Over 700 industry delegates participated in the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) ‘Philippines in View’ seminar, which concluded on May 18, to discuss the state of the media and video industry in the country.
Besides the discussion on policy and regulations pertaining to the media industry in the Philippines, the seminar also highlighted the changes the industry faced over the course of a challenging 2020. According to Leo Jaymar G. Uy, Head of Research, BusinessWorld, despite total TV ad spend shrinking by 4% year-on-year, digital video ad spend rose by 4.8%. And although viewership has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, it is showing signs of recovery. Furthermore, pay-TV subscriptions have increased, and the roll-out of digital terrestrial television (DTT) continues to progress.
Uy added that online “is certainly one of the beneficiaries of growth” with over-the-top (OTT) adoption expected to continue rising even after the effects of the pandemic. Despite constraints on Internet speed and infrastructure, Uy stressed that there is still room for growth in this segment, and with the country’s relatively low Internet penetration, pay-TV can coexist with OTT.
Robert P. Galang, President and CEO of Cignal TV and TV5, acknowledged Uy’s points, and predicted growth for both free and pay-TV in the next five years, as well as with DTT. He explained that even though one of TV5’s core revenues would continue to be subscriptions on direct-to-home (DTH) TV, the company had also witnessed growth in OTT and ad revenue for TV5. While continued consolidation will have an impact on pay-TV, Galang still believes it is a “strong proposition”, and the move to digital will provide an even bigger market for pay-TV.
The growth in OTT has made the Philippines the most attractive market for OTT advertisers in South-east Asia, with the highest advertising index, according to a report by The TradeDesk and Kantar.
Marilyn See, Senior Vice-president as well as Head for Digital Publishing and Digital Advertising at GMA New Media, concluded that spend on YouTube has been moving to OTT inventory, and “it was a matter of time” before OTT revenues outpace TV ad spend.