December 8, 2014

Manila, 4 December 2014: There are now almost three out of four Filipino smartphone users accessing the internet through their phones and they are getting more prolific in how they spend their time online, devoting 174 minutes or close to three hours of their a day, according to a report released by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

Nielsen’s Evolving Digital Consumer report reveals the latest trends in consumers’ digital platform ownership, behavior and attitudes across the Philippines using the only on-device measuring tool in the country. The report provides a comprehensive view of internet usage and how marketers will be able to capitalize on emerging trends to be able to target consumers better through the internet specifically through smartphones or tablets. As part of the study, Nielsen uses an on-device meter that passively captures the behavior of consumers on their smartphones to monitor what consumers actually do with the device.

“The media landscape is transforming exponentially with more consumers getting savvy and sophisticated with how they access content,” states Carlo Santos, Executive Director for Consumer Insights and Technology Industry Practice, Nielsen Philippines. “As we have more consumers connecting to the internet with more frequency, with longer duration, and through various portable devices, marketers have to consider how to tap into this opportunity to engage with the evolving consumer.”

In the report, Filipino smartphone users say that they divide their digital lives on entertainment (78 minutes per day), applications (56 minutes per day), and communications (40 minutes per day). Following their partiality towards entertainment, Google Play Store is the app with the largest overall reach of 90%, and an average of two minutes consumption per smartphone user. The most used app, however, is Facebook with an 89% overall reach, and an average usage of 37 minutes a day per smartphone owner. (See Chart 1).

Mobile device ownership in the Philippines is showing sustained growth this year with smartphone ownership reaching 34% or more than double the ownership registered in 2013, while tablet ownership is at 8% in 2014 compared to 5% last year.

Affordability drives the rise in uptake

Propelling the upsurge of smartphone ownership is the availability of more affordable handsets. “In the Philippines, there are about 50 brands available in the market due to the penetration of manufacturers from China and India as well as the growing number of local brands,” cites Santos. “The accessibility and affordability of mobile devices gives more options for the consumers, including the younger set.” In the report, 16-24 year olds continue to own the largest chunk of ownership from 33% last year to 39% in 2014.

Tablet is the gadget of choice at home

The report reveals that 9 in 10 tablet owners use the device in their homes, accessing the internet through a wifi connection. “While the homes used to be the turf of television, tablets and smartphones are swiftly encroaching on the territory,” observes Santos. “To stay relevant to the consumers, TV and the brands that advertise in this medium must think beyond traditional programming and integrate digital strategies.”

“In the same vein, advertisers have to think differently when it comes to smartphone and tablet advertising,” recommends Santos. “Effective engagement entails more than awareness of the brand. Brands must thoroughly think about their digital strategies. Smartphone owners are a captive audience, spending an average of 174 minutes a day on their smartphones which makes smartphones a good channel to reach consumers. However, for consumers to pay attention to the ad, it has to be different from what they usually see”

Chart 1: Top applications by reach and consumption for smartphones in Q3 2014


Overall Reach (%)

Google Play Store




Google Search




Facebook Messenger


Source: Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights Q3 2014


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