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Hong Kong Video-On-Demand Viewing Habits Study

3 minute read | April 2016

Hong Kong – April 19, 2016 – Media landscape is evolving rapidly where consumers have more choices than ever in the way they consume video entertainment. New data from Nielsen shows 34% of respondents in Hong Kong say they pay to watch VOD programming via pay TV service providers, where just only one-tenth of respondents in Hong Kong (11%) say they pay to watch VOD programming via subscription to an online-service provider. Nevertheless, four-out-of-five (81%) respondents are using their TVs, computers, mobiles or other online devices to watch any type of VOD programming.

“Today’s media landscape is complex, but the growth of video-on-demand programming services can create opportunities for all players in the media ecosystem,” said Angel Young, managing director, Nielsen Hong Kong and Macau. “For audiences, advertisers and content providers alike, an advantage will be gained with an in-depth and keen understanding of not just how consumer viewing dynamics are changing, but why they are changing. Two things were never truer than they are today: Content will always be king and consumers will continue to demand greater control and customization of the viewing experience. Providers who exceed standards on both fronts will have an advantage.”

The Nielsen Global Video-on-Demand Survey polled over 30,000 online respondents in 61 countries to gauge worldwide sentiment about VOD viewing and advertising methods. And the number of self-reported VOD viewers is significant. Nearly half (49%) respondents say they are fine to get advertisements if the content is free.


According to the survey, 69% Hong Kong viewers use computer to watch VOD programming, while 67% would use mobile phone to watch. Among those who watch any type of VOD programming, nearly half (47%) said they watch video-on-demand programming at least once a day.

“The increasing popularity of online video viewing services will continue to put pressure on broadcasters and pay TV service providers but a substantial replacement of one for the other is unlikely,” said Young. “For most Hong Kong viewers, online and traditional services are not mutually exclusive, but complementary. Moreover, online video viewing, networks and multichannel video-programming distributors face many of the same challenges, including rapidly evolving consumer preferences, an overabundance of choice and rising content costs.”

In the current media environment, the only constant is change. VOD may be one of the more recent entrants in the fragmentation foray, but it represents a continuation of the wild ride the industry has been on for more than a decade. And the pace of change isn’t likely to slow anytime soon. Winning over viewers has never been more challenging. While change and uncertainty can be difficult, content providers must stay agile, flexible and ahead of whatever challenge comes next.


The findings in this survey are based on respondents with online access in 61 countries.  While an online survey methodology allows for tremendous scale and global reach, it provides a perspective only on the habits of existing Internet users, not total populations—something particularly relevant when reporting an activity such as watching video-on-demand. In developing markets where online penetration is lower, audiences may be younger and more affluent than the general population of that country. In addition, survey responses are based on claimed behavior rather than actual metered data. Cultural differences in reporting sentiment are likely factors in the outlook across countries. The reported results do not attempt to control or correct for these differences; therefore, caution should be exercised when comparing across countries and regions, particularly across regional boundaries.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit