Television

TV favourite choice of Asians amongst media for news: Synovate study

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While TV remains the news media staple, one in ten Asians now access weblogs on a weekly basis for news and current affairs information according, to a study released by the market research company, Synovate.

However, the taste of consumers differ from country to country. Indians prefer the lighter side of life with entertainment (61 per cent) their other preferred subjects are sport (56 per cent) and current affairs (55 per cent). While Thais love their politics (56 per cent) and Filipinos are most interested in financial news (38 per cent).

With regards to the emergence of personal online diaries known as 'weblogs', one in 10 respondents access weblog for news information. In India, however, weblog have yet not gained popularity amongst consumers.

Synovate Media Research Asia Pacific director Steve Garton states that the survey provides a detailed look at consumers' preferences for news media and content and the way in which news connects people to the broader community.

"The Synovate News Consumption study shows that consumers enjoy a wide diet of news, from entertainment to current affairs, and source this information from a variety of media be it through new media like weblogs and mobile phones, or the traditional staples of television, newspaper or radio, " says Garton.

The Synovate News Consumption Survey was conducted among more than 7,900 consumers from all socio-economic classes in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

THE NEWS ON TRADITIONAL MEDIA RULES

Respondents were asked how frequently, on average, they used different types of media for information on news or current affairs and revealed a surprising preference for traditional staples.

"When investigating the types of media consumers use to access news, the importance of traditional means is clear with people continuing to turn to the media they know and are comfortable with for their news information," Garton said.

"The most popular news media is television, with 81 per cent of Asian consumers saying they tune into TV at least once a day for news and current affairs information.

"And despite talk about the impact of digital media, newspapers are the second most popular medium with 46 per cent of respondents across Asia reading a newspaper at least once a day for news information," Garton added.

While Singapore and Hong Kong are the region's most avid newspaper readers with 67 per cent and 61per cent of respondents respectively reading a newspaper at least once a day for news information, Indonesians (20 per cent ) and Filipinos (28 per cent ) remain glued to the television.

"Radio is the third most important source of news and current affairs information, especially in Hong Kong (37 per cent ), Thailand (39 per cent ) and Singapore (38 per cent ) where more than one third of respondents switch on their radios for news updates at least once a day," said Garton

"But it's not always TV anchors, columnists and talk back hosts who deliver the news, as the survey shows that family and friends also spread the word with 26 per cent of respondents using word of mouth at least once a day for information on news and current affairs."

While digital media still lags behind traditional means, its popularity is growing with 19 per cent of respondents using the Internet for information on news and current affairs between once a day and two to three times a week.

"In countries with high Internet penetration rates like Hong Kong and Singapore, 25 per cent of the population now use the Internet to access news and current affairs on a daily basis," Garton added.

THE NEWS ON WHAT PEOPLE READ ALL ABOUT

To determine news subject preferences, Synovate asked respondents to rank the types of news they are most interested in.

"Current affairs are at the top of the list for two thirds of respondents when it comes to the type of news consumers prefer," adds Garton.

"However, the pervasiveness of celebrity culture across Asia is clear with 54 per cent choosing entertainment news as their second preference, ahead of sport (39 per cent) as the third choice."

THE NEWS ON TRUST AND CARRER SUCCESS

Synovate asked respondents a number of statements to determine their attitudes to a wide range of media issues and when it comes to trusting the news, it seems to be a matter of country rather than the heart.

"Across the region, an average of 58per cent of respondents agreed with the statement 'I trust a lot of the news stories I see or hear', with results differing greatly between countries," Garton said.

Thais are the most cynical news consumers regionally with only 28 per cent of respondents agreeing that they trust the news, followed by Chinese residents in major cities (43 per cent) and Filipinos (42 per cent).

At the other end of the spectrum, a majority of Indians (78 per cent) and Indonesians (73 per cent) trust a lot of the news stories they see or hear.

"When trying to understand why people watch, read and listen to the news, it's clear that a feeling of belonging is important to people, with 70 per cent of respondents agreeing with the statement that they like to keep in touch with the news as it makes them feel part of the community," Garton said.

"News also serves a practical purpose, with six in 10 respondents across Asia agreeing that keeping in touch with the news is important for their career success."

Indians (71 per cent), Filipinos (68 per cent) and Thais (67 per cent ) are the strongest believers that news and career success go hand in hand while only 32 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong agree that keeping up with the news is important for their work.

In June 2005, a series of questions were explored via AsiaBUS, Synovate's monthly omnibus survey. A representative sample of consumers aged 15-64 bracket were interviewed via telephone (face to face in the Philippines) in the markets of China (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan), Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok), India, Indonesia, Singapore and Philippines (Manila).

THE NEWS ON A DIGITAL FUTURE

In order to get a better understanding of the impact digital technology will have upon the future of news consumption, respondents were asked about their digital news habits over the past week

"The biggest development in digital news is the emergence of personal online diaries known as 'weblogs' and across the region over one in 10 respondents had gone online to access a weblog for news information in the past week," Garton said.

"In some countries this rate is even higher, with 31 per cent of respondents in Thailand, 22 per cent of respondents in China and 19 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong indicating that they had read a weblog for news information in the past week."

Mobile phones are also emerging media for news and current affairs in China and Thailand where 18 per cent and 16 per cent of respondents respectively had received news or headlines on their mobile phone in the past week. However, adoption in other countries remains relatively low.

When it comes to the long running debate over subscription based news websites, only 4 per cent of respondents across all the countries had accessed a news website for which they had paid to subscribe. Respondents from Singapore (9 per cent), Hong Kong (8 per cent) and China (7per cent) were more likely to have accessed a paid news website.

Results

Media Frequency


Question: On average, how often do you use each of the following media for information on news or current affairs?

 
Internet

TV
News-
paper
Mobile phone
Radio
Magazine
Word of mouth
Sample size
8013
8022
8016
8022
8022
8017
8023
At least once a day
11%
81%
46%
6%
21%
6%
26%
4-6 times a week
3%
8%
11%
2%
5%
3%
8%
2-3 times a week
5%
5%
11%
3%
9%
9%
13%
Once a week
4%
2%
8%
3%
5%
12%
10%
Once a month
2%
1%
3%
2%
4%
9%
4%
Seldom/Never
74%
3%
20%
84%
56%
62%
38%
Total
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%

Favourite news content

Question: I am now going to read out some different types of news. Please rank the types of news you are most interested in.

  Total China Hong
Kong
India Singapore Indonesia Thailand Philippines
Sample size
7,978
1,948
1,000
1,019
979
1,020
1,012
1,000
Current affairs
65%
59%
75%
55%
70%
87%
71%
54%
Entertainment
54%
48%
38%
61%
49%
71%
39%
43%
Sport
39%
30%
25%
56%
29%
43%
35%
31%
Politics
33%
26%
15%
38%
29%
33%
56%
35%
Fashion
19%
24%
18%
21%
17%
15%
13%
18%
Technology
16%
19%
15%
13%
19%
12%
18%
24%
Weather
15%
29%
14%
7%
7%
4%
12%
25%
Business
14%
10%
3%
17%
14%
6%
22%
38%
Financial
13%
19%
22%
8%
17%
3%
11%
20%
Traffic
9%
16%
5%
2%
6%
8%
13%
10%
Horse racing
-
-
6%
-
-
-
-
-

Breaking news

Question: When a major disaster or news story breaks, which media do you turn to first for information?

  Total China Hong Kong India Singapore Indonesia Thailand Philippines
Sample size
7,943
1,922
1,000
1,019
971
1,020
1,011
1,000
Television
80%
60%
71%
88%
74%
94%
80%
92%
Internet
7%
19%
8%
2%
5%
-
6%
1%
Newspaper
7%
15%
7%
5%
9%
2%
9%
2%
Radio
3%
2%
10%
-
9%
2%
2%
4%
Word of mouth
2%
1%
1%
3%
1%
1%
1%
1%
Mobile phone
-
1%
-
1%
 
-
-
1%

Media habits

Question: Which of the following have you done in the past week?

  Total China Hong
Kong
India Singapore Indonesia Thailand Philippines
Sample Size
7,926
1,912
1,000
1,019
964
1,020
1,011
1,000
Read weekend newspapers for over an hour
42%
47%
52%
44%
54%
30%
45%
35%
Gone online to read a weblog
11%
22%
19%
1%
16%
1%
31%
7%
Received news or headlines on my mobile phone
9%
18%
8%
3%
7%
2%
16%
9%
Emailed some interesting news to a friend or colleague
8%
13%
14%
4%
16%
-
11%
7%
Received regular news email from a site I have subscribed to
7%
11%
13%
3%
13%
-
15%
8%
Listened to some news on digital radio using my PC
5%
8%
11%
1%
11%
1%
11%
3%
Accessed a news website I have paid to use or subscribe
4%
7%
8%
2%
9%
-
4%
3%
Non of the above
46%
31%
29%
51%
31%
69%
31%
56%

Agreement on "I access news from different sources to get a balanced view."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7,813
1,834
996
1,019
1,020
1,000
933
1,011
Strongly Agree
24%
34%
21%
18%
5%
42%
23%
38%
Agree
27%
20%
26%
29%
39%
20%
36%
24%
Neither Agree nor disagree
27%
29%
36%
23%
29%
26%
23%
27%
Disagree
14%
8%
10%
19%
23%
6%
11%
7%
Strongly Disagree
7%
8%
7%
11%
4%
6%
6%
3%

Agreement on "I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the large volume of news and information today."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7822
1839
996
1019
1020
1000
937
1011
Strongly Agree
 
15%
23%
9%
18%
4%
16%
13%
15%
Agree
19%
13%
14%
28%
20%
11%
20%
15%
Neither Agree nor disagree
 
30%
31%
39%
27%
24%
42%
24%
30%
Disagree
22%
13%
20%
15%
48%
13%
28%
17%
Strongly Disagree
14%
19%
18%
12%
4%
19%
14%
22%

Agreement on "I am more interested in news concerning my local area than news about global issues."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7813
1833
998
1019
1020
1000
932
1011
Strongly Agree
29%
36%
25%
32%
14%
43%
18%
21%
Agree
27%
17%
26%
34%
39%
17%
24%
16%
Neither Agree nor disagree
25%
24%
32%
22%
23%
26%
25%
31%
Disagree
12%
10%
10%
7%
24%
5%
21%
19%
Strongly Disagree
7%
12%
6%
4%
1%
9%
12%
13%

Agreement on "I like to keep in touch with the news as it makes me feel part of the community."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7811
1829
996
1019
1020
1000
936
1011
Strongly Agree
37%
53%
29%
35%
9%
58%
32%
47%
Agree
32%
19%
25%
39%
52%
16%
38%
24%
Neither Agree nor disagree
21%
16%
32%
20%
28%
19%
19%
19%
Disagree
6%
6%
8%
4%
11%
2%
7%
6%
Strongly Disagree
3%
5%
6%
2%
1%
5%
3%
4%

Agreement on "I trust a lot of the news stories I see or hear."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7816
1836
996
1019
1020
1000
934
1011
Strongly Agree
26%
28%
20%
44%
9%
28%
17%
13%
Agree
31%
16%
27%
33%
65%
14%
14%
15%
Neither Agree/
disagree
28%
35%
38%
15%
22%
43%
31%
44%
Disagree
8%
12%
11%
5%
5%
5%
12%
15%
Strongly Disagree
5%
9%
5%
3%
-
9%
5%
13%

Agreement on "Keeping in touch with the news is important for my career success."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7812
1826
996
1019
1020
1000
940
1011
Strongly Agree
32%
40%
16%
38%
6%
51%
34%
42%
Agree
27%
17%
16%
33%
41%
17%
31%
25%
Neither Agree/
disagree
23%
24%
34%
19%
27%
21%
16%
21%
Disagree
11%
9%
20%
6%
24%
4%
12%
7%
Strongly Disagree
6%
10%
15%
4%
3%
7%
6%
5%

Agreement on "Where news is concerned, speed is more important to me than depth of analysis."

Question: Please tell me how much do you agree or disagree on the following statements using a 5 point scale where 5 means 'Strongly agree' and 1 means 'Strongly disagree'.

  Total China Hong Kong India Indonesia Philippines Singapore Thailand
Sample Size
7821
1842
997
1019
1020
1000
932
101
Strongly Agree
21%
27%
16%
28%
5%
26%
20%
21%
Agree
29%
15%
17%
39%
50%
12%
26%
21%
Neither Agree/ disagree
30%
33%
36%
21%
30%
37%
27%
35%
Disagree
12%
12%
20%
9%
15%
8%
20%
13%
Strongly Disagree
7%
12%
10%
3%
1%
16%
7%
9%

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions.

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