Young Asians are inseparable from their mobiles, TV continues to rule

MUMBAI: From sunrise to sunset, with the many occasions taking place in between, the latest Young Asians survey by global market research firm Synovate shows the lives of Asia‘s youth revolve around their mobile phones. Personal ownership of mobiles has increased from 60 per cent in 2008 to 64 per cent in 2010 among this young population surveyed.

However, television continues to be the key medium for connecting with the youth in India - at 47 per cent, young Indians are the top group (compared to the regional average of 28 per cent) who cannot live without TV. Similarly, 58 per cent of the young Indians polled said they like spending time watching TV - once again the highest across Asia (regional average being 34 per cent).
This fifth Synovate Young Asians study provides an in-depth look at the lifestyles, habits, product ownership and media consumption of youth across Asia. Respondents ranged from eight to 24 years old across 11 markets in Asia, covering China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. A total sample of 12,302 youth was surveyed by face to face interviews and online method during Q2 of 2010.

Comments Synovate executive director - media research Steve Garton, "We are excited about the trends we‘re seeing in Young Asians. In conjunction with our research sponsors - Friendster, Microsoft Advertising and Yahoo! - we are uncovering the driving forces that influence Asia‘s youth."

Compared to the rest of Asia, young Indians are the top for mobile phone ownership. Personal ownership of mobile phones among young Indians surveyed has increased from 28 per cent in 2008 to 37 per cent in 2010 while the Asia regional average is 18 per cent only.
The survey also showed that young Indians are displaying fatigue with TV adverts -55 per cent of young Indians 15-24 years would pay a higher subscription on their Pay TV to avoid the adverts (the highest in Asia). However, interestingly, they do a complete volte face when it comes to mobile phone advertising as 37 per cent won‘t mind receiving ads on their mobiles/ responding to adverts, as long as they are incentivised. This trait is the highest in the region after Vietnam (44 per cent), and the regional average is 29 per cent.

Garton said, "This shows the opportunities here and now for mobile marketing. Youth in Asia are looking to receive the latest information to wow their peers, so reaching them through mobile is the most immediate way to gain their attention.

"This year, we see that the mobile phone is simply inseparable from its owner. More youth across a number of Asia markets now own a mobile compared to 2008. With one in five (18 per cent) young Asians planning to use their mobile even more often, these findings show the great potential of this medium."

Among Young Asians, young Indians emerge as the biggest sports buffs across Asia - at least 72 per cent of the youth polled rank sports as an integral part of their lives, displaying the highest incidence across Asia (against the regional average of 52 per cent).

India‘s youth continue to have their fixation with cricket as, understandably, cricket sensations Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have emerged as the top two favourite sports stars of young Indians. Sania Mirza who brought India onto the world stage due to her prowess in tennis, is placed at the third spot.

Trustworthy sources of information

78 per cent of young Indians rely on family and friends when seeking information. Though, Television emerges as the second most trusted source of information for at least 74 per cent of the young Indians surveyed (again the highest incidence observed across Asia). Interestingly, 67 per cent of the youth surveyed in India trust recommendations from TV programmes and, while in-store, 65 per cent of young Indians believe shelf information and product displays.

Says Synovate India MD Mick Gordon, "The Young Asians survey shows that young Indians like to make informed decisions, so while the primary dependence is on family and friends, the secondary sources are also important for trustworthy decisions like TV, in-store displays, etc.

Beyond communication, it‘s entertainment

Listening to music, playing games and taking photos are just some of the activities that youth turn to their mobile phone to offer. Among Asian youth who own a mobile phone, about half of those surveyed perform the above activities on their mobile. One in five (21per cent) also uses this device to record video.
In India, the most popular mobile phone activities over the past seven days were listening to music (59 per cent), SMS (58 per cent), taking pictures (51 per cent) and playing games (46 per cent).

Gordon comments, "The spontaneity and active lifestyles of youth means that mobiles are always helping them to live life to the fullest."

Product ownership

63 per cent of the Indian youth households surveyed have DVD players, displaying the fixation with watching movies at home while the penetration of desktop computers was 42 per cent. Interestingly, digital camera ownership was significant at 24 per cent in the households of young Indians.

Browsing the internet a big draw among Young Indians

The top internet activity young Indians indulge in is searching for information using search engines - at least 62 per cent of the youth in India indicated this, which is the third highest group after Vietnam (75 per cent) and Korea (72 per cent) - Malaysia too was at 62 per cent.

Email was found to be the second most engaged internet activity among the Indian youth at 53 per cent. 42 per cent of the Indian youth polled listen to music online, found to be the third most popular activity.

Further, according to Young Asians 2010, more than one-third (37per cent) of Indian youth surveyed have made a download, while one in four (26 per cent) has played a game online in the past seven days.

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