Video streaming redefines ‘primetime’ in Philippines: YouTube

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2019 04:13 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2019 04:54 PM

YouTube Content Partnerships director Vishal Sarin speaks to the media during the first-ever YouTube Brandcast in the Philippines. July 24, 2019. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - YouTube on Wednesday said the viewing habit of Filipinos have become more personal after it offered more online contents for users to watch based on their liking and consumption patterns.

"Primetime" viewing, where families sit in the living room together to watch television in select hours of the day, is changing as Filipinos shift screens depending on the time and the type of content , YouTube Content Partnerships director for Southeast Asia Vishal Sarin told ABS-CBN News.

“In world of TV, primetime is linked to few hours in the day, but data tells us that YouTube consumption is consistent throughout the day,” Sarin told ABS-CBN News. 

“It is no longer limited to a few hours, it really becomes personal. The concept of living room, imagine the concept of living room, imagine where you sit together in front of the TV after dinner but today, living room has become so personal, living room is your mobile phone on your bed, its you on your mobile phone on your commute,” he said. 

Since 2016, YouTube said it invested in collaborations and partnerships with “creators,” telecommunications providers and broadcasters to offer more content and to make on-demand viewing more affordable to Filipinos.

From 2016 to 2019, the number of creator channels with more than 100,000 subscribers grew 20 times, he said. As of this year, more than 20 media channels have more than 1 million subscribers. Sarin refused to disclose the total number of YouTube viewers and users in the country. 

ABS-CBN's YouTube channel, with over 10 million subscribers, for example, is among the top 50 channels in the world, Sarin said. 

But on-demand video streaming is “far from” competing with TV since the goal is to serve the viewing public, he said. 

It’s partnership with PLDT-Smart, which offers a free hour of YouTube every day, bundled into select prepaid and post paid packages, eliminated the fear of using too much data when watching videos on mobile devices, the video-streaming platform said.