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Digital is 'new playground' for SE Asia kids

News, 14 January 2016

SINGAPORE: Children in Southeast Asia still watch a lot of television but, faced with a choice, two thirds would opt for the internet, according to a study which describes digital as "the new playground" for the region's kids.

SuperAwesome, a children-oriented digital marketing platform, interviewed 1,800 children between the ages of six and 14 across five ASEAN markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – to discover their media consumption habits.

Half (51%) watched between one and two hours of TV every day, while three in ten (29%) managed between three and four hours, Campaign Asia-Pacific reported.

But 66% said they would rather only use the internet than only watch TV. The proportion increased with age but was over half for all age groups: 58% for 6-8 year olds, 65% for 9-11 year olds and 75% for 12-14 year olds.

There were some significant differences in individual countries – 83% of children in Thailand would opt for internet over TV compared to just 51% in Indonesia for example – but SuperAwesome attributed these to broadband reliability.

TV remains important for the moment, the study said, but added that brands that only used TV for communication would lose out eventually. It highlighted opportunities in mobile and multi-platform games and gaming apps.

The age-related preference for the internet was evident in children's after-school activities. One quarter (24%) of 6-8 year olds regularly went online when school had finished, rising to 36% for 9-11 year olds and 50% for 12-14 year olds.

Access to the digital world was achieved via the usual array of devices, but in all markets smartphones were most popular, especially in Thailand and Singapore where 87% of children had used them.

Tablets were the second favourite device in most markets, bar Vietnam (53%) where they were pipped by desktops (54%) and only just ahead of laptops (52%).

It was also the case that a high proportion of children owned their own smartphone or tablet – almost half for the former and around one third for the latter.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff