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TV has already been displaced by the internet as the medium of choice among kids in Asia-Pacific. According to a poll conducted by mobile ad and content platform TotallyAwesome in October 2016, more than three-quarters (77%) of internet users ages 6 to 14 living in one of seven Asia-Pacific countries said they would rather only have access to the internet than just be able to watch television. (The survey defined Asia-Pacific as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.)
The divide between television and the internet was strongest in Thailand, where 98% of kids chose the web over television. That may be due to the strong presence of internet in the country; eMarketer estimates that 55.5% of the population in Thailand will access the web at least monthly this year.
But even in Vietnam, where television’s hold was strongest, 66% of children still preferred the web. Vietnam has an internet penetration rate that is comparable with Thailand’s (eMarketer projects 54.1% of the population will access the web in 2017), but it also has a state-run media environment that exerts a lot of control of what people see and hear.
The use of the internet is indelibly tied to smartphones for these young digital natives. According to TotallyAwesome, smartphones had a very high penetration rate in the homes of respondents, found in 95% of them. That was just slightly more than the 94% rate for televisions.
And more than half (58%) of children said they used a smartphone multiple times per day.
The level of smartphone use in the sample group suggests that the respondents are not fully representative of the population as a whole. The survey only included internet users, so that would partly explain the high smartphone penetration rate. eMarketer estimates that for Asia-Pacific as a whole, 32.7% of the population will be smartphone users in 2017. Looking at the population of internet users in Asia-Pacific, eMarketer estimates that of that group, 70.1% will be smartphone users.
The TotallyAwesome survey found that time spent on the internet also climbed as children got older. While those ages 6 to 8 spent an average of almost 2.5 hours using the internet during weekdays, that figure climbed by almost 1 hour among 12- to 14-year-olds.
Shifts in how retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands think about ecommerce, combined with an accelerating acceptance among consumers for buying food digitally, have boosted online sales of groceries. Retailers and brands are taking note of these changing consumer behaviors and offering more digital options for grocery shopping and delivery, which will continue to drive the trend upward in 2017 and beyond.
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