Thailand’s ‘Y’ content industry

    Currently, ‘Y Series’ or ‘Boys’ Love’ content is growing in popularity domestically and internationally. The ‘Y’ genre was born as the subject matter of novels over a decade ago, and trended among young adults. But it was only when the ‘Y’ series moved to television that its popularity became more widespread. Much of the original ‘Y’ content came from overseas, but Thai producers quickly saw the potential and now Thailand has become a hub of ‘Y’ content, with strong audiences both at home and across Asia. With attractive young stars, fresh plotlines and witty scripts, Thailand has honed the dramatic technique to a fine edge, earning recognition and audience appeal in many territories.

    ‘Y’ Series or ‘Boys’ Love’ content has grown from a niche market to develop mass appeal. Originally the fan base comprised mainly young women, but audiences have broadened to include all ages. In an era of intense competition in the digital media industry, ‘Y’ content has provided a platform for Thailand to excel. Domestic and international revenue from ‘Y’ content in the last two years has exceeded 1,000 million baht, generated by the films and series themselves, and has created a new generation of stars who now find considerable opportunities as presenters, advertising brand representatives, pop stars, influencers and teen ‘idols’ attracting large crowds at events and fan meets.

    In the past 2 years, Thai ‘Y’ content producers have created 40 titles and it is expected that there will be 90 titles this year. ‘Y’ Series’ audience base has increased by 328% over the past year, and content released on online platforms, e.g., LINE TV, has attracted 600 million views. The other factor of ‘Y’ Series content that makes it valuable to distribution platforms is the incredible social media engagement that it attracts, with viewers trying to guess plot outcomes, cheering their ‘dream couple’, sharing their views, and generating hashtags and fan groups. With such a wide choice of digital content available to audiences, this social engagement is increasingly valuable, as it can create a powerful brand image which both creates and supports marketing and sponsorship opportunities across Asia and Latin America.

    Today, ‘Y’ or ‘Boys’ Love’ content is popular in a number of key markets, including Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Latin America. As societies across the world become more aware of LGBT+ issues, the market potential for ‘Y’ series continues to grow. A particularly active and motivated fan-base also spreads word of the series across geographical borders, and creates a market demand in new territories.