Study’s conclusions also highlight Thailand’s demographic challenge as the older market of baby boomers punch above their weight due to extended lifespans and the impact of lower birth rates on upcoming generations.

A comprehensive study on Thai media habits was unveiled this week by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. It showed that TV as a medium will still be in widespread use in Thailand for the next decade even as the print media craters and younger generations move online showing less loyalty to individual media outlets or programmes.

The study published by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission claims that up to half the Thai population will continue to use traditional TV as a medium for the coming decade.

TV this year will take in 57% of the advertising budget

The reasons for this, however, are less encouraging for advertisers who have long relied on Thai TV as the mainstay of advertising campaigns.

The Vice-Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission Natee Sukonrat (inset) unveiled a fascinating study in Thai media patterns among different age groups and generations this week. It showed the older baby boomer generation sticking with traditional TV and even the print media sector which is, however, in steep decline.

Between digital and broadcast TV platforms, a full 57% of the projected ฿124 billion advertising budget will be spent by national advertisers on TV this year according to one of the kingdom’s leading media planning and advertising firms Mindshare.

Older population will become TV stalwarts

This week’s study reveals that the future stalwarts of TV viewing will be the older population as Thailand experiences a decrease in its younger adult population due to falling birth rates and the effects of its ongoing demographic challenge which is hitting all sectors in the economy. There is also a rise in life expectancy.

Comprehensive study went into 10,000 Thai homes

Today’s study introduced by the Vice Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission Natee Sukonrat was conducted in association with Thammasat University.

The in-depth study went into 10,000 Thai homes across 26 provinces and was correlated to the actual population of the kingdom with the assistance of the National Statistical Office.

Print media in steep decline

It showed that Thailand’s print media is in steep decline.

This has been borne out by rapidly declining advertising budgets for the sector since the beginning of the year for magazines and printed newspapers.

The study, however, showed that nearly 34% of the population still reads printed media and again these adherents to more traditional media are the older population particularly in relation to newspapers.

Key Generations analysed as to media behaviour

The study then gave us an insight into the next three age brackets comprising of the population under 57 years of age.

This is Generation X who are aged between 42 and 57 years of age followed by Generation Y comprising of those born between 1981 and 1996 and Generation Z adults who were born at the end of the 1990s and have been brought up with digital technology.

This group are also called Millennials.

Generational media shifts and patterns point to more online and fragmented media markets

The study showed that baby boomer (aged 57+) were sticking to traditional TV and reading following scheduled TV programmes and print publications.

The younger generations are more likely to consume TV together with a variety of media including videocasts and streaming media.

Many more of the younger generation in Generation Y and Z are moving online while Generation X is split between the more traditional media patterns of behaviour and varied usage of new media.

A key finding of the study is that the younger generation has less loyalty to media sources whether it be media channels or individual programmes. This will mean a greater challenge in the future for advertising media planners.

Higher-income users are moving online

The study also found that the financial background of media users had a bearing on their usage patterns with high-income individuals more susceptible to online media offerings.

Less media loyalty among younger generations

It comes as no surprise that the research shows that online media has ‘disrupted’ the traditional market for newspapers and this is most pronounced among Generation Y and Z to such an extent that newspapers and old fashioned print media are hardly read at all. Correspondingly, the older generation remains loyal to more traditional media.

However, the print media and traditional TV operators should not become comfortable with these conclusions even when it comes to their older user base for the next decade.

A recent study by the World Economic Forum in western countries is showing that 70% of elderly people are now connected to the internet.

Further reading:

Nation media group outlines new digital strategy as Thailand’s traditional media slumps in new era

Thailand’s advertisers power the shift to online media in 2019 as print loses out to the internet

State – owned media company in Thailand announces a shift towards digital media and online activity

Thailand is the world’s No 1 for use of social media and mobile payments to power new economy moving online