By: Daxim L. Lucas
Filipino consumers are some of the heaviest users of the Internet among their Southeast Asian peers, ranking only slightly behind regional leader Singapore in terms of number of hours spent online each week, according to a new study.
In the inaugural Nielsen Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report—which examined the digital media habits and attitudes of consumers—it was revealed that Singaporean “digital consumers” were the heaviest Internet users in the region, averaging 25 hours online per week, followed closely by those in the Philippines who averaged 21.5 hours per week.
This was followed by digital consumers in Malaysia who averaged 19.8 hours online per week, while those from Indonesia trailed the region for time spent online, averaging only 14 hours per week.
According to the Nielsen report, more and more Southeast Asian consumers are getting online via Internet-capable mobile devices. At the same time, rapid growth in ownership of Internet capable devices, especially smartphones and tablet computers, may be expected in 2012.
Desktop computers continued to be the main mode of getting on the Internet for Filipinos, with 68 percent of respondents saying they owned such a device. This was followed by Internet capable smartphones, with 64 percent of respondents saying they owned one.
A further 58 percent of Filipino digital consumers said they owned notebook computers or “netbooks,” while only 17 percent owned tablet computers, the survey said.
Nielsen said that rapid technological developments and increasing ownership of Internet connected devices are revolutionizing digital media usage around the region, with Internet usage in some markets surpassing time spent on traditional media such as television, radio or print.
The most popular activity being undertaken online varies across the region. E-mail remains the most popular activity in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, while keeping abreast with the news tops the list in Vietnam. In Indonesia, digital media consumption is being driven by social networking.
In all markets except Vietnam, social networking ranks among the top five most popular online activities.
About 81 percent of Filipino digital consumers have an active profile on Facebook, which is the second-highest in the region after Indonesia’s 90 percent.
A further 51 percent of Filipinos surveyed were active on YouTube, while 32 percent were active on the micro-blogging site Twitter.