Living in the United States it’s often easy to overlook what happens in other regions of the world. Americans are typically fed their daily diet of negative press stories by major media outlets since it is “common knowledge” that sensationalism sells and informational news does not. As a counter to that, I tend to seek news and information that will give a variety of perspectives on what is happening both in the media and entertainment industries as well as in the larger world in which we live. In seeking news and information on the Asian market, I came across some data that comScore recently released relating to online habits in China, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. Following is an overview of some of the visitor behavior garnering headlines in the Asian online market.
Time spent online in Greater China (i.e., Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong) appears to be dominated by visits to the following web category types: portals (24%), entertainment sites (9%), search and navigation (6%), social networking (just under 6%) and retail/shopping sites (5%). Reaching more than 64% of total unique visitors, Tencent, Inc. is the top rated site in the portal category. Youku, Inc. ranks highest among Chinese entertainment sites with a reach of 19%, while Baidu.com is a search and navigation powerhouse reaching over 59% of the Greater China market. Although social networking still appears to be in its infancy in China, the Oak Pacific Interactive sites collectively dominate this category with an 18% reach among total uniques. In the retail/shopping sphere, Alibaba.com ranks highest with just under 37% total audience reach.
In contrast, the Philippines appears to be the top market for use of social networking. Facebook is the world leader here relative to share of time spent online—93% of the country’s online population visited the site in February 2011. comScore refers to the Philippines as “…the most social media-addicted market globally.” Forty-one percent of the country’s online audience spent time on social networking sites in the February 2011 measurement period. The only other countries coming close to matching this number are the Russian Federation and Venezuela at 40% and 33%, respectively.
Search-portals appear to be the top online category in Vietnam, with Google and Yahoo! running virtually neck-in-neck—each with close to 6.7 million unique visitors reported in the March 2011 measurement period. This represents over 95% of the total online population in the country. VinaGame came in as the third ranked site during the same time frame with just under 5 million uniques or 71% of Vietnam’s total online audience.
Travel sites seem to be growing by leaps and bounds in India. In April 2011, almost 19 million online users visited a travel site, an increase of about 32% versus 2010. Indian Railways, the top ranked site with well over 8 million visitors, reported an increase of 8% versus the previous year. Online travel agent sites completed the top five ranking—MakeMyTrip (3.8 million uniques, up 63%), Yatra Online (3.5 million visitors, up 82%), ClearTrip.com (2.5 million uniques, up 80%) and Expedia.com (1.8 million visitors, up 12% versus 2010).
Gugelplex TV recognizes that the Internet has finally reached mature medium status not only in the United States, but around the world as well. While global growth in online usage will most definitely continue, it will be interesting to note the types of sites that ultimately connect with audiences in various countries. Gugelplex TV will continue to monitor the Asia-Pacific and other regions for specific online behaviors, knowledge of which may be of assistance to those involved in communications planning.
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