VIETNAM: Major Mobile Media Takeover

ALEX QUEJADO WRITES — Where do we look for new media information, and what medium do we use to find it? Have traditional media outlets—newspapers, radio, and television—lost their prominence? With the rise of mobile devices, this seems to be the case in Southeast Asia, and most notably in Vietnam.

Much like the rest of the world, an increasing number of Southeast Asians are turning to mobile devices as their medium of choice for digital news consumption. According to Nielsen, a reported 80% of consumers use a smartphone, while 50% have access to a tablet. Laptops, however, are the preferred platform for online video content. The majority of respondents watch video content weekly; Vietnam tops the rest of Southeast Asia with 91% of respondents reportedly watching internet content.

With the advent of mobile devices and virtual media, interesting consumption habits have developed. Netizens found themselves multitasking with their media, meaning more than one device is used to view multiple media platforms at once. Approximately 90% of users were found using more than one device at a time. Once again, Vietnam demonstrates its social media prowess, with 84% of respondents using three devices at once.

These habits do not come without concern, however. Phuong Nghi, a pharmacy student in Vietnam, worried her parents with her social media consumption. Her parents foresaw this and refused to buy her a smartphone, prompting her to buy her own. Now she watches 8 hours of content daily. The typical Southeast Asian media consumer averages around 22 hours of media consumption each week, which is 3 hours more than the average in 2011.

Though Nghi’s case may be extreme, her habits may illustrate the near future of social media consumption in Vietnam, the rest of Southeast Asia, and perhaps the world at large. But this issue can be dealt with in due time.  Meanwhile, mobile media proves itself to be a worthy alternative to traditional media sources. Without a doubt, mobile media is here to stay.

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