Philippine Internet use rises

Published by rudy Date posted on March 27, 2009

The Internet use in the Philippines grew last year on the back of higher research and social networking activities accompanies by the expansion of internet centers and digital media, an AC Nielsen-Yahoo Net Index report said.

In a press briefing, Jay Bautista, AC Nielsen Media Philippines executive director said the country’s Internet users account 28 percent of the total 35 million urban population last year. About 70 percent of the Internet users are between the ages of 10 to 29 year old.

Last year’s Internet use was higher than in 2007, which stood at 23 percent of the total urban population.

Bautista said the Internet usage is expected to expand by 10 percent this year from the estimated 10 million Internet users last year despite slower economic activities.

“Given the profile and activities [of the internet users], it could be recession proof,” Bautista said.

Meanwhile, the International Data Corp. (IDC) reported higher Internet users in the country, which is pegged at 15 million to 20 million.

The AC Nielsen-Yahoo Net Index is an Internet media study of urban Internet users in the Philippines conducted in October to November last year in 22 major cities nationwide. It had a sample size of 1,200 with respondents of 10 years old and above across all economic classes who have used the Internet at least once a month.

Based on the research findings, about 28 percent of the Filipinos have access the Internet.

“The aggressive marketing of the telecommunication companies, which spent P1 billion in advertising last year, is one of the factors that increase the internet use, as well as infrastructure improvement from dial up to broadband connection and wireless connection. Online cost also gone down,” Bautista said.

He added that the Internet cafes are important Internet access point, which is a big factor in the increase of Internet consumption. About 71 percent of users have accessed the Internet from Internet cafés in the past three months due to cheap Internet cost and 47 percent of all Internet time are spent in Internet cafés.

Social networking also is a key online activity, which 51 percent claimed to have revisited a social networking site. About 1 in 3 Filipino Internet users have a blog [or online journal] while about 63 percent of the Yahoo e-mail contacts in the Philippines are living abroad.

The rapid growth of digital media also increased the growth of online users, particularly those who are going online to communicate with family and friends here and abroad.

In terms of media access/device ownership, Bautista said 93 percent of the total urban population last year had television access, up from 91 percent in 2007 while radio is stable at 82 percent. The DVD users also increased to 58 percent from 53 percent, mobile phones increased to 55 percent from 49 percent and home Internet access grew 7 percent from 5 percent.

Email, instant messaging and search are the most common online activities for Filipino Internet users, which Yahoo is the dominant web-based e-mail.

Also, about 53 percent of Internet users play online games, who are likely below 20 years old and are males. About 23 percent of Internet users regularly send Internet text.

Meanwhile, online transactions or commerce remain low as only 3 percent of Internet users conduct online banking activities or make online purchases.

Internet usage is higher among the younger segments, half of those below 20 years old have accessed the internet while 41 percent of ages 20 to 29 years old have accessed the internet.

In terms of media reach, Bautista said about 92 percent of the urban population use TV, down from 98 percent in 2007. Radio consumption, on the other hand, rose to 80 percent from 71 percent while print consumption declined to 15 percent from 19 percent as well as magazine at 7 percent from 16 percent.

Cinema consumption declined to 16 percent from 18 percent due to higher DVD use, which climbed 58 percent from 53 percent.

He said most of the advertising revenues of P160 billion last year went to television and radio.

“This study reveals the opportunity for marketers and media planners in the Philippines to re-examine advertising strategies and utilize the internet as an effective way to reach and engage with target consumers,” Jojo Añonuevo, Yahoo Philippines general manager, said.

Anoñuevo said the online advertising is projected to grow by 20 percent for display advertisement and 300 percent for search advertisement in 2010 from 2008.

Online election campaign is also projected to increase, particularly during in the upcoming national elections next year. –Maricel E. Burgonio, Reporter, Manila Times

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