows the average Filipino OTT viewer watches 3.3 hours of content per day, as opposed to a regional average of just 2.5 hours. The country also logs the highest percentage of heavy users across the region, with nearly 1 in 3 OTT viewers (32%) watching four or more hours per day.
The report reveals that COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on OTT adoption. More than half (55%) of all Filipino OTT users report streaming more OTT content during the pandemic than before. These habits are likely to persist even in a post-COVID world as 65% say they plan to maintain or increase OTT consumption after the pandemic ends.
“The pandemic has accelerated consumer trends that will define the next era of TV consumption,” said Mitch Waters, SVP of Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, The Trade Desk. “The shift to OTT streaming in the region, and specifically the Philippines where more than half of viewers are turning to OTT than ever before at higher viewing rates than other countries in the region, demonstrates the undeniable inflection point for TV consumption that will most certainly never turn back to the way it used to be.”
Underscoring this point, the study also shows that OTT has the potential to seriously disrupt broadcast television in the Philippines. More than 1 in 5 (22%) OTT viewers hadn’t watched traditional TV at all in the three months prior to the survey. That figure is among the highest in SEA, and second only to Malaysia’s 23%. Also, 1 in 2 users prefers to tune in between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. bringing streaming into direct competition with traditional TV for valuable primetime audiences.
Filipino viewers are also looking to OTT for their favorite content, with 62% tuning in to OTT to watch their favorite programming against just 54% on traditional broadcasts.
The rise of OTT has created opportunities for brands to reach and engage viewers. In fact, Kantar’s OTT Advertising Attractiveness Index, commissioned as part of this report, identified the Philippines as the most attractive market for advertisers in Southeast Asia, based on a combination of factors including OTT usage, satisfaction, ad response, connectivity, and consumer profile.
Eighty-eight percent of Filipino viewers will watch ads in exchange for free programming. The research also shows that 42% are willing to watch four or more ads per hour in exchange for free content, the highest in SEA. More than 20 million Filipinos tune in to at least one ad-supported OTT platform, and 55% of all OTT viewers are between 16 and 34 years of age, providing a new channel for brands to build relationships with this high-coveted demographic.
“As more young, engaged, and active Filipinos shift to OTT and are willing to view more ads, advertisers have an enormous opportunity in front of them,” said Waters. “This provides an opening for advertisers to employ a data-driven approach with an improved advertising experience in a way that’s not possible with traditional TV.