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What are mobile users reading in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia?

Zafar Anjum | March 26, 2014
It’s not what you think it might be—new study by SingTel’s news app ‘NewsLoop’ reveals content consumption patterns in several countries in the region

Reading national and international news is usually boring on your mobile device. It is gossip and the juicy tidbits of news that you look for, right?


People in Southeast Asia and Australia rank national and international news above categories of sports and entertainment when it comes to news consumption on mobile platforms.

This is according to an analysis released by Singapore's top telco, SingTel.

The company says that its product NewsLoop, a news aggregation app with over 1.2 million downloads, reveals users in five countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia - prefer 'national news', making it the highest ranking content category.

The only exception is Indonesia where 'tech & gadgets' is number one and 'national news' gets the second billing.

SingTel sources also said that 'international news' was also a top-viewed choice, ranking second in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, while ranking fourth in both Indonesia and Thailand.

'Tech and gadgets' ranked third in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. 

Beyond that, individual countries revealed unique consumption patterns of news and information.

"The analysis provides a number of interesting insights into the NewsLoop consumer's behaviour," said Michael Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, Group Digital L!fe, SingTel. "It is very interesting that national and international news typically rank first and second in all countries. It is easy to assume that most would use their mobiles for entertainment rather than hard news stories but NewsLoop users, who are said to be a majority of highly educated PMEB males, prove otherwise. A recent BBC global report supports this finding, as it notes that affluent consumers mostly use news apps on their mobile while the general population favours social network apps."

iPad tablets more popular in Singapore 

The data also shows the rapid rise of the iPad tablet, which accounts for an average of 18 per cent of users across the five countries, with a high of 23 per cent in Singapore, versus just 7 per cent in Malaysia. Smartphone penetration in Southeast Asia has increased to 63 per cent this year, while tablet penetration has increased to 39 per cent this year.

Over 60 per cent of NewsLoop users are highly educated PMEB males between 25 to 44 years old. Users are also technology savvy and tend to shop online. NewsLoop offers news and lifestyle content from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and Thailand, into a single app, offering content from over 600 publishers with 30 news and lifestyle categories to choose from.




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