Brazil, China lead digital media uptake

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 22-01-2013

Urban consumers in the emerging markets of Brazil, China and Singapore are proving to be the world's most voracious users of digital media, powered by the rapid uptake of smartphones and tablets, according to the KPMG International 2013 Digital Debate.

"Consumers in China, Brazil and Singapore across all age groups are accessing and using media at an astonishing pace," says Gary Matuszak, KPMG's global chair for technology, media and telecommunications. "They are quick to acquire hand-held mobile devices, and are incredibly receptive to all forms of information, news and entertainment from TV, Internet, newspapers, magazines and radio."
A new generation of mobile-centric consumers is getting its first media experience via devices. This growing segment has a much greater preference for digital media, and the coming of next-generation, high-speed mobile networks will likely accelerate this trend.
Moreover, consumers from China, Brazil and Singapore not only prefer to access their content digitally, they are more willing to pay for it. Mobile-centric consumers' propensity to pay for content may provide invaluable insights to media and tech providers in mastering breakthrough revenue models.
"In emerging, high-growth markets such as China, people are not encumbered with the legacy of PCs and have leap-frogged straight onto portable devices," observed David Elms, head of media for KPMG in the UK. "This creates amazing opportunities for tech and media companies, many of which are struggling to devise models that are profitable and which truly sate consumers' vast needs for information. They need to delve into understanding content much more intimately as it relates to their customers and then, marry the two."
Interestingly, consumers across all markets spend a similar amount of time accessing media online as they do using traditional media. Visiting social networking sites, accessing maps and directions, and viewing news online are the top three digital activities across all markets. Consumers in Brazil and China lead all countries in accessing social networking, news and downloading music.
In the traditional media space, TV is still the most popular traditional medium across all markets followed by listening to the radio and, thirdly, print such as newspapers and magazines.
"The move to digital has had a dramatic impact on how we consume music, publishing and newspapers. But we are still early in the process of a transition to digital anytime-anywhere availability across all media sectors," said Paul Wissmann, head of media & telecommunications, KPMG in the US. "Until online services can provide content - especially film and video - on all devices, including home televisions, and be as seamless and easy to use as their offline counterparts, 'old' and digital media will continue to co-exist."
Most consumers are still spending more money offline in traditional activities than online, although this varies considerably according to country and type of media. Overall, however, consumer spending for digital content is gradually rising, with respondents reporting higher year-on-year spend for every form of digital media.
Accessing these multiple devices concurrently appears to impact advertising effectiveness — but not everywhere, according to the survey. Urban consumers in Brazil, China and Singapore have the highest receptivity to advertising and accept that it can underwrite the cost of the content they enjoy. 77% of Chinese consumers and 62% of Brazilian consumers are happy to receive online ads in return for lower-priced or free services. The story is a little different in the more developed markets, where the aversion to advertising is greater, with only 46% of North Americans and 39% Europeans willing to accept such a deal.
"The opportunity exists for media companies to tap into 'second and third screens' via social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook and create an overall experience and effectiveness for advertising," Elms asserted. "At the current time, however, the integration tends to be only partial."