Malaysians’ voracious appetite for online stuff

(NST) – Malaysians are among the greatest media junkies on earth, according to a survey conducted recently.

Media research organisation Nielsen Company found Malaysia ranking among the top 10 media consuming nations in a poll among 52 countries.

The survey found that Malaysians use their computers more than they do their television sets and it looks like this trend is going to swing upwards as the country prepares to increase its high-speed broadband connectivity in the future.

The online survey, conducted last September, included 500 Malaysians among the 26,000 people polled worldwide.

It revealed that our citizens are addicted to consuming digital (including data, voice and video), ranking fifth of all countries.

Malaysians also seem to have a voracious appetite for anything on the Internet, with more than half of the respondents having downloaded, streamed or played content such as full-length movies, movie clips, TV shows, music videos and video games over the past month.

"Malaysians are real entertainment and technology junkies. They consume a copious amount of home entertainment, music, video games and digital media.

"They stream and download digital media content on a regular basis," said Nielsen Malaysia consumer group managing director Paul Richmond.

"Broadband penetration is only at 18 per cent, according to the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry.

"But, with the government's push to ready high-speed-broadband via fibre optics by 2010, we can expect the country to continue its climb up the media consumption ladder."

Another interesting finding was that the digital gulf between developing nations and more advanced countries is not as wide as many may think.

While Western nations are heavy users of media hardware like DVD players and gaming consoles, next-generation devices like video-enabled handsets are more popular in new markets, particularly in Asia.

Five Asian countries, including Malaysia, secured spots in the top 10 list of highest usage levels across a range of media devices.