When it comes to watching videos on your mobile phone, nobody beats the Thais. Hands down, they are the world’s top video viewers on their mobile phones with 105 minutes a day on average. It goes without saying that the world continues to be a media consumer. Take a look around you. You will see youths and children at the table, sitting down for a meal, but the only kind of conversation that goes on are those with adults. The young ones? Their eyes are glued to the screen, either feeding off some YouTube video or watching a movie that the parents have downloaded earlier on. This is a worldwide phenomenon that is not limited to just developed countries. Basically, as long as the infrastructure is there for one to be able to enjoy decent download or streaming speeds, you will see it being repeated over and over again.
The average of 105 minutes figure was given out by Facebook Thailand, and the figure itself is amazing. After all, the global average is a distant 65 minutes, according to Facebook’s Thai chief John Wagner. Apart from that, Facebook Thailand also did make mention that there are now 44 million people who have signed up to be Facebook members in Thailand, which is a 20% increase in terms of membership in 2016 as opposed to 2015. The final figure would definitely be higher in the future, since the saturation point has yet to be achieved as at press time. With Thailand boasting of a population of 67 million (official 2013 figures), there is still much more room for growth down the road.
In terms of screen minutes on a smartphone, Thailand spends 167 minutes on average per day. Simple mathematics would point to an hour of screen time that does not involve video viewing on a smartphone, pointing to emails, reading news, and perhaps navigating through the labyrinth that is Bangkok with Waze, a navigational app. As for the remaining one and three quarters of the hour, they are solely dedicated to the pursuit of mobile video viewing. It is interesting to note that Thai advertisements, short as they can be, tend to be extremely effective at tugging your heart strings or cause you to choke. They are simply designed to do that, and you would not get tired viewing those funny and touching Thai ads time and time again, although it would be interesting if there was a statistical breakdown on the kind of videos that Thais like to watch.
Add that to the 78 minutes of time spent in front of the TV each day for the average Thai, and you have got approximately 4 hours’ worth of screen time -- and this is discounting the 96 minutes of time spent in front of the desktop or laptop. Clearly, it goes to show just how technology has moved us in the direction where we would be spending plenty of time sitting in front of a screen or display as part and parcel of life.