What’s On

Online video streaming gaining ground over traditional broadcast in SG

Consumers worldwide are watching more online video than ever, increasing 58 per cent since 2016, to an average of six hours, 45 minutes each week. In Singapore, this figure is even higher – with the average Singaporean watching eight hours and 13 minutes of online video content each week. This is according to the new “State of Online Video” report from Limelight Networks, a provider of edge cloud services.

Singaporeans have begun to embrace online, on-demand sources of entertainment, in contrast with global trends where traditional television broadcast still forms the majority of consumption – Singaporeans watch less content via traditional television broadcasts (an average of six hours and four minutes), as compared to online video mediums. Yet, performance issues with online video continue to turn viewers off.

In particular, Singaporeans cite video rebuffers as the most frustrating aspect of watching a video online (46 per cent) followed by poor video quality of online content (32 per cent), with more than half (59 per cent) reporting they will stop watching a video if it rebuffers twice.

Singaporeans are still relatively new in the adoption of subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services. While more than half (59 per cent) of worldwide consumers subscribe to at least one video-on-demand (VOD) service, over 51 per cent of Singaporeans do not own a single subscription. On average, Singaporeans subscribe to 0.7 SVOD services, below the global average of 1.0.

Singaporeans remain price-sensitive and will cancel services due to price increases. 63 per cent of Singaporean respondents said that price is the reason why they would cancel an SVOD service. This is second to only Italy (70 per cent) and exceeds the global average (55 per cent).

They are also tolerant of advertising in online videos. Most Singaporeans (87 per cent) are not opposed to a short advertisement before an online video if the content they are viewing is free. Yet, Singaporeans are less accepting of mid-roll ads in free content, with only 24 per cent willing to accept multiple advertisements during a longer video if the content is free.

Binge-watching of video content is on the rise. Global viewers binge-watch shows for an average of two hours, seven minutes. This is slightly higher in Singapore (two hours, 17 minutes), with most Singaporeans spending an average of one to three hours binge-watching on their favorite shows. Binge-watching is highest among younger viewers, with those 18-25 watching an average of almost three hours at a time, while those over 60 watch for just over an hour.

Online viewing ranges widely by country. Viewers in the Philippines watch the most online video at eight hours, 46 minutes each week, followed closely by India and the United States at nearly eight and a half hours of viewing each week. Singapore’s average of eight hours, 13 minutes comes close to this, while Germany has the lowest online video viewership rate at five hours, two minutes.

“Singaporean viewers are very savvy when it comes to exploring online mediums, especially for their entertainment needs. We expect this trend to continue in the coming years, especially in the area of growing video on-demand adoption. Yet, service providers should be aware that factors such as price and quality have strong influence on viewers. To encourage viewers to make the switch from traditional television options, the issue of latency and quality at a competitive price need to be addressed. At Limelight, we seek to partner with businesses to make this possible, by enabling live broadcast streaming in less than a second, providing online viewers with the same experience enjoyed by broadcast viewers,” said Jaheer Abbas, Senior Director, Southeast Asia and India.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.