TV still rules Philippines despite rise of digital

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2017 01:17 PM | Updated as of Mar 02 2017 04:16 PM

TV still rules Philippines despite rise of digital 1

MANILA (UPDATED) - Television rules the Philippine media landscape, notwithstanding mobile, which is gaining ground due to faster and more affordable data services, survey results released Thursday showed.

Daily television viewership rose to 96.6 percent in 2016 from 91.2 percent in 2014. Time spent watching TV also rose to 3.7 hours from 3.4 hours during the same period, according to Kantar Media Philippines.

Coverage of the elections helped news hold its own against entertainment, joining telenovelas and reality shows as top raters last year, the study showed. Sports programs also gained high ratings.

"People will still want to view on larger screens, and large-screen viewing opportunities in home," said Nick Burfitt, managing director for Kantar Media in the Asia Pacific.

Television viewing is highest during primetime hours, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Kantar said.

Technology has also helped increase the reach of TV, with digital terrestrial television (DTT) viewers rising to 14 percent in 2016 in Mega Manil, from 4 percent during the previous year.

Pay TV subscriptions also rose in rural areas, to 24 percent in 2016 from 10 percent in 2011.

The lack of implementing rules to mandate a shift to the digital TV might slow the rollout of the new standard this year, said Jay Bautista, Commercial Director of Kantar Media Philippines.

Newspaper readership grew to 48.4 percent nationwide from 45 percent in 2014, with growth mostly from rural areas. In cities, readership in the last 2 years dropped to 55.9 percent from 57.9 percent, as readers shifted to digital.

An average of 3 in 10 Filipinos listen to the radio daily, with primetime stretching from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., it said. FM remained the dominant band, with millennials preferring to listen to talk shows for entertainment.

Exposure to out-of-home advertising such as billboards increased to 50.4 percent from 48.5 percent.

Internet access rose to 42.9 percent in 2016 from 39.7 percent in 2014. Metro Manila had the most internet users at 70.6 percent, up from 67 percent.

This led to an increase in social media usage, based on a separate “Connected Life” study by Kantar TNS in 2016. 

“It all boils down to content, really, if you make it available across all platforms," Bautista said.

According to Comscore, which measures YouTube viewing, Filipinos watch local channels on the video website, he said.

Kantar Media Philippines’ 2016 establishment survey covered urban and rural Philippines, with a respondent base of 10,000 individuals, and a panel of 2,600 households.