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Media and entertainment central to daily life in the Philippines


MANILA — Leading global market research firm Synovate today announced the Media Atlas Philippines study results, revealing that the lives of Filipinos revolve around many forms of media and entertainment. Whilst television remains the channel which people spend the most time with, there are striking differences between social classes and age groups. Fifty-seven percent of those aged 15 to 24 access the Internet, as opposed to just 15% of those aged 55 years or older. For those with home Internet access, there has almost been a complete switch to wired and wireless high speed or broadband services, with just 10% still on dial-up systems.

“Access to the Internet is often seen as important for education, business and personal life. Some countries are even considering making access a fundamental right. At this stage, 36% nationwide have Internet access,” says Carole Sarthou, Managing Director of Synovate in the Philippines.

“Whilst 68% of the AB upper socio groups claim to have Internet access, the figures drop to 29% for D socio and 14% for the lowest grade - E socio,” adds Sarthou.

The Philippines has often been described as the SMS capital of the world. Ninety-seven percent of those with mobiles have the ability to send / receive SMS, and the overwhelming majority across all age groups uses it. Other popular features are mobile gaming, taking photos and listening to music.

Filipinos are very social: of those with Internet access, the top activity is communicating with people via email or chat - seven out of ten people do this - and social networking occupies four out of ten online users. Information search is used by 56%, showing how empowering the Internet can be.

Newspapers remain a firm favourite, with 30% of the population reading one or more local language or English titles. Close to one quarter (24%) read magazines.

“Print readers tend to be more upscale, offering good targeting opportunities to advertisers,” comments Steve Garton, Executive Director - Media, Synovate. “English dailies and magazines offer their highest reach into the important Greater Manila Area where higher socio targets are at their most concentrated.”

In terms of other lifestyle characteristics, visiting a sari-sari store remains the first choice for 88% of Filipinos in the past month, followed by seven in ten going to pharmacies / drug stores and wet markets.

“Going shopping and eating out appear to be an established lifestyle. Six out of ten have visited convenience stores, department stores and malls, supermarkets and fast food outlets in the past month,” says Sarthou.

“There are obvious favourites for shoppers in terms of household products. Close to eight in ten now own a DVD player, whilst two-thirds have a refrigerator and washing machine. Many household products are usually found in upscale homes, for example whilst the average for microwave oven ownership is 27%, it is 85% in AB upper socio groups,” continues Sarthou.

There is plenty of scope ahead for some marketers, notably in financial services. Overall, the current figure for having life insurance is 14%, whilst 12% have a credit card – rising to 48% for upper socio.

“With 87% of Filipinos saying money is difficult these days, leading to them reducing or rationalizing expenses, financial institutions can play a key role in helping people to achieve a better life,” says Garton.

About the Synovate Media Atlas Philippines survey

Synovate Media Atlas Philippines covers all major urban areas in the Philippines with an annual sample of 8,000 interviews conducted by a combination of telephone and face to face interviews at the home of the respondents. The fieldwork period for the information provided here is from July 2009 to June 2010.

About Synovate

Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates insights to help clients drive competitive brand, product and customer experience strategies. A truly borderless company with offices in over 60 countries, our ’biggest small company’ approach combines best in class global research capabilities with personalised service, local knowledge and the flexibility to create teams and processes that meet clients’ specific requirements. At Synovate, our clients sit at the top of our organisational chart, driving us to continually develop more innovative research solutions that predict actual business outcomes.

For more information on Synovate visit


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