Understanding the online media consumption in Malaysia

I just got back from attending the Yahoo & Synovate Net Index Launch Event that was held in SIME Darby Convention Center, today. Here’s a summary of what was presented.

* This study applies to Urban Malaysians. Research is very recent, March – May 2010.

Who are the online users?

More males than females, aged 20 – 29 years and those who earn RM 5,000 and above.

How are people accessing internet?

70% from home and quite surprisingly only 14% work, where 93% of them are using broadband connection.

Why are they using internet?

1st – for information.

2nd – to communicate.

3rd – for entertainment.

4th – for networking.

5th – online transactions.

A question raised on how can we differentiate between communicating & networking (why didn’t I think of it?), and the answer that came from Katherine Davis, was that communication is more direct in regards to email, messages where else networking is more of connecting with others by sharing (social media).

M’sian Online Pillar: Entertainment

– Music

– Videos (especially music videos)

– Games: male, aged 15 – 19 and is a surrogate for socializing with friends.

Mobile internet users.

Only 11% of the total internet users, who are predominately male, with higher income level of RM 5,000 above and within the age group of 20 – 39.

However being asked the question “What’s the future of mobile?”, the answers that was given was that’s its got a huge growth potential. We’re seeing only 11% currently due to the lack of accessible infrastructure. (Honestly, it can be quite pricey (for some) to purchase a smart phone.) With time and lower prices, we’re sure to see a huge hike in this segment.

Mobile internet activities?

1. It’s widely used for mail & instant messenger.

2. For guys, they are more likely to listen to streaming online music but the females are more keen on sharing photos.

And yes, we all know social media is changing the online landscape entirely.

1. People are in social networks (such as FB) and user-generated content (UGC) sites (such as Youtube) more than ever, as compared to blogs & forums.

2. More younger male audience aged 15 – 29.

3. Younger audience tend to have a larger network and use social media to get to know people, but the older audience are more keen to keep in touch and find old friends.

Categorizing the urban Malaysian online users

23% are Info Seekers – Older male who are usually more adaptable to new technology.

22% are Trendy Socialites – Younger female who spend more time to communicate, on UGC and fashion.

21% are Leading Edge Enthusiast – These are the guys who conduct all the internet acts. The net geeks.

21% are Casual Browsers – The older, less engaged people who are online for more functional capabilities.

13% are Devoted Gamers – Not surprisingly, more male skewed who spend A LOT OF TIME on games.

My lame opinion?

More research like this should be done because this help us to understand the Malaysian online landscape (all the data we currently data and talk about is usually what’s done in the US or closes we get is APAC) and gives us numbers to be presented to the client, to convince them about online capabilities. It gives a whole different perspective towards the online audience. Advertisers need to realise that online media consumption isn’t in its infancy anymore, it’s only the research that isn’t as adequate as the rest of the medium. Hope there’s more in-depth research data to be out soon!

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