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Turning Digital: The Asian Media Landscape

3 minute read | March 2012

Throughout Asia Pacific and around the world, technological developments, rising ownership of Internet-enabled devices, and rapidly increasing hours spent online is resulting in fundamental changes to the way in which media is consumed.

Television remains the perennial favorite media for Asia Pacific consumers, although online media consumption is growing quickly. Marketers’ allocation of ad spending has yet to reflect this shift.

This report shows that Asian countries rank amongst the top globally for media consumption with four of the top five nations for home TV and online video usage located in the region. Asian countries also took all five spots when it comes to mobile video usage.

Consumers throughout Asia Pacific, and around the world are showing a voracious appetite for media, particularly in emerging markets where media consumption outstrips many developed markets. While television still dominates, time spent online is rising rapidly and is becoming an important touch-point for advertisers. Higher motivation to use smartphones is opening up new possibilities and research undertaken by Nielsen shows the highest return on investment (ROI) is achieved via digital marketing channels in Asia Pacific.

In this dynamic media environment marketers in Asia Pacific need to move quickly – the region lags global levels on digital spends – however, there are important rules to remember when optimising media plans to include digital. Television cannot be forgotten, particularly for new product launches, but digital can provide the incremental reach. Understanding regional nuances is critical to fine-tuning media strategies to local needs.

Nielsen’s global media consumption index shows that Asia (excluding Japan) and BRIC nations surpass Europe and western markets on television viewing and video consumption via internet or mobiles.

Increasing ownership of internet-enabled devices has also resulted in simultaneous media consumption or ‘media multi-tasking’. In Southeast Asia, accessing the internet whilst watching television is the most common media multi-tasking activity, occurring at least several times per week.

Young and emerging middle-class consumers will lead and drive change. Emerging markets in Asia such as China, India and Indonesia have witnessed significant shifts in consumers’ media consumption habits, driven by rising affluence, proliferation of internet-enabled mobile devices and affordable data plans.

This emerging group of consumers are young, they have grown up as a digital generation, and most have bypassed traditional technologies such as fixed line telephones and desktop computers.

Marketers need to identify and then gain an in-depth understanding of drivers and priorities of the digital generation in order to tap into their psyche and gain their trust.

Methods of accessing the internet and online media consumption vary significantly throughout the Asia Pacific region. Before planning a campaign it is imperative to understand category touch-points by market and demographic.

Throughout Asia Pacific media consumption habits are changing at a rate not seen for many years. Brand experience sharing through social media, online product reviews and opportunities to buy online are changing the game. Similarly, consumers’ exposure to marketing messages delivered via new and emerging media such as the internet, rich media (for example, online video), and smartphones is resulting in an expanded number of touch-points where brands can engage. These changes present endless opportunities for marketers, the key is staying one step ahead and anticipating where the market will move to next. This can only be achieved when marketers have a clear understanding of exactly who their target audience is, how they are consuming media and, ultimately, how their media consumption habits are impacting on their purchase decisions.

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