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A Strategic Assessment of Asia’s

Digital Communications Market

Presented by Quang Ngoc
Strategist in Communications
Brief Overview
• 2007 was remembered as the year the balance tipped.
For the first time, Asia Pacific takes the global lead in
some key aspects of the digital marketing mix. Both the
total number of broadband users and market penetration
is highest in Asia Pacific. The region boasts the largest
number of Internet users, surpassing the US and
Europe, and mobile penetration remains higher than
anywhere else in the world.
• According to the latest data from Internet World Stats,
36% of the world’s online population now live in Asia.
• Mobile penetration remains higher than anywhere else in
the world. According to Informa, Hong Kong, Australia
and Taiwan are the world’s top three markets in terms of
penetration - the first two with rates exceeding 100%.
An Overview of Asia’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• And for the first time the number of Asian users accessing the
Internet over their mobile phones exceeds the entire Internet
connected population of the US.
• Asia is driving the digital marketing industry too. Merrill Lynch
predicts that global online ad spend will reach US$14.5 billion in
2007. That represents an increase of 24% from 2006 - and Asia will
be the driving engine. The highest growth rates for 2007 are
predicted to come from China (50%), Australia (42.6%), South
Korea (30.5%) and Japan (30%).
• But the passing of the torch to Asia Pacific is not just about statistics
and the growth of the Web – the region is also at the leading edge of
many technologies and marketing techniques, and showing bursts
of creative work on par with that found anywhere.
• From the earliest days of the Internet, Asia Pacific needed to look to
the West to find best practice and fresh ideas. Now the level of the
bar internationally is being set in the region.
An Overview of Asia’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• Some examples: Japanese e-commerce; Korea social networking
and viral marketing; 3G and IPTV in Hong Kong, mobile Internet
marketing in China; and online communities and communication in
India and Australia. As would be expected from the year Time
magazine named “you” as the person of the year, user generated
content and the realisation that the consumer is in control have
dominated the strategies of marketers (according to new research
from Microsoft, nearly 50% of Asia’s Internet users have their own
• That being said, search is still an evolving game changer, and email
and rich media remain strong. Asia Pacific still posts the highest
email open rates in the world at 30.1% (source: Epsilon
International, Email Trends Update and Benchmark Data Q3 2006
APAC), and broadband is fueling rich media innovation. Interactive
games continue to grow in popularity - In-Stat predicts the region’s
online games revenues will hit US$6.8 billion by 2010 - with online
gambling also on the rise.
An Overview of Asia’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• Mobile and multimedia continue their relentless growth, with lots of excitement and
creative activity while still comprising a relatively small piece of the pie.
• Speaking of pies, despite 30+ % annual growth rates, digital marketing still captures
only about 3% of all advertising dollars in the region. This is in part due to the fact that
total media revenue including traditional outlets is also growing, and from a far larger
base than online and mobile. Still, 3% seems remarkably low, considering that the
Web is among the top three consumed media types (right up there with TV, print and
outdoor) in most markets in the region. Especially within younger demographics,
users spend the majority of their media time online and on the mobile, often while
• consuming other media. That being said, ZenithOptimedia predicts that come 2008,
Web-based advertising will represent more than 10% of total ad spend in eight new
global markets (not including the UK, Norway and Sweden which have already
passed this milestone). And four of them are right here in Asia: Australia, Japan,
South Korea and Taiwan. For all its growth and vibrancy, digital marketing in the Asia
Pacific region still has issues that threaten the relevance of the medium. After a
decrease in 2006, spam is on the rise again, with threats from “image spam” that
continues to outwit ever sophisticated technology, and the proliferation of mass,
unsolicited mobile and fax messages.
An Overview of Asia’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• A recent study by Symantec revealed that the nearly
70% of all emails that come from Asia turn out to be
spam, or unsolicited ads. Not only that, but more than
20% of all malicious activities on the Web in 2H 2006
came from the Asia Pacific region too. Despite these
threats, which are by no means unique to the region, the
year the balance tipped offers unprecedented business
opportunities for marketers and advertisers, and the
entire digital marketing “ecosystem” of portals, mobile
operators, communications service providers, games
and entertainment companies, handset manufacturers,
interactive agencies and the rest. The Asia Digital
Marketing Yearbook brings together the most up-to-date
and freely available data on Asia’s online population.
An Overview of Vietnam’s Digital
Communications Market
• Demographics
• There were an estimated 14,913,652 Internet users in Vietnam in
January 2007, representing 17.5% of the population. Vietnam has
shown incredible growth rates of 7,356.8% since 2000 when it had
only 200,000 Internet users. Vietnam’s Internet users represent
3.7% of Asia’s online population. (Source: Internet World Stats)
• The number of Internet users in Vietnam is forecast to increase to
around 30 million, according to the Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications. (Source: VietnamNet)
• The government has announced plans to increase the Vietnam’s
Internet penetration rate to 35% by 2010 - and will invest VND100.5
trillion (US$6.3 billion) by 2010 to meet its target.
• (Source: Internet World Stats)
An Overview of Vietnam’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• In the last three years, Vietnam’s mobile phone market has boomed, exceeding the
economy’s 8% average growth rate. The number of subscribers increased by 7
million - a 70% jump - last year to reach 17 million people. Prediction: Vietnam will
have 46 million mobile users by 2010, growing at a rate of 270% from today’s level.
• (Source: Wireless Asia)
• Vietnam will see an GDP growth of 16% due to the growing ubiquity of mobiles in the
next four years.
• (Source: Wireless Asia)
• Vietnam’s Internet Users Characteristics %
• Male 41%
• Female 24%
• 18-30 53%
• 31-40 23%
• 42-50 10%
• Access Point
• At Internet café 3%
• At work 15%
• At home 31%
An Overview of Vietnam’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• Internet service 50%
• Usage a week
• Less than 30 min 13%
• 31-60 min 40%
• 1-2 hours 22%
• 2-3 hours 15%
• 3-4 hours 4%
• 4-5 hours 1%
• (Source: ACNielsen Omnibus, Internet Usage in
HCMC and Hanoi)
An Overview of Vietnam’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• E-commerce
• Vietnam’s online travel market is expected to grow by a rate of 202.8% from now until 2010. (Source:
• 45% of households in Vietnam have PCs, compared to 41% in 2005; and 72% of households have a mobile
phone, up from 69% in 2005.
• (Source: ACNielsen)
• 10% of households across Vietnam are predicted to make their purchases online by 2010.
• (Source: NhanDhan)
• Internet Usage, by Activity, Age
• Activity 18-30 41-50
• Chatrooms 72% 43%
• News/current affairs 63% 81%
• Play games 57% 14%
• Email 38% 34%
• Watching movies 33% 0%
• Study/homework 15% 3%
• Work 14% 27%
• Dating online 11% 0%
• Job search 5% 0%
• Listening to music 3% 0%
• Shopping online 3% 3%
• Checking the weather 2% 2%
• (Source: ACNielesen, Uses of the Inetrnet in HCMC and Hanoi)
An Overview of Vietnam’s Digital
Communications Market Continued
• Online Advertising
• Online advertising revenues in Vietnam are
• estimated to reach US$4 million at the end of 2006,
• a US$2.1 million year-on-year increase from 2005.
• (Source: VietnamNet)
• The 2005 turnover from online advertising was
• VND60 billion (US$3.7 million) - 0.5% of the market
• value of Vietnam’s domestic advertisement market.
• (Source: VietnamNet)
• The online advertising market is estimated to grow
• at a rate of 70-100% by 2010, with expected
• revenues of VND500 billion (US$31 million).
• (Source: VietnamNet)
• Top Web Sites
• 1. Yahoo!
• 2.
• 3. VnExpress
• 4. Bao Khuyen hoc & Dan tri Online
• 5.
• (Source:, April 2007)