SINGAPORE: Around one in five affluent people in Asia-Pacific is now using LinkedIn, the business social network, which has emerged as the fastest-growing media brand among this group of consumers, according to research.

The annual Ipsos Affluent Survey Asia Pacific covered ten countries in the region (Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) polling 19,045 affluent adults, business decision makers and top management over a 12-month period.

The latest edition said that 19.3% of respondents had used LinkedIn during the last 30 days, up 5.6 percentage points on a year earlier.

And that leap, Mumbrella noted, had put it ahead of the leading print brand, an area where venerable US brands Time (16.7%), National Geographic Magazine (16.2%) and Readers Digest (12.8%) continue to dominate.

Despite growing faster than any other media brand, LinkedIn was in seventh place among portals/social media brands, all of which have gained ground to a lesser extent.

Google was top (84.4%, up 1.9 percentage points), followed by YouTube (68.1%, +4.4), Facebook (67.5%, +4.4) and Yahoo (52.4%, +3.0); Skype (25.6%, +1.7) and MSN (19.5%, +1.9) were also above LinkedIn.

That's because business/economics comes well down the list of topics that interest affluent APAC consumers. Travel was top, cited by 63%, followed by music (53%), cooking for pleasure (46%) and sport (42%); business/economics was in fifth place (41%).

The enthusiasm for travel also explained the top two TV brands in terms of reach. The Discovery Channel (45.3%) and National Geographic Channel (42.3%) stood out ahead of CNN (33.8%).

Overall, television – including digital and international – boasted a combined reach of 79% among Asia's affluent; in comparison, the equivalent figure for print was just 49%.

Some people within the industry suggested, however, that the historical approach taken by the Ipsos Affluent Survey was losing relevance.

"These days, we are able to measure audiences to the last millisecond," said Torie Henderson, president, Asia Pacific, global accounts at Omnicom Media Group Asia Pacific.

"Over the long term, you have to question the validity [of the Ipsos Affluent Survey]," she added, although she conceded it was "still useful" for brands seeking a single pan-regional media buy in order to reach a wealthy sub-set in one go.

Data sourced from Ipsos, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff