Carole Sarthou, Managing Director of Synovate Philippines, said the Media Atlas explores consumer attitudes towards media consumption habits and their lifestyles. The study interviewed 4,958 respondents between the ages of 15 to 64 across all income levels living in Greater Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
"With high saturation levels, terrestrial TV leads the way when it comes to reaching audiences while Cable and Satellite TV is not far behind with more than half (52%) of respondents indicating that they subscribe each month," she said.
Sarthou said 53 percent of respondents listened to FM radio stations compared to 23 percent of respondents who were avid AM radio station listeners.
She said reading remained popular among Filipinos with more than half (59%) selecting newspapers and magazines as the medium of their choice while one quarter (23%) of respondents surveyed said they read a newspaper daily.
Seventeen percent of respondents said they preferred reading newspapers in Tagalog while less than one quarter (11%) mentioned English newspapers as their preferred reading choice. The survey also showed that readership for both newspapers and magazines was highest in the Greater Manila area.
Steve Garton, Synovate global media director, said print is ideally positioned to develop online because it is text-rich and is manned by professional representatives.
"The renaissance of print is that it is easy (for it) to step into the Internet while preserving the editorial values of the publication. In every country where we've been, we have seen that that Internet does not cannibalize print but extend it," Garton said.
In the Philippines, he said, he has not seen a decline in the readership of newspapers due to strong base of loyal followers built over the years.
The Role of the Internet
The survey showed that more than a third of respondents (32%) said they are also logging onto the Internet at least once a week. At least 90 percent of 4,958 respondents said they used the Internet mainly to read and send e-mail.
Other online activities included downloading and uploading (53%), using search engines (44%), listening to music (42%) as well as playing online games (34%).
"Communicating through Instant Messenger or IM has also risen in popularity among younger Filipinos aged between 15 to 34 with more than half (60%) indicating that they chat online while the next phase of media convergence in the Philippines could be mobile internet, considering that close to half (41%) of respondents own cell phones with this capability," Sarthou said.
The survey revealed that 82 percent of respondents owned DVD players, 77 percent said they owned a VCD player, 70 percent said they owned a mobile phone without Internet capability while 41 percent said they owned a cell phone with Intenet capability.
On the other hand, 29 percent of respondents said they owned some type of insurance, 23 percent said they owned a credit card and nine percent said they owned property for investment.
Variety, Quality and New Things
When it comes to lifestyles choices, three quarters (75%) of respondents from the ages of 15 to 64 said that they would like to try new things while close to two thirds (64%) of respondents regarded social status as an important factor to their everyday lives.
Filipinos also indicated that variety was important to them with two thirds (66%) indicating that they like a lot of variety in their lives while 62% of respondents said that paying extra for quality was worthwhile.
"Interestingly enough, respondents also mentioned that they were time pressed when it came to shopping with more than half (57%) indicating that they do not have time to shop around and would usually buy the brands they trust," Sarthou said.
Designed to capture a complete cross section of society, the survey is conducted using a combination of face-to-face and telephone interviews, which provide access to 70 percent of Filipino residents with landlines.
Garton said the Media Atlas was launched in response to the local media industry’s need for more accurate measures of the media consumption and lifestyles of Filipino consumers while the new results revealed large audiences across most forms of television, print media, radio and the internet.
"Advertising and media specialists will find vital new information to help plan advertising campaigns, with comprehensive data designed to guide decisions on the right media mix to use to communicate with the right types of consumers," he said.