Why the Asia Pacific region seems to be favourable for second screen, social TV and transmedia projects

Most research on media multitasking is based on viewer behaviour in Europe and the United States, with little attention on the Asia Pacific (APAC) market. Research from eMarketer shows that over 40% of Twitter users will live in the Asia Pacific by 2018, followed with 20% in North America and 15% in Western Europe. With 927.040.742 households, the Asia Pacific market offers huge opportunities for second screen, social TV and transmedia. Research by Casbaa shows that 58% of the world’s multichannel TV homes are now in Asia Pacific, over 80% of the developed APAC population own a smartphone, and tablet ownership is as high as 57% in Hong Kong, 47% in Singapore and 42% in Malaysia.

The Casbaa research included the following countries as part of the Asia Pacific region; Pakistan, India, Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

To understand the specific opportunities in this market this post will look into the second screen and device usage figures from the region.

Second Screen usage in Asia Pacific

MillwardBrown research shows that 5 out of the top 10 countries from the APAC region that are part of the research rank highest in simultaneous usage of mobile devices while watching TV. The Philippines ranks number 1 with 47%, followed by Thailand with 47%, Indonesia with 45%, and South Korea with 45%.

Simultaneous device (second screen) usage

Also on a global level the simultaneous device usage is relatively high for countries in the in the APAC region compared to Europe and even the US. On this map the the green colour represents a relative high simultaneous usage while red equals lower simultaneous usage based on all the countries in the research.

Simultaneous device usage per country

Second screen usage is most relevant for broadcasters if it is related to what is happening on the first screen. MillwardBrown calls this simultaneous device use to look for related content ‘meshing‘. Looking at the world map we see that countries in the APAC region show a relatively high level of meshing (green color) compared to the rest of the world.

% of simultaneous use to look at related content (meshing)

Indeed, if we look at the top 10 countries in terms of the percentage of simultaneous use during which the viewer is looking at related content (meshing) we see that 5 out of 10 countries are from the APAC region:

Countries with highest % of related usage (meshing)

The best Second Screen cases in the Asia Pacific market

We can conclude that the Asia Pacific region seems to be favourable for second screen, social TV and transmedia projects. At the same time there are large differences between countries. In an interview with Lost Remote Lindy Wee, the Director of PR & Conferences for Singapore Exhibition Services and producer of the BroadcastAsia conference, gives a good summary of the characteristics of the region:


The Asian broadcasting space is more fragmented compared to what we observe in the US. Different countries in Asia have different broadcasting regulations, practices, and standards. Their respective markets are also at different stages of development, where access to broadband connections is not uniform, even within a single country. (…) Asia cannot be seen as a single market, hence a single unifying strategy approach cannot be used to capture this diverse yet huge market. Lindy Wee Director of PR & Conferences for Singapore Exhibition Services

The interactive map below shows the percentage of <em>meshing</em> in a country, green means a higher percentage compared to the other regions. It clearly shows that there are big difference in the region, in Thailand around 60% of second screen users are looking for content that is related to the first screen compared to only 32% in Japan.

Map: Meshing in the Asia-Pacific

Because of the fragmented media and broadcasting market and the large differences in broadband and mobile internet access, multiscreen projects that are launched in these markets don’t receive the same attention as US or European projects. The region seems to be a black box when it comes to multiscreen projects for many Western and Latam broadcasters. But there are already many interesting projects from the region. In the coming weeks we will look at some of the most interesting and promising cases from the region starting with the Philippines.

In our next blogs we take a closer look at Jasmine, a transmedia case from TV5 and Hannibal, a second screen case from AXN networks.

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