Posts filed under ‘virtual worlds’

Digital trends in Thailand, Asia-Pacific, and beyond

Peck (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:

PWC’s “Convergence Monitor” survey shows that Thailand has the one of the largest number of social networking (virtual networking and blogging) users in Asia, second only to China which has more than 85% of respondents having engaged in social networking at least once while Thailand has 71%.

Chatting, instant messaging, and downloading digital music are popular services among Thai internet users. 90% of respondents have used chatting or instant messaging at least once, and 87% have downloaded music through the internet at least once, expecting to see higher growth along with increase demand for broadband internet. However, online banking and online shopping are not as popular in Thailand as they are in other Asia Pacific countries. For example, while 39% of Singaporean respondents stated that they had used online banking and shopping at least once, only 8% of Thai respondents had done so.

Download the full report titled “Convergence Monitor: The Digital Home” here.

Examples of popular Thai blogs and blogging platforms:



June 19, 2007 at 10:07 am 12 comments

36 (Asian) Youth Facts in 159 Seconds

Ju (MindShare, Regional Team) writes:

The threebillion project put together a fascinating video on behalf of MTV Asia for the Music Matters Conference in Hong Kong late May ’07. The video features 36 facts dedicated to Asian youth in 159 seconds.

From threebillion: Whether it be teenage marriage in India, mobile phone usage in Japan, Filipino TV watching or Saudi Arabian Bluetooth porn, each market is rich it’s own brand of youth culture. This video is dedicated to the best thirty six facts we could find.

For those still waiting for the day the internet is free from censorship, here are all the facts and some screen captures of the video, courtesy of Global Nerdy.


  • There are 3 billion people under 25 on this planet
  • 61% of them live in Asia
  • 67% of young Asians have downloaded music in the last month
  • Only 27% paid for it
  • Hong Kong youth spend the most time online per day (4.7 hours)
  • Indonesian youth spend the least (0.9 hours)
  • Young Filipinos watch the most TV per day (6.2 hours)
  • Young Chinese watch the least (3.2 hours)
  • There are 37.5 million gamers in China
  • 90% play online games
  • Weekly, Korean teenagers will spend
    • 14 hours on the computer…
    • .12.8 hours watching TV
    • 0.7 hours reading newspapers
  • Taiwan has the highest teenage birthrate in Asia
  • South Korea has the lowest
  • 45% of young Japanese women said they were in love
  • Only 30% of young Japanese men said the same
  • 82% of Japanese teen males said they used contraception the first time they had sex
  • Only 12% of Japanese 20-year-olds use the home PC to access the internet — the same level as 50-year-olds — they’re using their mobile phones instead
  • 26% of all youth deaths in China are from suicide
  • In India, 50% of girls will be married before they are 18
  • In Nepal, the rate is 60%
  • 85% of Korean teenagers own a cell phone
  • They send an average of 60 messages per day
  • 46% of students send messages in class
  • “Our children are seriously addicted to cell phones” — Parent’s Union Spokesperson
  • Chinese people spend 10x more money on the internet than people in the west
  • It represents 10% of their monthly income
  • Who prefers a laid-back hassle-free lifestyle?
    • 14% of Chinese teens
    • 22% of South Korean teens
    • 43% of Japanese teens
  • 99% of Saudi teens use Bluetooth
  • 99% said that the device had broken social taboos
  • 85% said it was safe for communication with the opposite sex
  • 69% of messages exchanged by Saudi teens were pornographic

June 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm 4 comments

84% of Second Life residents live outside US

James (MindShare Asia-Pacific) writes:

We all know that Second Life is popular, growing fast, and that all forms of innovative media and branding experiments are taking place there. What I didn’t know, is just how international the community is, and how Euro-centric it has become. A comScore press release from last week breaks the geographical regions out, and indicates that Asia currently stands at 13%. With local virtual worlds popping up now in China and Japan, especially, it will be interesting to see if this figure rises…

n March, 61 percent of active Second Life residents were from Europe, compared to 19 percent from North America, and 13 percent from Asia Pacific.  In addition, 61 percent of residents were male while 39 percent were female. 

Geographical Location of Second Life Residents Who Logged-in During January and March 2007

Unique People, Age 15+

Total Worldwide Audience – Home and Work Locations*

Source: comScore World Metrix 



Percent of Total Active Residents

Increase In Active Residents

Mar-07 vs. Jan-07





















North America








Asia Pacific




Latin America




Middle East & Africa




*Excludes traffic from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

** Sum of components may equal more than total due to rounding

*** N/A – Residents in January below minimum reporting standard

May 7, 2007 at 5:16 am 4 comments

More free stuff – check out the b-side

James (MindShare Asia-Pacific) writes:

Continuing on the theme of outstanding open source thinking and sharing, don’t miss this great presentation on convergence, given by the super-smart Brian Tiong last month at the Malaysian media congress. Do spend some time at Brian’s excellent blog  b-side which he writes from Singapore and packs with useful data and opinions.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 3, 2007 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

Blurring of worlds in Australia

Angela (MindShare, Melbourne) writes:

I’m sure you’re familiar with the 3-D virtual world that is Second Life. Maybe you even form part of its 5.8 million residents that inhabit Second Life’s virtual space and contribute to its annual daily spend of some US$1m+ (that’s about $267m in Linden Dollars) to purchase anything and everything from skin, clothes, islands and cars.

Whether you’re a Second Life addict or virgin; I suggest you take a look at SBS’s podcast of a young Australian couple’s blurring of the real and virtual world. Is this a snippet into future consumer behaviour on a grand scale or an isolated fanatical incident?


April 30, 2007 at 8:14 am 3 comments

Asian budget airlines and Global Nomads


Ju (MindShare, Regional) writes:

The Internet and digital media have created a social environment where information flows freely and fluidly across geographical boundaries. However, they are not the only drivers. The growth of low-cost airlines is set to become another factor that fuels this phenomenon. By offering mobility, budget airlines will be playing an important role in facilitating the cross-country exchange of information and content in an offline, organic manner.

The New Zealand Herald talks of how “Budget air fares make a reality of one Europe“, giving examples of how budget airlines “are drawing a new map of how people and money travel in Europe“.

Can the same happen to Asia? Or will regional geography even matter, in the long run?

After it transformed air travel in South East Asia, Air Asia is now driving the “worldwide trend for [budget airlines] to move towards a long haul, low cost model” with the launch of Air Asia X, its sister brand for transcontinental flights based on the same low cost principles.

From Newsweek’s “Low Cost, Long Hop” story:

Come July, Air Asia X plans to launch its inaugural service between Kuala Lumpur and the United Kingdom with roundtrip fares starting at around $80 for early bookings. The plan is a network of budget routes linking Asia to Europe and eventually North America. Nor is X the only budget carrier pushing the distance envelope. In October Oasis Hong Kong Airlines launched daily low-cost service to London, and over Christmas sold round-trip passages for as little as $300. Its twist on the model is a lavish business class with seats priced two-thirds lower than Hong Kong flagship Cathay Pacific. And it, too, plans new routes to Europe, the United States and Canada.

While this will touch the lives of many consumer classes, one that will surely be affected is the youth segment, with over one-quarter of all travellers classified in the youth market (ASEAN tourism ministers aim for more young travellers), and growth expectations at 20 to 30% annually (Youth is the key in tourism: forum).

Indeed, youth are well-equipped with the technological savvy that eases the pain of leisure traveling, from milking the Internet’s vast database to seek out new destinations and plan their travels and for online bookings, to using SMS and Internet cafes to keep in touch with families and friends (Today’s student traveler start younger and go further) is tracking all this, calling it the “Global Nomad Series” (try searching ‘global nomads’ there).

Since Asian youth are already taking advantage of the online world to connect to global movements like cosplay and sneaker culture, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine them doing the same thing with the budget airlines, using the cheaper air fares to help fuel their passions, connecting their online and offline worlds. In the future, maybe there will be more hard-core cosplayers flying over to the World Cosplay Summit‘s preliminary competition. Or more sneakerheads in Asia checking out the Sneaker Pimps World Tour.

From a social perspective, this implies that the transfer of trends will be catalyzed in terms of speed, breadth, depth, and local adaptation. To illustrate, look no further than Bangkok party organizer DudeSweet’s cult-like following of the London indie music scene and their interpretation of it into bands, parties, art events, CD’s, clothes, bars, and magazines.

March 1, 2007 at 1:27 pm 3 comments

Porn video glasses from Taiwan – a coming trend


James (MindShare regional team, Singapore) writes: 

At first I laughed at this Digital Journal article Watch porn in public with new video glasses. It’s well-known that the porn industry often pioneers new technology – VHS, internet payment, broadband video sites.

But it wasn’t until I just listened to Ross Dawson’s excellent podcast interview where he discussed video glasses and fold-out screens, that I grasped the underlying importance of this technology, especially for our business… 

First the news: 

Visitors at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo held this week were asked by Victor Quitoriano to try out a new technology that allows for intimate video viewing session complete with audio through an ear piece.

The model was shown at the Sands Exposition Center just a day earlier.“Our technology crosses over,” Quitoriano told AFP. “The videos we showed there weren’t porn, because we didn’t want to offend anybody. Here, it’s different. Imagine you can take your porn all over the place; in a plane or a train, but not in the car unless you are the passenger.

The new glasses are made in Taiwan and sold by Quitoriano’s California based company Body Care and connect to all the latest video playing devices including Xbox 360 and PS3 game consoles as well as iPods and Zune mp3 players. The new models being shown cost about $349.00 but were discounted for show-goers. 

I’ve never heard of video glasses before, but a quick google search revealed a number of new products in the market, such as this review for a brand called iTheater. Here’s some highlights of that product and a photo:

  • weighs 3 ounces.
  • video is at a 230,000 pixel resolution
  • audio is surround sound.
  • hook up your game consoles, DVD players, computers, iPod (video), or other video playing players.
  • Like playing games or watching your DVDs on a 50 inch screen.

itheater-glasses.jpgSo what’s the significance? Very soon our mobile phones, video iPods and other devices will be capable of storing many hours of content. Online gaming can be played. TV can be streamed to devices. Already in Korea millions are watching TV on their mobile devices.

One of the main arguments against adoption of mobile TV has been the uncomfortable experience of ‘staring at a small screen’. With video glasses, and roll-out or fold-out screens, that potential adoption barrier will also be removed.

 To understand more of the implications of consuming content on the go, and especially mobile social networking, you should read Ross Dawson’s blog entry and listen to the podcast.

January 25, 2007 at 3:26 pm 2 comments

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