Information and measurement company Nielsen today released in Singapore the first Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report, declaring that widening internet usage is “revolutionizing digital media usage” in the region.
According to Nielsen:
Rapid technological developments, including high-speed internet access and WiFi, and increasing ownership of connected devices such as smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing digital media usage in Southeast Asia, with internet usage in some markets surpassing time spent on traditional media such as television, radio or print.
Among the study’s main findings are the following:
- Singaporeans were the heaviest internet users in the region, averaging 25 hours online per week, followed closely by digital consumers in the Philippines and Malaysia who averaged 21.5 hours and 19.8 hours online per week, respectively. Digital consumers in Indonesia trailed the region for time spent online, averaging 14 hours per week.
- A growing number of Southeast Asian consumers are getting online via internet capable mobile devices.
- Rapid growth in ownership of internet capable devices, like smartphones and tablet computers, is expected in 2012.
- In four of the six Southeast Asian nations, ownership of an internet capable mobile device is equal to or greater than ownership of a desktop computer. In Indonesia, ownership of an internet capable mobile phone (78%) is more than double that of a desktop PC (31%) or notebook computer (29%).
- Most popular internet activities in the region vary: Email (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand), News (Vietnam), social networking (Indonesia)
- In all markets except Vietnam, social networking ranks amongst the top five most popular online activities.
- Facebook is the dominating social media site in the region, with a whooping 90 percent of Indonesian netizens active on Facebook, 81 percent in the Philippines and 78 percent in Malaysia.
- Facebook competitors 4Shared and Zing dominate in Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.
- YouTube enjoys widespread popularity in Southeast Asia, ranking as the second or third most popular social networking site in all six Southeast Asian markets.
- 65 percent of internet users in the Philippines have connected or interacted with brands, products and companies via social media. The figures were 60 percent for Malaysia and 56 percent for Singapore.
What do these figures mean? Nielsen APMEA Region Research Director Melanie Ingrey offers some insights:
“The increasing availability and up-take of internet capable devices is driving usage of digital media across the region and bringing about considerable changes in the way media is consumed, in particular fuelling media multi tasking behaviours amongst Southeast Asian consumers.”
“More and more we are seeing consumers accessing multiple media platforms simultaneously, especially accessing the internet whilst watching television which many consumers are doing several times per week.”
“Social media platforms offer myriad opportunities for organisations to engage with consumers, and social media is becoming an increasingly critical means of influencing consumer decision making.”
“As Southeast Asian digital consumers are becoming more familiar and comfortable using social media, their level of participation is also increasing. A significant proportion of consumers visit online discussion forums at least monthly and many are now beginning to take an active role in these online discussions, voicing their opinions and sharing their experiences about brands, products or services.”