HONG KONG: Asia-Pacific now has more internet users than any other part of the world and is also the fastest-growing digital region, a new report has shown.
Figures from comScore's Digital Future in Focus report indicated that 41% of global internet users are now in Asia-Pacific, with 27% in Europe and 14% in North America.
The digital research firm's study comes at a time of ever-increasing fragmentation in media use, with smartphones, tablets, gaming platforms and other emerging devices challenging the dominance of internet access once held by computers.
comScore also found that users are increasingly “agnostic” in terms of platform use, happily engaging a wide variety of platforms and switching from one to another throughout the day.
Vietnam has the largest number of digital natives in South-East Asia, showing 14% growth on the year, while the Philippines reported the fastest growth in users in that region, with a 22% rise since 2012.
In Asia-Pacific generally, China has 55.2% of the internet population, followed by Japan on 12.2% and India and South-East Asia on 10% each.
In terms of online engagement, North America remains the global leader, at an average 37.2 hours per visitor per month, followed by Europe on 26.8, while Asia-Pacific trails on 17.2.
However, the latter region reported the fastest growth in time spent online, up 7% year on year, compared to Europe on +5% and North America on +1%.
This, comScore concluded, was because of the younger demographic across Asia-Pacific, and in this respect Thailand and Vietnam drove the growth.
Social networking sites capture the largest percentage of online time in Asia-Pacific, with Facebook continuing to dominate, having three of its top 15 nations in terms of reach in the region.
Entertainment and online video continue to grow across the world, and YouTube remains the top video property in all markets.
comScore conceded that “integration between delivery of content and the ability to deliver campaigns in a multiplatform fashion remains a challenge” for content providers, but suggested that it is by doing this that they will enhance value to marketers.
Data sourced from Comscore; additional content by Warc staff