Fast-paced adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices is creating a new mobile-centric generation that is overtaking the US and Europe in terms of demand for digital media.
China, Brazil and Singapore are driving digital media consumption trends, fueled by rapid smartphone and tablet adoption and the lack of a strong existing connection between these users and traditional forms of media such as CDs or DVDs.
According to the YouGov survey, commissioned by KPMG, the surging popularity of mobile digital devices in these countries is creating a new mobile-centric generation. "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, 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."
The study of over 9000 consumers across the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, the UK, Australia, metropolitan China and Singapore plus metropolitan Brazil, highlights the impact smartphones in particular are having in emerging economies where they are often a user's first internet-connected device.
Among urban Chinese consumers, 78 percent own or intend to own a smartphone, 76 percent have, or are in the process of purchasing a laptop and 51 percent say that they already own or will buy a tablet. According to Nielsen's latest figures, based on data gathered in the first half of 2012, 66 percent of Chinese adult (16+) mobile subscribers already had a smartphone, making it the world's largest market in terms of numbers and penetration.
The KPMG survey shows that although consumers are moving towards mobile devices, in China only 26 percent of respondents claimed to have a computer. "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."
Consumers in China, Brazil and Singapore are the most willing to pay for online content, whereas in the US and Europe consumers are less willing to purchase something unless the value proposition is clear. However for participants across all territories, visiting social networking sites, accessing maps and directions and viewing news online are the top three digital activities. Yet China, Brazil and Singapore are the biggest downloaders of digital music. "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."