Malaysians are top digital media junkies, says Nielsen

Malaysia has emerged as the top 10 media consuming nation out of 52 countries surveyed by consultant firm The Nielsen Company, which analysed the entertainment technology ownership and usage habits of global citizens.

"Malaysians are real entertainment and technology junkies," said Nielsen Malaysia managing director, Paul Richmond. "They consume a copious amount of home entertainment, music, video games and digital media. These tech-savvy locals are also thoroughly hooked on the Internet, streaming and downloading digital media content on a regular basis."

Richmond said that the findings emerged from the entertainment portion of the biannual Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, which reached 26,000 online users in 52 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East, in September, including 500 Malaysians. Rankings were computed by measuring a range of scores in response to thematically similar survey questions.

The Nielsen Company (www.nielsen.com) is a global information and media company providing essential integrated marketing and media measurement information and analytics and industry expertise to clients across the world.

Prolific and sophisticated users of the net

"Malaysians especially have an enormous appetite when it comes to consuming digital media (any type of information stored in the computer, including data, voice and video), ranking fifth out of 52 countries," said Richmond.

He added. "They are also prolific and sophisticated users of the Internet, with 53 per cent having streamed or played content such as full-length movies or movie clips, movie trailers/ads, TV shows or clips from TV shows, music videos or other audio tracks or files, short video clips or individual/amateur clips and videogames in the past month."

Meanwhile, he said, 41 per cent have downloaded the same variety of content from the Internet over the last month. "This ranks Malaysia in seventh and ninth place respectively out of 52 countries in the frequency of streaming or playing and downloading entertainment content from the Internet."

"In fact, Malaysia is third globally in terms of those who spend over 20 hours a week watching streamed or downloaded content from the Internet," he said.

East-West divide narrowing

In addition, Richmond said that the survey indicated that the so-called digital divide between emerging and developed economies worldwide may not be that wide after all as the survey found that while Western countries tend to be heavy users of media hardware like DVD players and gaming consoles, next-generation devices like video-enabled handsets are more popular in the up-and-coming markets, particularly in Asia.

"Out of the 52 countries surveyed, five from Asia Pacific occupied spots in the top 10 list with the highest levels of usage across a range of media devices, with Philippines claiming the top spot" he said. "While the Philippines was joined in the top 10 by China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, the quartet of booming economies known as the BRIC countries--Brazil, Russia, India and China--fared even better on a regional basis. Brazil finished second to Philippines in the overall media usage ranking, and finished first in the music category."

Asia ahead with wireless

"Piracy has also kept the cost of acquiring music down both on CDs and downloads," Richmond said, noting that many Asian consumers largely skipped landlines in favour of wireless technology.

"The same leapfrogging is taking place with entertainment," Richmond said. "For example, consumers are circumventing the need for a relatively expensive gaming console to play subscription-based videogames online."

He said that other factors responsible for robust media usage in many Asian countries included the broad uptake of mobile due to widespread use of public transportation and government policies maximising broadband in China and Singapore.

"For Malaysia, broadband penetration is only at 18 per cent according to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications. But with the government's push to ready High Speed Broadband (HSBB) via fibre-optics by 2010 with Phase 1 offering 1.3 million premises, we can expect the country to continue its climb up the media consumption ladder," said Richmond.

This story, "Malaysians are top digital media junkies, says Nielsen" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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