Yahoo! announced recently results from its 3rd Net Index study, stating that internet reach in Indonesia has surpassed traditional media and ranks second only to TV. This growth trend is predominant in urban areas and is largely driven by the increasing availability of low-cost smartphones and highly competitive voice and data plans. Accessing the internet on a mobile phone is therefore, to no surprise, on the verge of being the prevailing mode of online access in Indonesia.

The annual Yahoo! Net Index study was conducted in conjunction with TNS, one of the world's leading market research groups, and reveals that social networking tops as the most popular online activity (89%), with other categories such as visits to internet portal pages (72%) and reading news (61%) showing the maximum growth since 2009.

Net Index incorporates well-established methodologies and techniques in the sample selection to ensure complete representation of the target population. Respondents were selected using a multi-stage probability sampling technique, responsible for the many remarkable insights.

The 15-24 year old age group of Indonesians, for instance, is driving in particular the increasing demand in entertainment content and related activities such as games and music downloads. Interestingly, while the online reach is high among the younger Indonesians, frequency of online access is higher among the middle-aged.

"With rapid New-to-Net user growth, even overtaking traditional media, it is now time for marketers to realign their strategies based on Indonesia's online dynamics. Yahoo! Net Index study provides in-depth consumer insights that help marketers to craft meaningful strategies to drive real results," said Yahoo! Indonesia Country Manager, Pontus Sonnerstedt.

"Consumers' digital footprints have become the most valuable assets for companies who want to make the right kind of investment and deliver on targeted marketing for their customers. The Net Index 2011 study allows marketers to reach out to the world's fourth most populous nation with intimate understanding, precision targeting and deep insights," said Suresh Subramanian, Deputy Managing Director, TNS Indonesia.

Key findings of Net Index 2011 Indonesia include three overarching themes:

1.    Mobile on the verge of being the dominant platform for Internet access

     •    Online access through internet cafes declined from 64% to 60%, access on mobile internet increased from 48% to 58% over the past two years;

     •    Mobile acts as a catalyst, fulfilling the need for on-the-go connectivity and instantaneous updates for social networking.

2.    Emergence of 'Selective Socialization'

     •    Social networking is used as the dominant platform (89%) for Indonesians to connect and communicate with, a 30% increase since 2009;

     •    Social networking users are becoming more selective and specific about selecting their circle of friends (39%);

     •    Mail and messenger remain relevant, with figures stable over the past two years for one-on-one communication (54% email; 58% Messenger).

3.    E-commerce shows potential given consumer interest

     •    Indonesian netizens are increasingly confident to conduct research, compare and make purchases online;

     •    Major modes of payments are still made currently offline through ATM/Bank Transfer (70%) and cash (39%);

     •    Group buying has gathered significant buzz, however, less than half of internet users have a clear understanding of "group buying" as a concept.

(Source: Yahoo!)

By Daniela La Marca