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Online entertainment grows thanks to COVID-19

Online entertainment providers are enjoying a surge in users as social distancing and COVID-19 force people to stay at home.

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With 5 billion views and 7.6 million of subscribers, Youtuber Tho Nguyen is estimated to earn between $596,600 to $9,5 million per year.— Photo YouTube screenshot

 Online entertainment providers are enjoying a surge in users as social distancing and COVID-19 force people to stay at home.

Since early February, students have been stuck at home, while many offices were temporarily closed as of April 1, making entertaining packages such as K+ and Netflix a must for people looking to ease the tedium. The most popular content on these channels are drama, film, entertainment, game shows, reality TV and sports.

Nguyen Thanh Hang and her friends took out the Netflix premium package that provides content for four devices at the same time. As one among the four members sharing the package, she only has to pay VND65,000 per month.

“It is such a good price for the content you get on Netflix, especially at this time when we all have to stay at home,” she said.

Registering for a K+ Football package, Pham Tan Huy said: “Normally, I go out to watch football with my friends at a cafe or bia hoi (shops selling draught beer). But in such situation, I have to do it at home."

“More people are willing to spend money enjoying quality, copyrighted content during social distancing,“ he said.

Currently, a paid entertainment or TV package can cost from tens of thousand to several hundred thousand of dong per month.

Without paying for any package, Nguyen Hong Nhung, 40, said: “There are a lot of YouTube clips that I can watch for free. I don’t want to spend more in this situation.”

As her company wants to keep its employees safe during the pandemic, it has asked most employees to work remotely, and Nhung has subscribed to several YouTube channels.

“I can learn how to bake, how to cook, how to do make-up on YouTube with the time I'd usually needed to prepare to go to work and go out for lunch or dinner.”

Local market research firm Q&Me’s survey on online entertainment and paid television services in Viet Nam in February showed a surge in online television as 78 per cent of surveyed people stayed at home.

The survey, which questioned 676 Vietnamese people aged 20-49, also said FPT Play, Netflix, K +, VTV Cab On and Zing TV were the best selling channels.

Phan Le Trung Tin, a PR representative of FPT Play, told local media: “The service in February grew 40 per cent from January.“ He also estimated an increase of 60 per cent in March.

For online channels in the domestic market, POPS saw a huge increase in traffic in March. POPS's YouTube channel grew by 22 per cent in the first half of March and another 40 per cent in the second half of the month.

Truong Tu Ngan, the firm’s communications manager, said from the beginning of 2020, children's content on channel kids and entertainment content for high school students grew nearly 200 per cent.

During the pandemic, many personal YouTube channels have also been a hit with their creative content.

YouTube stipulates that an individual channel can turn on the the money-making function when it has reached 4,000 watch hours within 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. During the period of social isolation, a series of individual channels on YouTube can take the opportunity to make money.

According to Social Blade, a YouTube analytics site, the income of "hot" channels such as Son Tung M-TP's personal channel, Hau Hoang's personal channel, and Tho Nguyen personal channel can earn hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

With 5 billion views and 7.6 million of subscribers, Social Blade estimated that Tho Nguyen's channel, which provides a lot of entertainment for children, can earn between $596,600 and $9,5 million per year. — VNS

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