In Indonesia, TV Still Rules, But Mobile, Internet Are On the Rise (Video)

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The popularity of mobile and Internet rose significantly in Indonesia, and television continues to be the dominant source for news and information, according to new data issued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and Gallup.

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The BBG, in partnership with Gallup, presented the findings today about Indonesian media consumption habits from a nationally representative, face-to-face survey of 3,000 Indonesians done in the country from July 1 to August 1, 2012.

The new data shows that use of mobile phones continues to rise, with more than eight in 10 Indonesians (81.0%) now saying they have a mobile phone in their household, up from two-thirds (67%) in 2011. Half of Indonesians (49.8%) now say they use SMS/text messages at least once a week to get news.

“Any communications strategy for Indonesia has to take into account the large and growing role of social media, especially among the young,” said William Bell, Research Director at the International Broadcasting Bureau.

The findings show that about one in five Indonesians (20.6%) used the Internet in the past week. Almost all past-week Internet users (96.2%) say they used social networking services in the past seven days. The upward shift in Internet access across Indonesia – driven largely by mobile – is national in nature, and not just confined to more affluent urban areas.

At the same time, though, television remains the dominant form of mass media in Indonesia. The vast majority of Indonesian adults (95.9%) use TV at least once a week to get news. Interestingly, there are substantial regional variations in how Indonesians get their television signals, with terrestrial antennas prevalent across Java and in the Bali region, but satellite use more common on Sumatra, Sulawesi, and particularly Kalimantan.

The BBG’s global audience research program is conducted in partnership with Gallup. The data on Indonesia, like that on Iran, Tibet, Burma, and Nigeria released earlier this year, shows how communications technologies are evolving even as traditional broadcasts in TV and radio continue to play a significant role as news distribution platforms. This research informs the current and future operations of the agency’s broadcasts in 59 languages to more than 100 countries.