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Study Video news critical in Asia media markets

A new report commissioned by The Associated Press (AP) reveals how news providers can attract online audiences in Asian markets. The report, entitled “Lift Off: The new era for video news in Asia,” based on a survey of an online population of 4,500 respondents from China, Japan and Indonesia, shows that local and international news outlets can increase customer retention by meeting the growing demand for video news. 

Produced by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and conducted by market research leaders GfK on behalf of AP, the report finds that Asia has developed a unique appetite for news among Internet users compared to western media markets. For example, 98 percent of respondents in Asia use a portal or aggregator on a regular basis. The report shows that Asia’s rapid adoption of digital content can provide clues for more mature and emerging media markets on how to differentiate from competitors and engage their audience. 
“Our report looks across three quite different markets to understand how online news outlets can thrive in Asia,” said Maria Ronson, vice president of sales for Asia at AP. “This research confirms that, while there is no ‘one-strategy-fits-all’ for news providers’ online approach to the Asian market, there is a huge demand for engaging content.” 
She added: “With audiences willing to experiment with multiple sources, especially on new devices, video news offers an important way of differentiating from the competition and building loyalty.” Among the study’s key findings: 
  • Demand for content via mobile devices. In developing Asian markets, many consumers are moving online for the first time on a mobile device or tablet rather than via personal computer. In China, the research found 75 percent of all survey respondents said they had accessed news on their mobile or smartphone. Nearly a third of the population owns a smartphone, and 16 percent of the Chinese survey base has used apps to learn about breaking news. Eighteen percent of Chinese consumers use a tablet and three-quarters use their device to watch a video news story at least two or three times a week. 
  • With tablet penetration increasing rapidly across the world, users may come to expect rich content tailored to their large-screen personal devices. Tablet users in Japan are more likely to watch news videos online than people using other devices, and are almost twice as likely to access video every day or most days, compared to smartphone owners. Among our Indonesian survey group, which represents more affluent, urban online consumers, 51 percent have used a smartphone and 24 percent a tablet to access news. 
  • The impact of video news. In most Asian countries video is critical in order to stand out in a crowded online market. 93 percent of online news video users surveyed said that video is essential to an appealing news website or app, with 91 percent claiming it improved their understanding of a story. The study also reveals what holds back audiences from watching video content online. In China and Japan, among those who didn’t watch online videos, an average of 39 percent cited not enough videos available on topics of interest to them. While in Indonesia, 41 percent will consider not watching video content because of a slow Internet connection. When connectivity improves, content providers must be ready to meet this latent demand. 
  • Analysing the online competition. The research found that news providers face a challenge to differentiate content in an increasingly competitive and accessible online market. 78 percent of respondents to our survey told us that they often or always use more than one source for a given news story. On average, Chinese and Indonesian online news consumers will consult between four and five news websites on a story of interest. In contrast, the average UK consumer uses just two sites for day-to-day news. The desire to verify news by using multiple sources is greatest among higher socioeconomic groups, suggesting that as levels of education and income continue to rise, news outlets will have to work harder to differentiate themselves and maintain customer loyalty. 
  • Breaking news on social networks. In Asia social media is becoming a key source of breaking news for online populations. Among the countries surveyed, this trend is strongest in Indonesia, where 18 percent of respondents look to share, discuss and verify news among their peers. Across the region, 9 percent of consumers in Asia discover news through social media, compared with 4 percent in Europe, suggesting people now instinctively incorporate social into their consumption of online content, including news. This is driven by a view among many Asian consumers that social media provides more up-to-date, accurate news and shows which stories are important to other people. 
“This research highlights an exciting area of opportunity for news providers. The growth of mobile broadband networks and the availability of low-cost mobile devices in Asia means tens of millions of consumers are now able to discover and access a rich online media experience,” said Matthew Guest, Head of Digital Strategy for Deloitte Europe, “Our findings strongly suggest that online video will play a vital role in creating appealing news experiences for consumers in countries that are seeing a combination of economic growth, rising incomes and rapid improvements in communications infrastructure.” 
Download a copy of the report at:
NOTE TO EDITORS: a copy of the full report is available upon request. All research was undertaken online, and fieldwork took place in July 2013 in China, Japan and Indonesia. All statistics used within this press release relate to UK respondents. Geographically representative samples of 1,500 respondents were used in each country. Fieldwork was carried out by GfK and the report, written by Deloitte, was funded by AP. 

About GfK 

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.51 billion. In December 2012 GfK won the coveted award for ‘Best Research Agency with a turnover over £20m’ in the UK by the Market Research Society. For further information, visit our website: Follow us on Twitter: 


Simon Bibby
Speed Communications
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