Ireland To Be Third Most ‘digitally engaged’ Country By 2015

Ireland currently lies 11th in the world when it comes to digital media consumption, according to the latest ‘New Media Forecasts Report’ carried out by ZenithOptimedia. Norway is the top global digital nation with 38.8 per cent of the population adopting new media technology while just 21 per cent do so in Ireland. However, Ireland is forecast “to climb the fastest up the rankings, from 11th place in 2012 to third [in the world] in 2015.”

Western Europe leads adoption of new media technology as smartphone penetration rises 27% a year

– Smartphone penetration to double from 36% in 2012 to 72% in 2015
– Tablet penetration to rise 177% and IPTV penetration to rise 36% over the same period
– Norway ranks first for average penetration of new media devices in 2012
– The Netherlands will be first in 2015, up from third in 2012
– Ireland forecast to rise the most, from 11th position to third

ZenithOptimedia’s  new report, the New Media Forecasts Report, identified the “top 19 digital markets across the world, ranked according to a combination of absolute size and percentage of total adspend taken by internet expenditure.” In the report they have “examined how consumers in these markets use digital media; how internet advertising, social media and e-commerce are developing; and how quickly new media technologies are being adopted.”

Within these 19 markets, ZenithOptimedia, have tracked the adoption of three new media technologies,  Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), smartphones and tablets, and have forecast their penetration to 2015.

Penetration of new media technology across 19 advanced markets (%) Table #1


Across these markets “smartphones are the most prevalent device, with an average 36% penetration in 2012. Smartphone penetration varies widely among [their] 19 markets, from 73% in Sweden to 18% in Brazil. In all markets penetration is rising rapidly, and [they] forecast it to double to 72% across all 19 markets by 2015, reaching 33% in Brazil and 93% in Sweden.”

Tablet penetration “averaged 5% in 2012, but exceeded 15% in five markets: Australia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the USA. By 2015 [they] expect penetration to average 13% across the 19 markets, but to range as high as 45% in France and 50% in Ireland.”

The report goes on to state that “IPTV is the slowest-growing of the three technologies; [they] expect its average penetration to rise by 36% between 2012 and 2015, from 6.6% to 9.0%. IPTV also has the widest range of adoption among [their] 19 markets; by 2015 [they] expect its penetration to reach 91% in the Netherlands, but remain at 1% in Russia.”

Ranking by adoption of new media technology Table #2


Looking at the individual markets, “Norway had the highest average penetration in 2012, thanks to its high take-up of smartphones (65 per cent, compared to an average 44 per cent in these 19 markets) and tablets (13 per cent, compared to a 9 per cent average).” Sweden and Denmark also feature in the top five, reflecting Scandinavia’s traditional consumer enthusiasm for the internet and digital media. In fact, despite the continued economic troubles in the region, “all of the top five markets were in Western Europe.” The “highest-ranked market from outside Western Europe was Canada, in sixth place. Australia, in seventh place, was the highest-placed market from Asia Pacific, while Hungary was the highest-placed from Central & Eastern Europe, at 16th. Brazil, at 17th, is the only Latin American market among [their] top 19.”

By 2015, however, “[they] expect the Netherlands to take the top position. This is thanks to its extremely rapid adoption of IPTV, which broadband providers are competing to offer as a value-added service to take advantage of the fast-paced build-out of new fibre-optic infrastructure.” The swift growth of IPTV has “already started eroding the number of subscribers to cable and satellite TV. [They] estimate that in 2012 27 per cent of households in the Netherlands had IPTV, up from 10 per cent in 2010. By 2015 [they] forecast IPTV to be in 91 per cent of Dutch households.” This is much higher than “the penetration [they] forecast in the second-ranked market for IPTV, Canada, where [they] forecast 69 per cent penetration in 2015.

Ireland is adopting “all three technologies very quickly, most notably tablets, which [they] expect 50 per cent of the population to have access to in 2015. The Irish government is investing in providing tablets to schools, which is increasing their availability and indirectly encouraging sales by making parents familiar with their advantages.”

Finally, the report goes on to say that “[they] expect Western Europe to remain at the forefront of the adoption of new media technology, accounting for four of the top five and seven of the top ten markets in 2015. Canada, in fifth place, is the highest-ranked market outside Western Europe, while Australia and South Korea come in at eighth and ninth.” The US, “despite its wealth and stronger economic growth, is buying into these technologies less rapidly, and [they] expect it to slip down the rankings from 12th place in 2012 to 14th in 2015, as high subscription prices slow the uptake of smartphones.  Central & Eastern Europe lags behind, with Hungary and Russia in 18th and 19th place respectively in 2015.”

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