Asia's business elite fuel readership growth
That's according to the 2008 BE:Asia readership survey from Ipsos Media which tracks the reading habits of Asia's senior business executives.
According to the survey, wealthy executives on remuneration packages of more than US$117,000 per year are healthy consumers of media across both print and online.
The survey found that more than 97% of respondents had read a newspaper in the previous day, while 88% had used digital media in the past four weeks.
On a regional level, 70% of respondents read more than one of the region's international publications each day, up from 66% in 2004 and 68% in 2006.
This year's survey sought to move beyond simply measuring executives' reading habits and for the first time included online, questions about business ethics and their private lifestyles. Ipsos also extended its research into eight markets covering seven different languages.
Jenny Armshaw-Heak, business development director for Ipsos Media, says the addition of these questions helped to build an even more detailed profile of this hard to reach but critical audience.
"It's not only the behaviour, but the desires of an overall audience," she says.
"These readers have a voracious appetite for information from a variety of sources. What we are seeing is not the simple substitution of one medium for another but, with usage of all media up across the board, a desire for richer sources of knowledge and business information drawn from print, television and online."
BE:Asia is one of two major readership surveys around Asia, the other being Synovate's PAX survey.
William Adamopoulos, president & publisher of Forbes Asia, says both PAX and BE:Asia are good solid surveys, but he says they need to be applied correctly.
"Having been in this market place for 24 years now I've always been a big fan of ABRS, or what is now called BE:Asia, because I think the methodology that they use has the best change of capturing the top end of town," Adamopoulos says.
"PAX is very good research for broad-based television but my understanding is it's a phone survey, much of the phone work is done in the evening and you know Lee Ka Shing is not taking phone calls at dinner to talk to the PAX researcher."
Locally, BE:Asia (formerly ABRS) found the South China Morning Post was the most widely read publication among top level executives with a 46% share of readers. Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily came in at second place with a 37% share while the Sunday Morning Post slotted in third with 35%.
Regionally, The Wall Street Journal Asia is the most widely read daily publication with a 16% share of elite readers. The Financial Times was a strong performer in the latest survey, posting one of the strongest increases and recording an 11% share.
In the weekly magazine category, Time was the most widely read magazine with a 22% share, followed by Newsweek at 19% and BusinessWeek at 18%.
In the competitive monthly magazine sector National Geographic topped the list with a 23% share, followed by Reader's Digest at 21%.
Online readership trends showed Yahoo! news was the leading online portal with a 17% share, followed by Google news at 12%, CNN.com at 7% and BBC news at 4%.
Interestingly, online news portals from Time.com, Newsweek.com, wsj.com and cnbc.com only managed a small share of elite business readers.
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