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10 must know facts on the rapidly evolving Indonesian mobile ecosystem


The mobile space in Southeast Asia is seeing a tremendous amount of action. Like every other emerging market that is witnessing rapid smartphone adoption, Indonesia too is seeing smartphones being increasingly preferred as the primary means of internet access and digital content consumption.

As more people in the country move to smartphones, and use them for everything right from accessing music and playing games, to making restaurant reservations and shopping online, the mobile ecosystem in Indonesia will start rapidly evolving and power many new industries or business verticals. Let us look at 10 key trends that are driving the mobile ecosystem in the country:

  1. According to an eMarketer report the number of internet users in Indonesia has gone up to 93 million today from 84 million in 2014, a 12% increase over the previous year. This number is expected to hit 102 million in 2016, taking the country's internet penetration from 36% in 2015 to close to 40% in 2016.           
  2. Most of this growth in internet user base is driven by mobile as the number of mobile internet users in Indonesia grew 22% between 2014 and 2015, going up from 55 million to over 67 million. It is estimated that this number will further growInsights - Indonesia Mobile Ecosystem Growth by 25% taking the total number of mobile internet users in the country to 84 million in 2016.             
  3. Smartphones which are the preferred way of accessing internet and content by these mobile internet users are also seeing strong adoption rates. As of 2015, Indonesia has over 52 million smartphone users and the smartphone user base in the country is growing at a CAGR of almost 35%, going up from 38 million in 2014 to an estimated 69 million in 2016.      
  4. It is also therefore not surprising that a StatCounter report estimates that mobile contributed to 70% of Indonesia's web traffic in 2015 and has already surpassed desktops in 2014.
  5. As more people access internet via smartphones, the demand for digital content on these devices is also going up. Entertainment remains the most popular type of content consumed via smartphones. This is substantiated by an IE Market Research estimate that suggests that the  mobile entertainment market revenue in the country will grow to USD 845 million in 2016. Mobile music revenue constitutes almost 74% of this revenue and is estimated to grow from USD 566 million in 2014 to USD 621 million in 2016.
  6. Mobile gaming revenue in the country saw a 16% increase between 2014 and 2015 going up from USD 9 million to USD 14 million.
  7. Mobile TV (video streaming) revenues are estimated to grow 41% going up from USD 11 million in 2014 to USD 16 million in 2015. By 2016, they are estimated to reach USD 21 million, according IE Market Research.
  8. E-commerce also saw tremendous growth in Indonesia and according to estimates that the total online retail sales in the country grew from USD 2.6 billion in 2014 to USD 3.5 billion in 2015, almost a 37% growth. This growth figure is expected to reach USD 4.4 billion in 2016.
  9. eMarketer observes that the number of online shoppers grew from 5.9 million in 2014 to 7.4 million in 2015, at a rate of 25% and the figure is expected to go up to 8.7 million in 2016.
  10. As more companies come to terms with the fact that their audience is increasingly moving for all their content and E-commerce needs, there would be increased focus on engaging them on mobile. This is evident from the fact that mobile ad spends have been growing at a very fast pace with a CAGR of 107%. In 2015, the mobile ad spends in Indonesia grew by 200% from USD 40 million to USD 130 million and are expected to grow to USD 740 million in 2017 according to eMarketer estimates. The share of mobile in digital ad spends is constantly increasing. In 2014, mobile ad spends were 9.3% of digital ad spends while in 2015 they made up for 15.5%. This share is expected to go up further to 31.8% by 2017.

What this means for marketers is a burgeoning opportunity to engage the growing mobile internet user base in Indonesia. For app publishers, there is chance to tap into the growing 'app'onomy and grow their app business.


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