For Filipinos, YouTube has become the new TV, says Google Philippines

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In 2022, Google and Ipsos did a study that revealed a significant increase in YouTube viewership among Filipinos. With more people going to YouTube to watch entertainment, has it become the new TV? Google Philippines’ Country Director Bernadette Nacario gave adobo Magazine her thoughts on the matter.

Read her full piece below.

Whether you’ve still got a set from the ‘90s or 2000s or a crystal-clear, modern setup, whether it’s humble or a grand centerpiece, the mighty television is at the heart of Filipinos’ homes.


People love huddling around the TV to be endlessly entertained—the sweeping variety of easily accessible cable television programming has ensured that you’ll always stumble into something worth watching. That’s why traditional TV has had such a hold on Filipino culture for decades.

Well, until now. There is now a brand-new reality in the country: people are now watching their TV shows online—on YouTube, to be specific. In fact, a 2022 study by Google and Ipsos has revealed that half of Pinoys consider YouTube as their “TV” when watching on any device, to the point that the platform recorded reaching over a whopping 50 million people aged 18 and above as of June this year.

This is supported by the latest data from Nielsen’s Consumer & Media View from the second quarter of 2023. It reveals how digital usage has actually surpassed TV usage almost across all age demographics—from those aged 10 to 49 years old—helping break the myth that TV is still king. In fact, if we compare the percentage of different TV and video platforms from the same report, it’s YouTube that has now become the most-used channel for accessing digital video content in the Philippines for key audiences aged 20 to 49 years old. 

The report further validates the digital shift, as the internet is more widely used than TV across all socioeconomic classes and major areas beyond Metro Manila, like the rest of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

A fully digital way of life

It’s really no wonder Filipinos’ viewing habits have drastically changed. Around 85 million Pinoys are now online, and the internet connectivity as well as the growing digital economy is a big reason why on-demand video services like YouTube have continued to proliferate in Pinoys’ way of life. 

This lines up perfectly with the other fact that the digitally inclined Philippines is one of the countries that spend the most time on YouTube. According to the eConomy Report, Filipinos frequent and spend more time on YouTube compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. 

If we look at how even traditional media has pivoted in the past few years, you can actually find greater evidence of how even TV and radio channels have transitioned to being more digital themselves, just to follow where Pinoy viewers are. In fact, the Philippines is probably one of the only countries where traditional TV networks are actually the biggest YouTube channels.

From your popular noontime shows, primetime teleseryes, even weekly news magazine and radio programs, all of these have moved online and have found a following they can uniquely reach beyond TV. The same goes for the most popular personalities today who have cut across platforms, with TV stars becoming YouTube vloggers and YouTubers crossing over to other media as well. 

One big factor that also certainly helps YouTube’s major rise in popularity as Filipinos’ new TV is its multiscreen power. It goes wherever you go, whether you’re in your living room or on the go. Another important perk is it lets people watch content—whether from the traditional TV networks you love or content creators you’ve come to discover—at your own pace and preferred device. It’s a huge advantage over old TV, as you no longer have to be bound to programming schedules. Truly, YouTube is like liquid taking the shape of any container to serve both the creators’ and viewers’ needs.

This digital shift is projected to take over even more, especially with over 17 million people streaming YouTube on their TV in the Philippines as of 2023—the third-largest connected TV audience for the platform across Asia Pacific. There’s much to be proud of and look forward to as there seems to be no stopping how Pinoys advance towards digital.

This is a new era for media as digital has become more and more mainstream to a growing number of people. It is an exciting time for Filipinos and the local digital economy. Welcome to YouTube, our new TV.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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