Category Archives: Trends

Mobile searches booming in Malaysia

A study conducted by Google Malaysia has found that mobile searches among Malaysians is growing in an accelerated rate.

According to the study, the total number of 3G subscribers in Malaysia to date is 10 million with over 51% of adults using a smartphone.

“Interestingly, 49% of Malaysians now have access to the Internet more on smartphone than on computer and 35% of Malaysians only access the Internet through their smartphone,” said Google Malaysia managing director Sajith Sivanandan.

A continuously growing number, the study revealed that as of last year 20% of Malaysians use search twice a week or less while 13% search three to seven times a week, 24% search two to thee times a day while 36% search four or more times a day.

“The device most used for search is the mobile phone, where 52% of Malaysians use it while 36% conduct their searches on computers or laptops and 12% with tablets. Malaysians no longer wait until they go home to search for something, they do it on the go,” said Sajith.

“What’s more interesting is that 24% of women are more likely to use mobile as main device for search compared to men.”

Mobile search has impacted consumer’s shopping behaviour, especially for online purchases and younger people, he added.

“In terms of mobile search triggers action, the study has revealed that nine out of 10 mobile searches lead to looking for more information while visiting a store or site to outright purchasing. These mobile searches help in decision making.”

For mobile ads, he said one out of four people searching on their mobile phone and exposed to these ads are more likely to visit a store or site and are twice likelier to buy something related to the ad.

Google Malaysia also announced that as of today, its online searches for mobile will be more streamlined to cater to the needs of those without a 3G or LTE connection.

“Malaysians are searching on smartphones all the time, but when you’re parked underground with poor connectivity and need to find out something, having to wait for results to load on a slow connection can feel like eternity,” said Sajith.

The new streamlined version of Google’s search page is now allows one to load answers even in slow connections.

“We now automatically check if a user has slow connection and deliver fast loading version of the searches with fewer bytes. The results will remain the same but elements such as images and maps will only show up when they are an essential part of the result.”



ASquare Media News department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Mobile Money Market to Reach $78.02 Billion by 2019

According to a new market research report, the Mobile Money market is expected to grow from $12.34 Billion in 2014 to $78.02 Billion by 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 44.6% in next four years. The proliferation of smart devices and the widespread availability of mobile data coverage in many regions is pushing the adoption of mobile financial services, especially among regions with larger unbanked populations where Mobile Money services are proving to become a great financial system alternative. In other regions, technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC), which is already being provided as a built-in feature among newer devices, and also the increasing level of security provided by service providers across their payment platforms and applications is pushing more people to adopt mobile financial services such as mobile wallet services.

Mobile Money services provided by MNOs, banks, and payment processing agents prominently include the usage of mobile phones for a wide range of payments including to transfer electronic money, send and receive international remittances, send and receive money from one mobile device to another, deposit and withdraw money, book travel or movie tickets, make bill payments, pay utility bills, make airtime transfers, and recharge top-ups among various others.

According to the report, Mobile Money services are still accessed through Short Messaging Service (SMS) by users. Mobile subscribers also widely leverage the usage of mobile money solutions via direct mobile billing, mobile web/ Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) payments and SIM ToolKit (STK)/ Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). The report highlighted that the major vendors of the global Mobile Money Market are Vodafone Group, Gemalto, MasterCard, Orange and Mahindra Comviva.


ASquare Media News department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Five ad trends for marketers before Mobile World Congress

Digital advertising growth has traditionally been driven by desktop and online. With brands increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach, mobile is pivotal to ad success. It brings all other platforms together due to the personal experience it offers.

The shape of the mobile ad industry is consistently evolving and as such the trends we are seeing continue to shift along with it. When planning mobile-specific or integrated campaigns, marketers need to consider the types of handsets users use, app behaviour and global adoption of mobile ads.

Android gets most mobile traffic

Ad traffic and revenues vary between device operating systems so understanding the pros and cons of each can significantly benefit marketers.

According to Opera Mediaworks’ ‘State of Mobile Advertising’ report for the last three months of 2014, Android saw the majority (63%) of mobile ad traffic over that period, with more than six in 10 ad impressions served on its devices.

This marks a significant change from 2013, when Android only captured 38%, falling short of iOS’s 43% share of the market.

But Apple gets the spend

In revenue terms, Android began closing the gap in Q3 last year, rising to nearly 42% of total revenue compared to iOS’s 51%. Despite this, Apple retained a solid lead for revenue generation and monetisation in Q4 with a 52% share of spend compared to Android’s 41%.

Apple’s firm grip on revenue generation appears to be due to its favourable market position in Western markets, in particular in the United States, Germany and UK.

Users spend time in apps

Today, users are more inclined to interact with apps than the mobile browser, which means that in-app advertising is much more lucrative than ever. As much as 70% of Opera Mediaworks’ ad impressions are in-app, which accounts for 3bn UK and 64bn global impressions.

The apps a user downloads onto their smartphone says a lot about their personality and likely behaviour towards ads being served to them. Social networking, music, gaming, video and media categories continue to be clear leaders in traffic volume terms and receive the highest number of impressions globally.

Interestingly, gaming apps present the most significant revenue potential – in Q4 2014, gaming app impressions represented 14% of the total (up from 5% in 2013) and revenue from these jumped from just 3% to 21% within the same period.

In-app ads will grow significantly over the next few years as apps downloaded in the UK alone are expected to rise to 15.5bn by 2018. Therefore marketers that are not already using an in-app strategy should take note of the potential success they are missing out on.

Asia is rising

Ad interactions and behaviour towards different mobile ads varies between regions. In fact, the global dominance of mobile ads has meant that the US no longer has a stronghold on the overall market landscape and it is the emerging markets that are becoming the significant regions for growth.

This is particularly true of Asia Pacific and Africa as smartphone adoption in these regions is beginning to spur mobile ad impressions.

Smartphone adoption rates across 29 Asia Pacific countries spiked from 48% to 60% in 2014 and meant that they accounted for 26% of global ad impressions compared to the US’s share of 44%.

Africa is mobile-first

Even Africa has become a hotbed for mobile growth. At the end of 2013, the region only accounted for 1% of the global mobile ad market but this grew to nearly 5% by the end of last year.

The growth is being driven by the increase in internet usage through mobile devices. In fact, roughly 58% of Africans access the internet from their mobile device and in countries such as Kenya, 99% of internet users gain access through their mobile.

This global evaluation provides marketers with a broader demographic that they can target, significantly increasing the number of eyeballs internationally.

These global changes underscore the trend towards true “globalisation” of mobile advertising, opening up an entirely new breadth of possibilities for both traffic and revenue generation – hence a wider audience for markets to reach.

Why Facebook Inc (FB) Could Touch $100 In 2015

After recording an impressive 43% return in 2014, Facebook Inc stock has potential to touch $100 a share by the end of this year. The optimism is justified as there are several reasons that indicate growth in the revenue and earnings of the social media giant.

The company has beaten analysts’ revenue expectations consecutively for the previous eight quarters, while beating earning expectations for the last seven.


The acquisition of Instagram in 2014 for a billion dollars was a move that was expected to bring additional revenues and earnings for Facebook. It has been rapidly acquiring businesses and social media platforms to expand its business manifold. Several analysts expect Instagram, with more than 300 million users, to bring in more than $450 million to the social media giant’s revenue in 2015.

User Base

The smartphone revolution has not shown any signs of slowing down for the past couple of years. In fact, the smartphone market is set to increase more and more, along with technological developments and innovative solutions that are coming up at a pace not recorded before.

With the growth of the smartphone market, and a gradual decline in the PC and tablet market, the world’s most favorite apps will continue to rule the mobile world. Facebook Inc’s mobile app has become one of the most favorite apps of smartphone users, while other apps that are owned by the social media giant, such as Instagram and Whatsapp, have also shared the prestige of being some of the most favorite global apps.

The phenomenal growth recorded in the East and other emerging and frontier markets has created more opportunities for Facebook to capitalize on, as millions of new users are expected to become a part of its two billion plus user base.

Monthly Active Users (MAU) of Facebook are more than 1.35 billion people. As desktops and PCs decline and Internet penetration picks up pace, the addition of several million people to the mobile world will further enhance the revenue generation of the social media company.

As the masses shift to smartphones, an addition of 70 million in MAUs of the social media giant was recorded in the last quarter. The company has been experiencing a slowdown in the growth of its users, which is why the company is making efforts to attract more and more people.

Facebook Inc. has been trying to initiate a partnership with Google Inc. to allow YouTube to be associated with the social media platform, a strategic move that is believed to help the company expand its reach; though nothing can be said about the materiality of the deal between the two giants.

Ad Revenues

Growing mobile connectivity and social networking all around the globe brings the ever-increasing growth in ad revenue. Mobile ads have recorded growth of more than 100%YoY in 4QFY14, beating the market’s expectation of 89%.

The company’s mobile ads generated revenues of $2.48 billion, while the desktop ads earned $1.14 billion. Several analysts expect Facebook to record a 43% YoY growth in ad revenues this year, bringing the amount close to $16billion.

Acquisition OfOculusAnd Development Of Virtual RealityApps

The company has announced that it has been developing virtual reality apps to enhance user experience and expand its business. The acquisition of Oculus initiated the strategy toward the development of virtual reality apps that will reinvent the way users share content such as photos and videos on the social media platform.


ASquare Media News department was not involved in the creation of this content.

China now has 649 million internet users – more than double the US population

China has 649 million internet users according to a recent report by China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC). The number of people going online with their smartphones has also surged, with 557 million using handsets to go online.

In 2014 the Chinese internet population increased by 31 million, and the number of mobile internet users rose by 57 million.

This means that the number of internet users in China is just over double the US population making it no surprise then that American companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook quickly want to expand their presence in China and tap into its growing internet market.

Numerous Chinese tech companies are benefiting from this increase, such as the e-commerce groups Alibaba and Inc, the search giant Baidu Inc, as well as smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc.


China’s internet population is higher than any other country.

Despite the high number of internet users, the country’s internet penetration rate is 47.9 percent and rural users only account for just over a quarter of China’s total. In the US 74.4 percent of households reported internet use in 2013.

The agency’s researchers reported:

“On February 3, 2015, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) released the 35th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China in Beijing. The Report shows that as of December 2014, China had an Internet user base of 649 million and an Internet penetration rate of 47.9%.

Specifically, mobile apps for travel reservation beat other mobile apps with the annual user growth rate of 194.6%; the O2O (Online to Offline) market had grown rapidly and O2O had become a pace-setting business mode in the industry; China’s Internet business sector had made considerable progress in the overall environment, Internet app popularization and the development of hot industries.”


“As of December 2014, China had 557 million mobile Internet users, an increase of 56.72 million over the end of 2013, and the percentage of those using mobile phones to go online jumped from 81.0% in 2013 to 85.8%. The use of mobile instant message apps had grown steadily, attracting 91.2% of the mobile Internet users.

The explosion of mobile online games had slowed down and stabilized and their market share is expected to further increase in 2015. Users of mobile travel reservation apps had increased by 194.6%, making them the fastest-growing category of mobile business apps. Other mobile business apps including mobile e-shopping, mobile payment and mobile banking had grown by 63.5%, 73.2% and 69.2%, respectively, an annual growth higher than that of other mobile apps.”


ASquare Media News department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Digital and media predictions for 2015 from Millward Brown

Since 2009, Kantar’s media analytics company Millward Brown has made predictions on the hottest global media and digital trends for the year ahead. This January saw the new top ten list of trends (most of which you must have read and learn in 2014, but still).

1. Rise of new technologies for a better controlled and measured second-screen syncing.

Second-screen syncing as part of multiscreen media plan became mainstream in 2014. It is based on the listening technology that identifies TV ads and then triggers the ad server to buy available online ad inventory across a range of thematic sites. Multiple Millward Brown studies have proved the effective of the second-screen syncing in media planning—it provides better targeting and reaching those users who go online in the TV ad breaks. This technology is expected to develop further to bring more ROI to advertisers.


2. Social and mobile digital strategies will be more coordinated and integrated.

Although many brands still offer siloed mobile and social marketing plans and strategies, publishers will gradually switch to new measurements toward cross-device, cross-platform and cross-media approaches. Thus, digital marketers will develop and plan campaigns accordingly.

3. Shift from “big” to “intelligent data.”

In 2015, more marketers and CEOs will consider “big data” tools and sets as must-haves, increasing investments in tech platforms and analysts. The upcoming trend will be in distilling only the core metrics that correlate with sales growth—and increasing the core investments in mining and analyzing only sales-related data.


4. Paid micro-video ads will invade Vine and Instagram.

In 2014, the fast growing photo and video social platform Instagram began to test paid ads with a limited number of brands, such as Taco Bell and Hollister. This year we’ll see the launch of paid 6 – and 15-second videos. On the other hand, offline channels, such as TV, could also be influenced by Vine in a way that brands will air short 15-second micro videos on TV mimicking the effect of Vine.

5. Multiscreen marketing will also become multi-generational.

Recent Millward Brown research in the U.S. on multi-screen preferences found the two drivers defining screen preference: generation of the audience (age) and task loads (the time and concentration required for a task). For example, Millenials have already migrated from TV and desktop platforms to mobile, preferring to use Internet on their smartphones. So those digital marketers who try to reach older audiences (Gen X and Baby Boomers) should adapt and balance their efforts across both mobile and desktop devices.

6. Programmatic advertising will become more creative and dynamic, less “robo-generated.”

In 2014, programmatic advertising proved to be the most cost effective, transparent and easily measured type of digital media spend. Millward Brown predicts that in addition to more sophisticated algorithms, programmatic ads will be more “creatively adaptable,” human-focused and highly customizable.

7. New methodologies will appear to evaluate how programmatic impacts the brand building.

This means that marketers will try to make this type of ads really meaningful and truly relevant to customers; the algorithms will be enhanced with more metrics to include richer audience psychographic and location data—in line with a general brand building strategy.

8. Location-based services and brand engagement will be more relevant and less intrusive. Brands that respect users’ privacy will be valued higher.

9. Native advertising (if there is one) will be on the rise. The number of partnerships between brands and publishers for creation of “native advertorial” will grow.


10. Further digitalization of “analog” brand touchpoints. With the popularity and ubiquitousness of mobile devices, all branded touch points can become interactive, blurring boundaries between digital and analog, creating an onmichannel customer experience.

The full report with more fact, figures and findings can be downloaded here for free.

ASquare Media News department was not involved in the creation of this content.

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