Over the last few weeks, we have talked about how the mobile ecosystem across Southeast Asia is on a fast track to growth. After taking an in-depth look at the mobile ecosystem across Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, we now chronicle the growth of the mobile ecosystem in Philippines:
- Almost 50% of the population in Philippines has access to Internet today. According to eMarketer, the country currently has over 53 million internet users and this number is estimated to reach 64 million by 2017. In terms of the total number of Internet users, Philippines stands 13th in the world.
- The smartphone user base in Philippines grew by 20% this year to cross 26 million and is expected to touch 33 million by 2017. Over 36% of the country's mobile phone users are smartphone users.
- Much of the Internet usage in Philippines is expected to be driven by smartphones in the coming years as they become the preferred way of accessing Internet and digital content for consumers across the country. This is evident from a StatCounter estimate that suggests that Internet traffic via mobile devices peaked in July 2015, making up for 32% of the overall web traffic. Also, as of 2014, 3G penetration in Philippines was at 40%.
- A global web index report says that people in Philippines spend the highest amount of time on digital media (8 hours per day ) as against that on traditional media ( 6 hours per day). Of the 8 hours, over two and a half hours are spent on online TV while more than 3 hours are spent accessing Internet on mobile devices.
- Filipinos also spend the highest amount of time on social media. According to global web index, an average Filipino spends over 4 hours a day on social media. Nielsen's Consumer and Media View report from 2014 suggests that 93% of Internet users in Philippines are Facebook subscribers and the country currently has over 47 million registered Facebook users.
- As smartphones become the mainstay of all digital content consumption in the country, it is not surprising at all to see an IE Market Research report pegging the mobile entertainment market revenue in the country at USD 133 million by 2016. Mobile music which constitutes to almost 34% of this revenue is estimated to grow from USD 42 million in 2014 to USD 45 million in 2016.
- With E-commerce apps providing a seamless online shopping experience, it is no surprise that more people in Philippines are choosing to shop via smartphones. According to an E-commerce survey by Nielsen, 62% of Filipinos prefer to shop online via their smartphones, much higher than the global average of 44%.
- Furthermore, a report estimates that Philippines currently has over 10 million mobile gamers and over 38% of these mobile gamers spend on mobile games. Strategy games, racing games, action/adventure games are among the most popular mobile game genres.
- Mobile TV revenue in the country is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 28% between 2014 and 2016 to cross USD 4.1 million in 2016.
- What is interesting to note is that a research by NBC Universal on women's content consumption habits suggests that Filipino women multitask while watching TV, with 65% using their smartphones to find out more information on the TV show, follow a celebrity, post comments on a fan page, or simply to just chat with a friend. They look to expand their TV experience with 61% wanting more information on the show that they are watching while 31% look for information on products that are advertised during the show.
Philippines presents a blooming mobile ecosystem that promises a lot of market potential for both marketers and app publishers. The country's hunger for digital content and the increasing preference for smartphones to do everything right from gaming to shopping online means there is ample opportunity to engage the growing mobile internet user base in the country. How this user base and its behavior on mobile evolves in the coming days is something to watch out for.