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Gen Z OTT viewers in SG most open to watching ads for free content

Gen Z OTT viewers in SG most open to watching ads for free content

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About one in five Gen Z OTT viewers in Singapore are willing to watch four or more ads per hour of free content, compared to 83% of OTT viewers across all age ranges who say they are willing to watch two or more ads for free content. According to "The Future of TV 2022" report by The Trade Desk, ad-supported viewership is growing rapidly in Singapore as viewers look to alleviate a growing subscription fee burden, especially among younger viewers. More than half (52%) of OTT viewers now use ad-supported platforms, a 7% increase YoY. Additionally, 60% of Singaporean OTT viewers surveyed use more than one OTT platform. 

ott access sg

This comes as the number of apps competing for subscription dollars is on the rise. In contrast, Gen Z and Millennials are only willing to pay just SG$20 and SG$28.50 per month respectively across all media platforms, compared to a national average of SG$32.

subscription payment sg ott


Singaporeans have consumed over a billion hours of OTT content in 2021, a 27% increase YoY, with the average watching 38 hours of content per month. Gen Z and Millennials are leading the shift to OTT, motivated by the ability to craft a personalised viewing experience that allows them to access their favourite shows on-demand. One in three OTT viewers is between the ages of 16 to 34, compared to just one in four of the Singaporean population. 


Singaporean viewers love the convenience of OTT, which gives them the flexibility to watch their shows whether they’re on the go or at home, enabling them to maximise every single minute of downtime. In fact, the number of Singaporeans who identify the ability to watch content at their own time as a primary benefit of OTT increased 14% over the past year. This is especially true for Gen Zs, as 33% of them associated OTT with watching shows outside of home, the highest amongst all age cohorts.


ott vs tv sg

Singaporeans also increasingly turn to OTT for their favourite shows. The gap between OTT and traditional TV for watching favourite shows was just 9% in 2020 but has expanded to 19% in 2021.

fave show ott vs tv sg

Traditional TV on the decline 

The number of Singaporeans who no longer watch traditional TV has doubled over the past year as OTT captured the lion’s share (50%) of these viewers, offering better engagement than both UGC and traditional TV. Close to two in five (39%) viewers also did not watch traditional TV in the past three months. 

percentage who watched less traditional media sg

Smart TVs are bringing OTT to the biggest screen in the house. Additionally, the influx of affordable Smart TVs in the Singapore market leads to Smart TV claiming a larger share of OTT viewing (40%) in 2021, compared to the year before (36%). This trend will continue as 28% of OTT viewers in Singapore said they are somewhat or very likely to purchase or upgrade their Smart TVs within the next 18 months.

Increasing demand for Asian content

Asian content has dominated Singaporean screens. Chinese content continues to be popular with Singaporeans, with nearly half the population consuming Chinese content from foreign and local sources. Korean content has also exploded in popularity, as 44% of OTT viewers in Singapore now watch Korean content, compared to just 35% the year before. The boom in popularity has come at the expense of Western content, which sees a 10% decline in popularity since 2020.

top 5 content sg

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Photo courtesy: 123RF

Related articles:
Young Millennials, Gen Zs and females in SEA more willing to watch ads for free OTT content
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What you need to know before spending on OTT
Analysis: Are ad dollars streaming in to OTT platforms in Asia?
Analysis: Is your idea of a 'perfect measurement' metric getting in the way of OTT exploration?

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