How Wired are you?

A month ago, an article that said Hong Kongers were starting to have neck problems because of too much “neck bending” for smartphones/tablets started making the rounds around town.  It first appeared in China Post and then it spread to a few of the free newspapers around town, but, alas, it quickly disappeared (this is a common trend in the city, where statistics are hidden for commercial use, instead of divulged for social benefit).

Our interest on the piece of news wasn’t that the pharma industry was increasing their sales of painkillers and relief bandages – although advertising for them in HK has become much more consistent in the past months, bearing in mind that these types of ads used to be seasonal and not year-round exposed – but rather a disturbing (although “attractive” statistic for Haexagon Concepts) conclusion that people where spending 5 to 8 hours a day on their mobile devices.

After some browsing through the internet we started adding up some of the few numbers in our heads to get to a generalized pattern of media consumption. We started with this small piece of data – workday in Hong Kong – 9 to 5 (for the non-zombies) – 8 hours.

Of course, the interest continued.

If the mobile device owners are 5 to 8 hours a day using their devices (bear in mind, to have neck pain it means this use is constant) plus the hours of work that they have with their desktop monitors in front of them, then people in Hong Kong (at least white collar workers), are giving away between 10/12 hours of their lives for open screened technologies (by this I mean – not dependent directly on media conglomerates to operate).

Generally – as in, all of Hong Kong people – InMobi states that the city consumes 6 hours of media (any type of digital media) a day.

Anyone that uses the MTR sees this. People are watching Chinese TV shows (usually TVB, NowTV, etc, soap operas), playing MMORPG or small interaction games and/or scrolling through Facebook/Weibo and, those who aren’t, are either reading the free newspapers, or some other type of printed media. So… with these observations, one sees that attentions are, by large part, constantly diverted around town.

Another interesting number is that (depending on the source…) Hong Kong smartphone penetration rates are around 40%-50% in the city, and that most young users, use their phones for messaging, games and listening to music (which means there’s a difference in usage from youngsters to adults – a gap, one might say).

Without any mathematical, precise data analysis, but by simply interpreting a few numbers/statistics logically, one sees that there’s at least an 8 to 10 hour necessity of content creation for the “wired working” city of Hong Kong and that when young people have different patterns of consumption on their mobile devices (they are, after all, not consuming soap operas or news), there is the necessity of braking some of the patterns that are being created from the content developers.

These 13 to 18/19 year olds, in the space of 5 to 10 years will be intense consumers of media content, why not start targeting this section of the market with sticky, short-form but long running, media adaptable/interchangeable content?

It’s either continuing the dependency in the same type of content created for a TV audience and then simply pushing it into mobile devices while wishing that the youngsters adapt to it (and not the other way around as – ideas, not only in Hong Kong, but everywhere around the world, are becoming, more and more derivative from previous iterations of similar created content) or, rather simply, creating niche targeted content, created with high standards but low production costs, that the future Wired workers will ultimately want to consume.

Food for thought…

* For those who’d like references: – China Post – Nielsen Ratings – Social Skinny… – InMobi 2011


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