Video streaming and television viewership vary from one country to another depending on the political, economic, legal, social, and technological factors. Although Thailand has the highest television viewership, the usage of broadband devices for video streaming such as Roku is still low. The country entry risk assessment indicates that the theories associated with business internationalization and market entry have persistently indicated the relationship between business corporations and modes of market entry.
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Following mockery videos streaming from the Internet through YouTube, a social media device, the Thai government placed legal stipulations that began controlling Internet activities, including those associated with video streaming. In this view, the marketing penetration strategy is appropriate in penetrating the market of Thailand.
The market penetration techniques are techniques that managers and salespersons use in marketing products through accessing brand popularity via penetration rate and penetration share values. Therefore, the recommendation is that Roku should lobby the government to help it with breaking through the political and government structures.
The contemporary world has witnessed a series of transformations resulting from various technologies that have influenced communication and information sharing, irrespective of geographical positioning. With the increasing demand and adoption of technological tools, the Internet has become the most reliable source of information across the globe with millions of Internet users sharing news online (Koumparoulis, 2013).
Recent demand for countries to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting has resulted in the development and integration of Internet devices into the television systems to enhance online video streaming (Koumparoulis, 2013). Thailand is among the top nations with the greatest number of Television viewers with an average person having at least 22 hours of viewing weekly.
Contrastingly, video streaming devices such as Roku, Google play, and Chromecast, meant for enhancing digital television broadcasting are scarce and rarely used (Bunyavejchewin 2010). Therefore, this essay examines a country entry risk assessment to investigate legal and political conditions influencing video streaming and risk issues of introducing Roku internet device in Thailand.
Internet-enabled Televisions and the Roku Product
Obtaining information from social media and the Internet-enabled devices has become the most effective communication means that consumers often prefer. To make information more accessible and reliable to users, digital television systems have enabled the integration of the Internet-enabled devices that support direct access to the Internet via televisions (Roku, 2014). Instead of visiting internet websites via computers and cell phones, television users are now capable of accessing the Internet directly from their televisions.
As television technology advances towards making information easily available to users, set-top boxes meant for digital transmission are becoming less functional and less marketable, as customers are opting for modernized digital technologies (Roku, 2014).
Developed nations such as the United States and others in Europe are constantly transforming to modernized technologies and using video streaming via Internet-enabled computers and cell phones. Roku, Google play, and Chromecast are Internet television devices. Despite having the greatest number of Television viewers, using video streaming devices on digitalized televisions such as Roku, Google Play, and Chromecast is rare.
This analysis intends to focus on legal and political risk issues that may influence the success or failure of introducing Roku, an internet networking device, into the Thailand market.
Roku is a modern broadband technology product that enables television viewers to connect their televisions to the Internet and watch television programs, listen to music, watch movies, view photos, or even the Internet videos directly streaming from the Internet through access to web-based services such as Netflix, Facebook, or the Amazon Instant Video platforms (Roku, 2014).
Roku enables television viewers to have the privilege of accessing services that only computer, tablet, and phone users can enjoy through access to the Internet via the computerized devices.
The USB-like broadband device allows consumers to subscribe to the Internet service providers, who provide high-bandwidth Internet for subscribers to access such content through their digital televisions (Roku, 2014). Generally, Roku Internet broadband device allows subscribers to access the Internet content from their digital televisions without using computers, tablets, or internet-enabled phones.
Low Video Streaming and Roku Device in Thai
Introducing a new product into the market is one of the greatest challenges that modern companies, especially those associated with technologies face. According to Rugman (2010), depending on cultural, labor, geopolitical, infrastructural, legal, and political concerns, market entry of a product may succeed or fail.
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The broadband technology that has found its way into television technologies has influenced information access to digitalized televisions, but privileges of using broadband televisions and the Internet video sources on televisions remains limited in Thailand (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). Broadband television technologies in Thailand are continuously becoming worthless, as the interest of users in using Internet video sources for streaming video directly from their Internet service providers into their televisions is almost impossible.
According to Bunyavejchewin (2010), whereas there is a continuum of factors that influence the success or failure of market entry of a new product, legal and political concerns seem to influence the introduction of products associated with the use of the Internet in Thailand after the YouTube scandal attracted legal and government interventions.
Theory of Eclectic Paradigm of Dunning
Many theories of business internationalization have emerged to justify a manner in which several interrelated businesses and national aspects influence product marketing in new countries (Rugman, 2010). Legal conditions of an intended market and government political concerns are major factors that determine market entry and product proliferation into the market (Dunning, 2001).
In analyzing business internalization, Dunning understood that market entry requires an analysis of a series of factors that affect product acceptance and proliferation into new international markets. According to Dunning (2001), the eclectic paradigm or the OLI paradigm focuses on three major aspects of entering into new markets, which include Ownership (O), Location (L), and Internationalization (I) of a business.
Ownership aspects are firm related aspects; location advantages are geographical aspects, while internalization aspects are global trade principles (Dunning, 2001). The focus of this analysis is the aspect of the location where government and legal facets intervene.
Offensive Internet to Thai Government
Legal and political issues in Thailand are impediments in marketing Internet-related products such as Roku, the broadband device since the government began intervening on the use of the Internet, and cybercrime in Thailand. Historically, the use of the Internet and national security have been debatable issues in Thailand, with the government of Thailand setting regulations that sometimes perceived as impediments to internet users (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
Controversies surrounding the use of the Internet officially attracted government intervention towards curbing Internet activities in 2007, when the Thai government intermittently blocked access to YouTube after posing a threat to national security and proving offensive to the government (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
The Thai government reportedly claimed to have placed censures and bans on the Internet access, and use after YouTube videos allegedly breached the legal norms through producing a King mockery video that went viral and elicited numerous public reactions.
Since 2007, the Thai government has placed its media and Internet companies under heavy scrutiny and controlled almost all major activities trending on social media platforms, news content on the Internet and video sharing activities of the Internet users (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). Up until 2010, the Thai government has managed to block and suspend approximately 113,000 websites that its Ministry of Communication and Technology deemed threatening to the national security.
It is significantly challenging to introduce Roku in Thailand as an Internet device supporting access to online content via television, given the fact that many people own televisions in Thailand (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
The greatest fear of the Thailand government is how consumers can use the Roku Internet devices and the amount of abusive and illegal content that would spread through the Internet-enabled digital televisions (Bunyavejchewin 2010). Sharing any content that seems abusive or offensive to the government is illegal, and the Thai government disapproves several uses of the Internet that deem disgustful.
Thailand Government and Censorship on the Internet
Typically, Roku is an Internet device in which any alterations to its Internet-related functions make it a functionless and a worthless device (Roku, 2014). One of the biggest hindrances to the introduction of the Roku Internet device into the Thailand market is the excess control of the government over the Internet content that often discourages Internet users and investors interested in Internet products and services.
Thailand government politically manipulated internet journalism and access to the Internet content has to go through the scrutiny (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). In Thailand, the government and other business stakeholders have the obligations to respect the national law and give the monarchy the highest respect it deserves.
Corporate organizations intending to market Internet-related products, whether foreign or internal, must understand the rules and regulations governing information access and sharing of media content through websites (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). Internet journalism is under pressure, scrutiny as the government directly engages in controlling access to the Internet, and the content shared online through social media platforms and individual websites.
Whereas over 50 million people in Thailand are currently using the Internet, the government has placed censorship and control rules on media and content that users share online, especially content related to video streaming (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). The theory of Dunning postulates that product proliferation into a new market would depend on location issues that include the political, legal, and economic environment factors of the targeted international market (Dunning, 2001).
Decision making on venturing into the international market relies on the underlying organizational and environmental factors. To exercise control over media content shared online and Internet journalism, the Thai government has placed mechanisms of controlling Internet piracy. The Thai government has introduced Internet privacy-control systems, including Bit Torrent index, internet tracking sites, cyber blockers, government-streaming sites, and the BBS forums (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
The government accesses these privacy control systems through wireless and wired broadband services on a government computer system. Such scrutiny makes Thai consumers less active in video streaming, a service that Roku can effectively support on televisions.
Introduction of Roku would allow consumers to access the Internet content with less restriction, which deems to threaten government security. Typically, it is easier for any government to control individuals within organizations, but very challenging to control families within each household. The people of Thailand live in fear of government reprimands as efforts to control the Internet use has stretched towards controlling markets associated with the selling of tech products that allow the Internet and seem to threaten government security (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
Businesspersons and organizations trading on Internet product have a fear of government attack as the Thai government has placed strict control over consumer markets. The Thai government commands open piracy in shopping malls and street markets to identify and control notorious markets trading on information technology products that may cause harm to the national security (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
Marketing Roku in an environment marred by government restrictions and censorship such as Thailand is a product promotion strategy, as market proliferation is difficult.
Thailand Laws on the Internet and Tech Products
A major setback to the use of Internet and marketing of internet products in Thailand is how the legislation of Thailand governs internet use and its legal principles governing content sharing, information dissemination and social media interactions (Bunyavejchewin, 2010).
Apart from major government censorships on reckless internet use and reprimands on internet service providers and on companies trading on internet devices, Thailand laws have targeted specific lawbreakers on internet content through legal stipulations controlling internet privacy (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). Lawmakers and the Royal Thai authorities consider privatized internet sites to be felonious as they seem highly organized and with elements of criminality.
Running a website of sharing videos such as YouTube that allow direct video streaming from online internet sites attracts judgments, fines, and sentences on such companies (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). Roku has a vast of the Internet-related features and would probably allow privatized access to the Internet and sharing discriminatory, abusive, provocative, and pornographic contents via Roku would be viable than on computer internets.
Government restrictions and censorship have influenced the activities of Internet Service Providers (ISP) who constantly live in fear of government and political attack in case they breach legal stipulations controlling media content and internet journalism (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). The Thai government has fostered sanctions on the ISP, which fail to control the activities of its users in terms of sharing of media content, including video streaming activities that spread security threatening content.
The Thai laws command ISP to ensure that they enhance the safety of users and provide limited privacy so that the government can have the opportunity to monitor individual internet activities (Bunyavejchewin, 2010). ISP companies are liable for any threatening content or videos shared through their service provider support and the Thai government.
For companies dealing with internet devices such as Roku, the stability and independence of internet service providers and other related business partners is a critical issue. Under such scrutiny and government censorships on networking companies and broadband internet companies, Roku may face stiff market proliferation challenges.
Appropriate Method to introduce Roku in Thailand
For Roku to diffuse into the Thailand market without government repressions and public doubts about its legal concerns, a systematic approach is requisite towards its market entry. A common systematic market entry strategy that marketers often utilize in introducing new products into emergent markets is the market penetration strategy (Han, Dong & Dresner, 2012). Market penetration intends to build a brand reputation by employing several marketing techniques to penetrate the market (Han et al., 2012).
Roku is a tech product, and Thailand is a nation with active users of tech products, who demand innovations. Seeking market penetration through reduced prices, product-advertising techniques, and other product marketing strategies would be an important marketing strategy that would probably capture massive numbers of consumers and potential buyers. Market penetration is important for internet broadband technology continues to intensify with Chromecast, and Google plays competing in Thai market despite censorships.
Electric paradigm theory of Dunning considers internationalization as a professional business practice that requires marketers to understand the critical role that governments of targeted markets play (Dunning, 2001). A firm intending to invest in a foreign nation must lobby a government to obtain shelter for beginning a business before generating production and marketing strategies for a certain product (Dunning, 2001).
A company intended to introduce Roku broadband internet device can use a government lobbying technique in Thailand to get a smooth entry into the market that will not attract legal tensions in the nation. Government lobbying would be an important facet in the market penetration technique as Roku marketers would be able to interact directly with the Thai government and get the privilege of explaining the accrued benefits of the Roku device.
A continuum of factors determines the successfulness of market entry of a certain emerging product like Roku. The ability of Roku to provide internet services through digital televisions, which are favorites to many Thai nationals, deems harmful to the security of Thailand that reprimands government mockers through the Internet. Marketing Roku in Thailand would probably be challenging, as marketers are likely to face political and legal conditions that would hamper smooth market entry.
The electric paradigm of Dunning claims that ownership, location, and internationalization are important business globalization aspects that marketers must understand while trying to penetrate new foreign markets. Using market penetration technique through government lobbying technique and shareholding tricks towards the Thailand government may be a successful approach of marketing Roku internet device that would get market proliferation through the Thailand government itself.
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