BEIJING: Chinese viewers are five times more likely to pay for online video content delivered through their television than via computer or smartphone, although the latter device has played an important role in promoting over-the-top (OTT) acceptance, research shows.

A study by Amplifi China, the media investment arm of Dentsu Aegis Network China, in association with research partners Miaozhen and Nielsen, found that 21% of OTT TV users were willing to pay for online video content, but just 4% percent would pay for this material to be to streamed to computers, smartphones and tablets, the Shanghai Daily reported.

But according to Meg Chen, EVP/digital development at Dentsu Aegis Network China and head of global media partnerships at Amplifi China, the experience of using smartphones and apps has been instrumental in Chinese consumers taking OTT apps on board.

The study showed that the great majority of traditional TV users (87%) already know how to use OTT devices – rather more than the industry had expected, Campaign Asia-Pacific reported.

Further, some 80% were clear about what they want to watch, as evidenced by their searching for specific program titles on OTT apps. And three quarters of OTT TV users explained they chose it because of the wide programming choice available.

On some estimates, 95% of television sets sold in China this year will be OTT-enabled, and in 2017 almost half of the county's 1.3bn TV audience will be viewing through OTT devices.

"OTT content has gone beyond just appearing on the traditional television screen," Chen said

"Just like the smartphone's development, people will not go back to the traditional one-way viewership model once they get used to the way of watching TV over the internet," she stated.

Amplifi's research also indicated that OTT viewers tend to pay more attention to ads and to remember them better.

iResearch data show that online video adspend in China reached RMB23.4bn (US$3.8bn) in 2015, a 54.1% rise on the previous year.

Data sourced from Shanghai Daily, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff