Southeast Asian viewing habits continue to shift, with TV screens being the fastest growing device for people to watch YouTube. Across all major countries across SEA, YouTube continues to see continued growth in users consuming content on connected TV screens - Thailand (12M), Malaysia (7.5M), Indonesia (25M) and the Philippines (16M) in 2022. This evolution has changed the way viewers define TV itself, with two-thirds of viewers in each market saying that YouTube “is TV” when it’s viewed on their television screen.
YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan says that in the future, no two people will have the same TV experience, and explains what that means for advertisers. Today, people want all the great content TV offers, but they also want their TV experience to be personalized, interactive, flexible, and complete with their favorite non-TV original video content. In other words, they want the best of TV combined with the best of the internet. That’s why YouTube TV is perfect for the 21st century.
“As these two new modes of experiencing TV foreshadow, the future of TV entertainment is a bright one for consumers as TV brings more control, flexibility, and interactivity than ever before (catching up to what digital video already offers). But the future is a bright one for advertisers too, because as TV becomes more personalized, advertisers will unlock better reach, targeting, and measurement,” he concludes.
At YouTube Singapore’s annual marketing showcase, Ben King, Managing Director of Google Singapore, spoke about the evolution of YouTube over the past 15 years in Asia Pacific and how the platform is characterized by depth of viewer connection, based on the rich and diverse content ecosystem that has been built over time. “It has been an exciting journey to see how creators, marketers, and brands adapt and create content that meets the ever-changing viewing preferences of today’s audiences while leveraging the tools and benefits of YouTube for their businesses. We hope to continue partnering with brands in Singapore and the region to create deeper connections with their customers and achieve reliable returns for their businesses,” he said.
Creators continue to create relevant content that remains well received in Southeast Asia
The total hours of content uploaded on YouTube by channels in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia has doubled year-on-year, as well as Singapore which saw a 40% growth. All countries also saw a double-digit increase in channel growth with over 100K and over 1M subscribers year-on-year. In Singapore, more than 600 local channels with over 100K subscribers, an increase of 30% from last year.
According to an Ipsos survey, Gen Zs in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia consider YouTube the #1 place to go to engage deeply with content that they love. The platform’s vast array of content proves that no matter the audience’s interest, whether mainstream or obscure, there is something on YouTube that will fit the bill.
YouTube has also evolved to be a single multi-format platform, offering creators more ways to connect with their audiences. From short form on mobile and livestreaming on desktop to audio-first content and connected TV, YouTube’s multi-platform ecosystem allows creators to create and audiences to consume how they want.
This week, YouTube unveiled the availability of viewing Shorts on TV and game consoles, giving viewers a new way to enjoy their favorite short-form content from the comfort of their couch. Its multi-format creativity gives creators every screen and every format possible to succeed.
Globally, YouTube Shorts is now averaging 30 billion daily views, growing four times from a year ago. This is a shift in viewing behavior, as viewers are now moving back and forth between long- and short-form content, all within YouTube, and podcasts are fast-growing on the platform too.
Consumers are turning to YouTube for purchase decisions
Alongside the continuous growth of e-commerce, YouTube has become a destination for viewers to discover brands and influence purchases. A Google and Talk Shoppe study shows that shoppers are turning to YouTube to discover and learn about the latest products. Over 90% of viewers from four Southeast Asian countries agree that YouTube creators give them the best information about products and brands, and for over 80% of viewers from these countries, YouTube helps them decide what to purchase.
According to the recent eConomy SEA 2022 report, Southeast Asia’s digital economy is on course to hit $200B gross merchandise value (GMV) this year. This continues to be driven by e-commerce, which is expected to hit 16% GMV growth despite the post-pandemic partial resumption of offline shopping and a greater focus on profitability by platform players.