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Survey: Free TV platforms in HK see decline in viewership in Q4 2023

Survey: Free TV platforms in HK see decline in viewership in Q4 2023

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The total viewing time of free TV and OTTs has dropped to the lowest by end of 2023 as the festive seasons impact viewership and viewing time, according to an OMG report. 

The “Hong Kong Video Content Viewing Landscape Report”, which was conducted from December 2023 to 10 January 2024, interviewed 800 Hong Kong residents aged between 18 and 59 who watched any video content on any Free TV, Pay TV or digital platforms. 

According to the report, Hoy TV has the biggest decrement (-11%) after the closing of the Asian Game, followed by TVB and ViuTV (-9%), as well as RTHK (-7%). 

TVB also saw a decline in viewership across multiple age groups. Audiences aged between 35 and 59 watch much less TVB, and a continuous drop is observed. Meanwhile, viewers of TVB aged between 18 and 24 also dropped by 12%. 

ViuTV also saw a decline in viewership in the last quarter of 2023 among audiences aged 35 or above. 

Viewership of OTTs has continuously fallen in the past quarters. Multiple reasons are causing the decrease, including festive seasons and a lack of outstanding content. The total viewing time on OTT platforms in the past seven days went down by 1.9 hours.  

With a decrease in Free and Pay TV viewing time, digital platforms take up a more significant proportion of total viewing time, with a slight increase from 37.3 hours in Q3 2023 to 39 hours in Q4 2023. When it comes to the platforms with the highest viewing time, YouTube, TVB and Facebook remain the top three platforms audiences spend the most time on. 

At the same time, there is also a continuous rise in the popularity of short-video platforms, such as Douyin and Xiaohongshu, which appeal to all ages. The viewership of Douyin has surged from 22% in Q3 2023 to 31% in Q4 2023, whereas that of Xiaohongshu increased by 5%. 

Audiences most often watch movies, micro-dramas, and fitness on short video platforms. Smartphones and smart tvs are most commonly used to watch videos in the market. Consumers spend most of their viewing time on smartphones.  

Younger consumers spend more time watching videos through electronic devices (almost 70% viewing time), whereas 45-year-old or above still spend about 40% of their time on TV. 

Nicole Cheng, Insights Director OMG, Hong Kong, said: “All free TV platforms experience declines in viewership. Hoy TV has the biggest decrement after the closing of the Asian Game. 

"Our study monitors consumers’ viewing habits in Hong Kong on a quarterly basis, to offer insights into the latest media behaviours of consumers and envisaging future viewing habits by identifying potential platforms and trends." 

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What OTT advertising will look like in 2024, according to industry leaders
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