Despite the influx of subscription video on demand [SVOD] services in the Philippines—the biggest of which is Netflix—Filipinos will still patronize the traditional way of viewing programs.
This was how Rene Esguerra, a country head for an international cable channel with operations here, predicts the viewing habits of Filipinos in an exclusive interview with The Manila Times.
Clarifying that he is not discrediting how tech-driven viewers nowadays enjoy their favorite contents, he, however, believes that appointment viewing will stay alive, especially among Filipino families.
“Given that Filipinos are family-oriented, people tend to still watch television together,” Esguerra said explaining that appointment viewing are watching shows religiously at a specific time, on a specific channel.
This belief seemed to be reflecting the March 2016 UK Television Landscape Report by Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) of the United Kingdom. Basing on this data, Business Insider reported, “subscription video on demand services are not replacing traditional TV, but complementing it.”
Through a survey, the BARB found out that those who subscribe to Netflix and other SVOD services, are actually “more likely to also be subscribed to cable or other traditional paid-TV services.”
Moreover, the report reveals that 30 percent of homes with cables are subscribed to Netflix compared with just 13 percent of terrestrial-only homes or homes that do not have access to cable.
“This supports BARB’s claim that people who use Netflix are watching more TV on different platforms, rather than changing how they watch,” Business Insider noted.
UK, like the rest of the world, is rapidly consuming streaming services. In just over a year, the number of SVOD subscribers climbed from 14 percent to 24 percent. And it looks like the Philippine market will have the same fate.
Nevertheless, Esguerra is confident that cable channel’s will continue to perform good locally, citing his company as example. RTL-CBS channel has gained 20 points higher in the recent Nielsen survey.
Their current rise in performance can be attributed to different factors according to Esguerra.
“This first factor probably also shows how online is helping us in one way. There’s this show called The Late Late Show with James Corden. It’s a very big late show in the US whose popularity was really bolstered by the fact that a lot of people put it up on YouTube. He has this segment called carpool karaoke where he drives around Los Angeles and with guests such as Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, as his passengers. They would be inside the car for more or less 12 minutes and they would sing!” the principal elaborated.
The cable also grants on-demand viewing (ODV) rights. “We have a very good relationship with one cable channel who also carry us on their on-demand platform. So people can watch it whenever and wherever they want it. Some of our programs are there, we have a lot in stock and we just continuously update them,” Esguerra shared.
Another effective way for cable channels to keep up include live or instantaneous broadcast. He explained, “We understand that they want fresh content which is why most of our programs, we air within 24 hours of US or UK broadcast or live, most especially for award shows, whenever it is feasible.”
Lastly, RTL-CBS is very open with partnerships with SVODs that is why the channel shows the Netflix original series House of Cards.
“House of Cards is exclusive only to our cable viewers. Netflix is available in the Philippines but they cannot watch season 4 because it is exclusive on our channel,” Esguerra proudly declared.
In conclusion, he said, “We are very bullish about the Philippine market, we offer something very strong. I think in terms of content, we are really in a much better position. The only thing that we need to do is make everybody aware that all these great programs and shows available in one channel.”