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Streaming is the norm in Singapore

News, 18 July 2016

SINGAPORE: More than half (54%) of consumers in Singapore have watched over-the-top (OTT) video services, especially YouTube and social networks, according to a new study which also found children and millennials to be the most avid viewers.

The Media Development Authority (MDA), Singapore's media regulator, interviewed 2,585 Singaporeans and permanent residents up to the age of 65 to gauge their viewing habits at a time when OTT video services are becoming increasingly available in the country.

The report confirmed that streaming content over the internet has become habitual in Singapore, especially among millennials aged 15 to 34, 89% of whom engaged in the activity.

OTT video viewing was concentrated on YouTube (96%) and social networks (59%), such as Facebook and Instagram, but 20% of respondents also said they accessed content on pirate sites.

The survey also revealed that younger consumers spent a greater proportion of their viewing time online, suggesting a generational trend away from traditional TV.

Children aged up to 14, for example, spent around two-thirds (65%) of their weekly viewing time online, while among millennials the proportion was 61%. That compared with just 48% of adults aged 35 to 54 and 43% of adults aged 55 to 65.

In terms of content, the top genres for adults were drama (40%), movies (25%), sports (10%) and entertainment and variety (8%), while children not surprisingly opted for animation and cartoons (59%).

Adults most frequently consumed online videos via their mobile phones (41%), while the most frequently used device varied among children. For example, those aged 11 to 14 preferred smartphones and PCs while children aged under six preferred tablets.

Interestingly, the survey revealed that just 11% of OTT viewers said they paid for online video content, and the majority (67%) of those who did so paid on top of their existing pay TV subscription and made no changes to their subscription, MDA said.

Separately, MDA released a second survey – this time involving 2,000 Singaporean citizens and residents – to reveal that satisfaction with local media services has risen to 76.6%, up from 75.7% in 2014.

In addition, its Media Consumer Experience Study showed people were more satisfied with content standards, which rose to 74.1% in 2015 from 72.4% a year earlier.

Respondents also reported typically spending 17.4 hours a week watching Mediacorp channels, which remained their top media activity.

Data sourced from MDA; additional content by Warc staff