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Feb, 2021     

SEA: Bytes On Digital Diet

Students are the key consumer cohort with the highest digital activity followed by salaried employees and self-employed professionals


1. Last year witnessed a dramatic increase in time spent on digital channels – platforms aiding some form of personal development saw relatively higher jumps

Most internet sectors witnessed a 20%+ increase in the time spent across geographies as consumers embrace their digital personalities.

Personal Development category has been the primary beneficiary of this increase in adoption. This marks a shift of consumer demand towards utilizing digital medium for upskilling and staying updated about the worldly affairs.

COVID impact on daily time spent, % of respondents, N = 600

2. EdTech emerged as the key beneficiary in acquisition/retention as lifelong learning becomes important in a rapidly evolving economy

EdTech was the standout sector which saw highest increase in usage and retention. Online Media witnesses the next highest boost.

Among the different age cohorts –

1. 18-24 year olds represent a well penetrated age cohort and hence the spike is low. High increase in time spent on Online education (as classes went online for this cohort) could also be a reason for other channels to see lower impact.

2. For 25 – 38 year olds, user stickiness is only observed in Edtech as they are young professionals who aspire to remain relevant in Industry 4.0.

3. For 46+ year olds, there is a noticeable uptick in both Edtech and Online Media. This is because they enjoy greater time for leisure and are turning to online medium for self learning/ recreation.

Pre COVID Daily Time spent vs Retention by Age Cohorts, % of respondents, N = 600

3. Students are the key consumer cohort with the highest digital activity followed by salaried employees and self-employed professionals

Among the different occupation cohorts-

1. Students are they key demography for digital engagement with high usage across categories

2. Salaried Employees represent an important consumer cohort with inclination towards online leisure and upskilling

3. Consumer who are not working are primarily focusing on networking through social media and upskilling themselves through EdTech

Pre COVID Daily Time spent vs Retention by Occupation, % of respondents, N = 600

Note: Margin enhancement is typically achieved by placing more focus on refurbishment, feature enhancement etc, thereby increasing the perceived value of the vehicle

4. Upper middle SEC consumers have witnessed the highest retention in digital consumption with a distinct inclination towards Online Media

Amid the various socio economic classes-

1. Upper Middle class has witnessed the highest upsurge in digital engagement which was previously a relatively low engagement cohort

2. While Lower Middle class had an initial spike in digital usage, retention had been slightly muted. However, EdTech is emerging as a standout sector for Lower Middle class

3. Consumers in the High SEC class are exhibiting high stickiness in EdTech and Online Media which were previously low engagement sectors

Pre COVID Daily Time spent vs Retention by SEC Class, % of respondents, N = 600

5. Philippines and Thailand house the most digitally active consumers owing to a young population and high smart phone usage

Philippines – with the youngest population in SEA -is maintaining it’s leadership position in daily time spent across activities, witnessing the maximum increase in Edtech. MY & SG saw the highest upsurge in time spent across most channels – this can be attributed to the relatively higher impact of the pandemic in the region from a # of cases standpoint, resulting in more stringent social distancing measures.

Vietnam’s relative lower increase can be attributed to the muted impact of the pandemic in the region, owing to strong, targeted measures early into the outbreak.