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The cutthroat race of internet TV service providers

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OTT TV service providers are competing with each other as well as amateur and unlicensed players.

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84 percent of people use internet every day


The latest survey in Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang and Can Tho by Kantar Media Vietnam found that 84 percent of people use the internet every day. 

In Hanoi, people spend 3 hours and 49 minutes to stay online, and spend 2 hours and 25 minutes only to watch TV.

At least 45 percent of the population aged 15-54 watch TV content and VOD (video on demand)

Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, Vietnam is one of the countries leading in watching videos online with 9 out of 10 surveyed persons watching videos online every week. 

“Nowadays, people only watch what they want, when they have time.  Because of the demand, the shift to OTT TV is inevitable,” Bui Huy Nam, CEO of VTVCab, said.

It is estimated that there are 30 official OTT TV services and hundreds of unlicensed ones. Some businesses are still taking a loss of several millions of dollars though they have operated for five years. 

However, television companies still are accept to take a loss and ‘burn’ money to continue because they hope the situation will improve.

The biggest piece of the market belongs to YouTube with 87 percent of surveyed people using the platform. Some other well-known names include FPT Play and Zing TV which have an audience of 8.2 and 26.4 percent, respectively. 

Ngo Bich Hanh, vice president of BHD, which owns one OTT – Danet, said not only does it compete with foreign rivals, Vietnamese authentic OTTs also have to compete with unlicensed platforms. She believes that 95 percent of OTT TV content is unlicensed in Vietnam.

Hanh said it takes time to negotiate to buy a copyright for one film, while BHD can only broadcast the film on an app three months after the film hits the large screen. 

Unlicensed websites can do this after two weeks and do not have to pay royalties.

Even Netflix suffers from unlicensed films in Vietnam. According to Kantar, Netflix accounted for 1 percent of market share in 2017, but the figure dropped to 0.2 percent. YouTube is the only service provider which can still do well. 

“One needs to be cautious when planning to join the market and not go alone. Let’s cooperate with each other,” said Nguyen Thanh Lam from the Agency of Broadcasting and Electronic Information. 



Source: VietNamNet

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