Turner is deepening its content commitments within Thailand through a deal that will see a selection of TV series, Hollywood blockbusters and kids programming made available to local audiences via linear and over-the-top mobile services.
As part of the agreement with Thailand’s AIS, the telco’s 40 million subscribers will have the opportunity to watch live and catch-up content from Boomerang and Toonami. The former was brought to Thailand by Turner International Asia Pacific via free-sat broadcaster MGroup in July 2013, while the latter followed in December 2014.
As of today, AIS will carry a total of five Turner channels (Warner TV, World Heritage Channel and HLN are also part of the deal) on its Playbox OTT platform and AIS Play mobile app.
Boomerang and Toonami – already Thailand’s top-two kids channels – are being packaged with an AIS mobile subscription and are available to all existing subscribers, while the older-skewing channels are accessible with an additional fee or as part of a subscriber bundle package. All channels are available to all customers for a three-month trial period as part of the launch promotion.
The AIS Play app is available to all AIS customers in Thailand and provides access to live content from 100 different channels, as well as a library of on-demand videos. Playbox, meanwhile, is a set-top box service that offers both linear TV and VOD.
Digital video consumption is escalating in Thailand, as it is in several emerging nations across the globe. A 2014 study from Videology and Nielsen found that Thai households have access to more connected technology that ever before, with smartphones quickly gaining ground on desktop and laptop devices as the go-to source for video streaming. Across the country, online video consumption is growing steadily, especially among millennials and younger audiences, with digital video proving more palatable to audiences than linear television during much of the day.
In line with findings from Videology and Nielsen, ZenithOptimedia predicted in a July 2015 report that the global number of people watching linear TV will start to decline for the first time in 2016.
The change, according to the study, is due mainly to the rapid rise of smartphone and tablet penetration. Video consumption on mobile is forecasted to grow by nearly 35% this year.