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Mobile Usage Drives Media Consumption in Asia-Pacific

eMarketer unveils a new set of estimates for time spent with media in four markets

December 12, 2016 | Media Buying

Growing penetration of smartphones and tablets has changed the way adults consume media in China, Japan, South Korea and India, according to a new eMarketer report, “Asia-Pacific Time Spent with Media: China, Japan, South Korea and India Estimates and Forecasts for 2013–2018” (eMarketer PRO customers only). This report is the first forecast put out by eMarketer on media time spent in these four countries.

Nonvoice Mobile Share of Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by Adults in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific, 2016 (% of total time spent)

Adults in Japan will spend an average of 6 hours 58 minutes per day with major media in 2016, while adults in South Korea will devote 6 hours 51 minutes a day and those in China will allocate 6 hours 9 minutes. Adults in India will spend considerably less time, averaging 3 hours 36 minutes. Despite the increasing media consumption time in each of the four countries, it pales in comparison with the US and other major Western media markets.

For example, eMarketer estimates that US adults will spend 12 hours 5 minutes a day consuming major media this year.

(eMarketer counts each minute of media consumption time regardless of whether the usage occurs in tandem with any other media. Therefore, total media consumption time continues to grow, even as the number of hours in a day remains the same. For instance, an hour spent watching TV while simultaneously using a smartphone counts as an hour of usage in each medium and therefore as 2 hours of overall media usage.)

Digital, led by mobile devices, is capturing a growing share of time adults spend daily on major media, while traditional media like TV and newspapers continue to lose favor with consumers, especially among younger demographics. The same trend applies even in India and Japan, where TV still takes the biggest chunk of adults’ media time.

The average time adults 18 and older spend each day with major media in the four markets featured in this report will continue to grow through at least 2018. By then, the share of daily time spent with nonvoice mobile activities, which excludes network talking time, will have jumped by about 12 percentage points from 2013 in each of the four markets, reaching 39.0% in China; 32.1% in South Korea; 26.4% in Japan; and 24.8% in India.

However, despite mobile-driven gains in digital time spent, advertisers in many of these markets still favor traditional media and aren’t yet reallocating their ad spending to correspond with consumers’ increased time spent with digital media.

In fact, China is the only market where its 2016 digital ad spending share (59.0%) will surpass its time-spent share (51.0%). In the other three markets, digital’s ad spending share trails its time-spent share, with a gap of at least 10 percentage points in India and Japan.

Print media remains attractive to advertisers. While print will command only a single-digit share of total time spent by adults this year across all four markets, it will account for a much bigger share of ad spending. In India, for example, print will account for nearly 40% of ad spending despite garnering just a 7.5% share of daily media time.

The same is true even in Japan, a much more developed media market. Print’s share of spending will be higher than its share of time spent, at 22.6% vs. 4.9% in 2016. In South Korea, print’s ad spending share will exceed its time-spent share by more than 16 percentage points; and in China, print’s ad spending share will come in at more than twice its time-spent share.

One reason could be that newspaper and magazine readers remain a more coveted demographic for marketers. An Ipsos survey of more than 19,100 affluent consumers in Asia, released in November 2016, found respondents spent a combined 1.6 hours a day reading newspapers or magazines. “Traditional media still plays an important role,” the study said.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “Asia-Pacific Time Spent with Media: China, Japan, South Korea and India Estimates and Forecasts for 2013–2018.”

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer PRO customers.

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