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5 minute read | May 2017


Internet usage continues to rise rapidly closing in on traditional TV MTR is the most popular means of transportation with the network expansion

Hong Kong – May 31, 2017 – Amidst rising challenges from the internet, TV continues to remain as the top media channel (92%) in Hong Kong, supported by the emergence of various new TV channels and the maturation of Over-the-Top (OTT) viewership. The internet (91%) is quickly catching up to TV and is now the second most popular media channel. Among newspaper consumption, it has been observed that there is a rising trend of readers who consume news via both the printed hardcopies as well as digital version. With the expansion of MTR network, MTR becomes the most popular means of transportation and MTR advertisements are expected to be one of the most popular advertising platforms, according to Nielsen’s Hong Kong Media Index 2016 Year End Report.

Emergence of TV channels and Over-the-Top (OTT) viewership maturation support TV as most popular media outletIt has been a general perception that TV would soon be surpassed by the Internet as the most popular media channel in Hong Kong, however, the situation has slightly changed driven partly by new TV channels, ViuTV, coupled with increasing OTT viewership. The penetration of television has increased from 88% in 2015 to 92% in 2016, still able to increase despite fierce competition. The maturation of OTT viewership resulted from rapid technological advancement and has made a significant contribution to the growing TV penetration. Audiences can now watch TV anywhere at any time and on any platform. The increase in TV penetration, expectedly, does not translate into a reduction in internet penetration. People who watch TV as well as use the internet increased from 76% in 2015 to 83% in 2016. It is also worth noting that the traditional prime TV sessions (18:00 – 20:59 & 21:00 – 23:59) are still the peak time for audiences who watch TV, while the majority of people use internet during 14:00 – 17:59. 

Internet usage continues to rise rapidlyToday’s internet serves the largest and most diverse community of network users in the digital world. The evolution and development of the internet has changed the daily lives of people, from personal activities to work productivity. It is therefore not surprising to see that Hong Kong people’s internet usage has increased 6 percentage points in the past two years, from 85% in 2015 to 91% in 2016. Their average daily time spent on the internet has increased from 171 minutes in 2015 to 265 minutes in 2016, an increase of over 50%. Looking into different age groups, the average time spent on internet has increased among all age groups, among which, the penetration of internet of the silver hair age group, i.e. 55-64 years old, has shown significant increase from 46% in 2015 to 69% in 2016. This change further indicates that the internet is now no longer of the interest of the younger generation but has also reached across all generations, including the more mature population groups.

In addition to the evolution of the internet, the uprising of the smartphone is happening concurrently with the increase in internet usage. Smartphone ownership has gone from 85% in 2015 to 91% in 2016.

People are more than ever connected to the digital world with the development of the internet. Over 90% of internet users use internet for instant messaging (96%) and social networking (91%), as another 88% watch videos online while 81% perform information search. Shopping is also emerging as a popular trend with eight in ten Hong Kong shoppers having made an online purchase in the past 12 months.

“Following the increasingly wide reach of the internet, marketers looking to engage consumers effectively will need to precisely measure the ROI of their ad investment on both TV and digital screens. The opportunity to reach consumers on a number of channels is growing, so maximizing total ad investment across devices and platforms will be crucial to the success of today’s brands,” said Cherry Lau, senior director, media, Nielsen Hong Kong.

Printed newspapers are now complemented by the digital versionThe print media has been facing fierce competition with the rise of different forms of digital contents. However, it is worth-noting that while those who read printed newspapers are still keeping their habits, the percentage of people who read both digital and printed version of newspapers has increased from 16% in 2015 to 23% in 2016. This indicates that readers might continue to rely on printed version for in-depth reporting of news stories but they also rely on digital version over internet for more timely news update.

MTR advertisements as the top outdoor ad seen, well-supported by the MTR network extensionWith the latest network extension, MTR has surpassed buses and becomes the most popular transportation, an increase from 67% in 2015 to 73% in 2016. With MTR being the most frequently used transportation, the reach of MTR advertisements (71%) had also topped the list of outdoor ads seen, followed by bus exterior ads (66%) and bus shelter/ bus-stop ads (62%). This trend is expected to further develop.

ABOUT THE NIELSEN MEDIA INDEXEstablished in 1969, Nielsen Media Index is the first multi-media consumption survey in Hong Kong that provide critical insights into the media and buying habits of Hong Kong consumers relating to their demographics, social economic characteristics, general consumption patterns, lifestyle. Media Index covers the Hong Kong general population aged 12-64.  The survey interviews 6,000 respondents per year and adopts an internationally recognized methodology, data processed on a 12-month rolling basis and weighted/ projected to the known population of Hong Kong based on Government statistics.

ABOUT NIELSENNielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. The Company’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Nielsen Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

CONTACT:Cheryl Wen,, +886 2 2171 5590, +852 6772 8517 (mobile)