The first quarter has seen a 10% drop in TV advertising in Thailand as online news and entertainment advertising shot up by 12%. The virus emergency has speeded up the trend and shift in audiences from traditional to online media. The Bangkok firm Media Intelligence in Lumpini this week has warned that a second or third wave of the virus in the kingdom could see advertising spends decrease by as much as 30%.

Thailand will likely suffer a 15 to 20% drop in advertising expenditure during 2020 because of the coronavirus emergency according to a media consulting firm this week. However, if the kingdom suffers a second or a third wave with attendant restrictions then a contraction of 30% could occur. The virus emergency’s impact even in the first quarter has also seen an accelerated shift in an already existing trend from broadcast and traditional media to online consumption of news and entertainment.

The Business Director of Media Intelligence Pawat Ruangdejworachai. The Bangkok based firm released details on the continued shift in the Thai media markets where online media accounted for up to 28% of the ad spend markets for the first 3 months of the year. TV saw a rise in user consumption but a fall-off in advertising spend. The firm predicts that the lockdown and the ongoing emergency will accelerate the market shift to online media which will occur over the next 3 years.

The lockdown and coronavirus emergency even in the first quarter has caused the market shift to online media already predicted in media circles to gather speed. This is expected to transform the industry in the next three years. This is according to research published this week by Media Intelligence, a leading Bangkok based firm which specialises in identifying trends in the media and offers firms information on brand development.

The firm said this week that the emergency has given a boost to three areas of activity in the internet sphere. These are the consumption of online media, food delivery services and online shopping.

TV and online media consumption up

However, the negative impact of the virus on the economy has already caused a contraction in advertising spends in the first quarter of between 6% and this may continue.

 ‘Covid-19 has increased media consumption via TV and online, but overall media ad spending will contract this year because of lack of consumer spending,’ said the Business Director of Media Intelligence. The firm is based in the Lumpini district of Bangkok.

Advertising spend down 6% in the first quarter

Pawat Ruangdejworachai said the overall Thai ad spend will be down 6% in the first three months of the year coming in at ฿19.8 billion.

The loss for the year because of the disruption and damage brought on by the lockdown in April and the damage to confidence could be as high as 20%, he said.

These figures were contingent on the government moving in May to open up the Thai economy again.

A second or third wave of the Covid 19 virus could see a 30% contraction in Thai media spending

However, given the fears among scientists including many experts who warn of a second or third wave, the agency has warned that a further series of emergency measures could see a disastrous 30% reduction in spends in the course of 2020.

Coca Cola paused all global ad spending last week

Last week, Coca Cola, one of the world’s leading brands put a pause on additional advertising spend this year as it claimed that it was of limited effect. 

Coca Cola CEO, James Quincey, however, did suggest that the brand was moving over more of its ad spend to digital and online marketing which he praised. 

The impact on Coca Cola because of the Covid 19 virus is thought to be quite severe due to the closure of restaurants and out of home drinking venues around the world which account for 50% of its business. 

Other large global advertisers boosting spends

Other large global advertisers such as Procter and Gamble are witnessing a rise in sales and suggest that, at this time, it is important for the consumer to see and hear from brands.

In the UK, one household name, the frozen foods firm Birds Eye has even described its advertising campaigns as nothing less than a civic responsibility during the emergency.

Sharp fall in TV advertising despite increased consumption levels in the first quarter of the year

In Thailand, there has been a sharp fall in ad expenditure on digital TV with an even sharper drop for terrestrial TV stations.

This is a highly significant shift indicating that the national advertising market is becoming a whole new ball game which may require different sorts of players.

The figures show digital TV down by 7% to ฿3.5 billion while broadcast TV was down a whopping 10% to ฿9.7 billion.

Cataclysmic figures for magazines and newspapers

The figures for magazines are cataclysmic with another drop of 22% leaving a spend of just ฿170 million for the three months while newspapers plunged a massive 35% to a spend of ฿663 million.

Online spends up by 12% in the first three months

Online expenditure shot up by 12% for the period and reached a significant ฿5.5 billion.

However, the share of advertising achieved by digital and terrestrial TV was still at 51%.

Part of the reason for this was a plunge in out of home media and cinema which dropped by 9% to ฿2.6 billion for the former and saw a 15% drop for the latter falling to ฿427 million.

Digital TV sector must rationalise even further as the advertising market gets more competitive

Thailand saw the closure in 2019 of many digital TV channels and Mr Pawat predicted this week that 2020 may see a similar outcome.

He suggested that only 6 such outlets may survive the challenge as media ad planners and marketing executives adjust to both an emergency and accelerated new trends in media consumption.

The move to online expenditure is producing not only a shift in advertising budgets but also advertiser’s expectations as the targeting capability and return with online advertising spends is far superior.

Chinese social media giant Tik Tok sees a 50% surge in usage in Thailand as elsewhere in the world

He drew particular attention to Thailand’s consumption of social media and the online media platforms of Twitter, Tik Tok and LINE which is a particular favourite in the kingdom.

The Chinese social media giant Tik Tok saw sharp gains in the last 3 months with a 50% surge in time spent on the platform by users. A similar trend has been reported worldwide.

Further reading:

Media study highlights Thailand’s changing media landscape as younger folk move online and are less loyal

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