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Hong Kong Media Report 2019 – Part one: Traditional media

In this first part of the media report, we will be looking at the results of the survey in traditional media categories. Check out part two here for the results related to digital media.


What is it?

Every year, Marketing magazine runs a number of initiatives to facilitate information-sharing, peer-to-peer benchmarking, and awareness of the latest industry trends and updates.

Our 2019 Media Report, which looks at Hong Kong’s media landscape, is one such initiative. It communicates the preferences and opinions of the region’s senior marketers and media planners/ buyers with respect to media usage across all platforms based on target demographics.

The aim of our survey was to reveal which media platforms marketers look to for advertising solutions. We asked respondents to name the magazines, TV stations, digital platforms or OOH groups they would use to target consumers across key industry verticals in multiple categories. We have presented the clear leader in each category, with entries presented in order of highest-to-lowest ranking in the case of multiple leaders.

How did we achieve this?

The media rankings were derived from questions in our annual Media Benchmarking Survey. Our research team employed an online questionnaire and surveyed its database of client advertisers and marketing services agency professionals. All answers given by respondents were considered by Marketing when finalising the rankings.

Quality recipients and respondents

A total of 525 respondents participated in the Media Benchmarking Survey. Genuine advertising decision-makers and influencers across key agency-using industries were well represented as were agency professionals from various marketing services.

73% of respondents were client-side marketers and 27% were solution providers. Out of that, 9% were from the most senior ranks of client advertisers – CEOs, MDs or GMs – and another 30% were VPs or director level marketers.

Participants of the survey hailed from a range of industries, including, but not limited to: major and local international banks, FMCG companies, property and construction, IT and telecommunication firms, and tourism companies. Agency professionals across the marketing services spectrum were also well represented.


Out of home media

JCDecaux Transport

Seven times. In a row. That is how often JCDecaux Transport has taken the number one spot for Out of Home in our annual survey. And although it was already in the top spot, this has been a very good year for the OOH provider. But the launch of its new Arrival Digital Impact Zone – providing the ability for complex animated ads and image flow presentations – and the overall digital transformation of Hong Kong International Airport, was the jewel in its 2019 crown.

POAD

POAD is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The letters of its name stand for “Passion for Outdoor Advertising” and it’s a passion that over those three decades has gained it the respect of Fortune 500 brands, essential transport operators, distinguished property developers, and the Hong Kong government. Its outdoor billboards span across prominent street locations in Central and Wan Chai and dominate the city’s landscape. It is also the operator of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel advertisement boards and oversees taxi ads.

JCDecaux Cityscape

JCDecaux Cityscape has some decent bragging rights as an OOH provider. Its the exclusive operator of bus shelters on HK island and for the city’s Tramcar Advertising Network, and since 2015, has expanded its bus body advertising to New World First Bus and Citybus vehicles. That above-ground advertising network includes 300-plus advertising shelters, 1,640 buses, and 140 tramcars. But in 2019 it stepped up again, with the launch of its 45-screen Digital Frame Bus Shelter Network and an illuminated Bright Ring Tramcar to provide advertisers with innovative media platforms for showcasing their brands.


Parenting magazines

Smart Parents

Published by Sing Tao Corporation, Smart Parents is a weekly magazine that targets middle-class parents who have children aged from two to 12. The publication covers the latest trends and issues on parenting and extra-curricular activities. A number of columnists also contribute articles to the magazine on the topics of family, health, and education. Apart from the print publication, it has expanded its business to online platforms to complement the magazine.


Art & culture magazines

Ming Pao Weekly

Founded in 1968, Ming Pao Weekly is a local standard that covers entertainment, celebrities, fashion, the arts, culture, and society. It positions itself as the region’s most comprehensive magazine covering trendy topics and the showbiz industry. Its readership – aged from 12 to 64 – has a reach of 350,000. Interestingly, 51% of those readers are female, 31% have received tertiary education, and 49% are regular travellers.


Business magazines (Local)

iMoney

A Hong Kong Economic Times Group publication, iMoney magazine tracks the weekly ongoings of the financial investment market and the trends that Hongkongers are most concerned about. It claims to be the publication with the highest level of international knowledge on the investment market, with experts providing multiangled analysis and conducting interviews with leading figures. It also offers financial advice with the goal of giving its readers financial freedom. Digital versions of iMoney are also available on desktop and portable devices.


Travel magazines (Local)

U Magazine (Travel)

U Magazine (Travel) is one of the magazines that make up the larger U Magazine brand. It covers global destinations, particularly for Asian cities and regions that its local readership would be more familiar with. The magazine also covers Hong Kong attractions, local cuisine, and restaurants across the city’s districts. A number of columnists also regularly contribute articles to enrich the publication’s output. It has topped the local tourism category several times.


Entertainment magazines

East Week

East Week is the Sing Tao News Group’s flagship weekly magazine covering local and international news, entertainment, celebrities, finance, beauty, fashion, health, and travel. It provides in-depth discussions of the city’s goings-on and concerns. Its readership is mostly made up of professional management executives of a high income and education level. In addition, to its Wednesday (standard) and weekend (condensed) print editions, it also has a digital version online and a mobile app.

Ming Pao Weekly

Founded in 1968, Ming Pao Weekly is a local standard that covers entertainment, celebrities, fashion, the arts, culture, and society. It positions itself as the region’s most comprehensive magazine covering trendy topics and the showbiz industry. Its readership – aged from 12 to 64 – has a reach of 350,000. Interestingly, 51% of those readers are female, 31% have received tertiary education, and 49% are regular travellers.


Business magazines (Regional)

Bloomberg Businessweek

Originally founded in 1929 as Businessweek with a name change to Bloomberg Businessweek L.P. in 2010, the magazine provides information and opinions on the happenings in the world of business. This includes coverage of markets, technology and lifestyle, with opinions in its magazine and on its website. In Hong Kong, it has offered a traditional Chinese edition since 2013 and the magazine is built on an agreement between Bloomberg LP in New York and Hong Kong-listed Modern Media.


Luxury magazines

Hong Kong Tatler

Hong Kong Tatler covers everything chic: events, fine-dining, international fashion, and luxury travel, and looks into the lives of the world’s most glamorous people. Reaching 700,000 through its outlets such as the print magazine, digital magazine, e-newsletter, YouTube, and social media platforms, it claims a print readership of 174,925. The brand’s name is so powerful that in October this year, its publisher Edipresse Media Asia rebranded as Tatler Asia Group.

Vogue Hong Kong

The latest expansion of the Condé Nast publishing empire, Vogue Hong Kong launched this spring. And though the landing may have been bumpy, with some drawing issue with its initial launch cover, the magazine’s presence on this list shows it has arrived. An offshoot of the legendary brand, Vogue HK aims to deliver the final word on the city’s fashion, contemporary culture, and creative scene. Bolstered by a bilingual online and social media presence, Vogue Hong Kong is set to be a major arbiter of taste in the region.


Consumer electronics magazines

E-zone

E-zone is a mass-market IT weekly magazine that focuses on the latest trends in information and communications technology. Established in 1998, it features the application of PC hardware and software, how-to information about tablets and smartphones, and the highlights of digital AV products. It boasts the highest readership compared with similar magazines and the highest page views among similar websites.


Lifestyle magazines

U Magazine

Launched in 2005, U Magazine is a travel and lifestyle magazine that aims to keep its audience stylish and in the know. Published every Friday, it offers this guidance under the banner of three separate brands. Travel offers the latest travel information and on-location interviews. Food provides a comprehensive dietary guide and points out new restaurants in Hong Kong. Life+Weekend sets out a guide to the weekend’s activities.

Ming Pao Weekly

Founded in 1968, Ming Pao Weekly is a local standard that covers entertainment, celebrities, fashion, the arts, culture, and society. It positions itself as the region’s most comprehensive magazine covering trendy topics and the showbiz industry. Its readership – aged from 12 to 64 – has a reach of 350,000. Interestingly, 51% of those readers are female, 31% have received tertiary education, and 49% are regular travellers.


News & current affairs (Local)

East Week

East Week is the Sing Tao News Group’s flagship weekly magazine covering local and international news, entertainment, celebrities, finance, beauty, fashion, health, and travel. It provides in-depth discussions of the city’s goings-on and concerns. Its readership is mostly made up of professional management executives of a high income and education level. In addition, to its Wednesday (standard) and weekend (condensed) print editions, it also has a digital version online and a mobile app.


News & current affairs (Regional)

TIME

A global institution, TIME is found on newsstands, in stores, and delivered to doors worldwide. The monthly periodical was founded in the US in 1923, but regional variations now cater to Europe, Asia, and Asia-Pacific. It contains thought-provoking articles on leading topics spanning politics, business, health, notable figures, and entertainment, and is famous for its special Person of the Year, TIME 100, and Best Invention features. Its subscription models now provide access to iPad and iPhone editions as well as unlimited access and subscriber-only content on the website, in addition to print. Its Asia circulation is currently 285,000.

Bloomberg Businessweek

Originally founded in 1929 as Businessweek with a name change to Bloomberg Businessweek L.P. in 2010, the magazine provides information and opinions on the happenings in the world of business. This includes coverage of markets, technology and lifestyle, with opinions in its magazine and on its website. In Hong Kong, it has offered a traditional Chinese edition since 2013 and the magazine is built on an agreement between Bloomberg LP in New York and Hong Kong-listed Modern Media.


Women’s magazines

Cosmopolitan

Published by SCMP Hearst, Cosmopolitan informs and inspires modern career women on fashion, beauty, relationships, romance, health, wellbeing, careers, and culture. Famous for its upbeat style and candid discussions on contemporary lifestyles, human relationships, and social trends, “Cosmo” has grown to embody the idea of the current female identity. Therefore, it is no mystery why it has been ranked No.1 for women’s magazines several years running. In addition to Cosmopolitan’s print edition, the magazine has an online version available and is very active on its social channels.

ELLE

Published by SCMP Hearst in Hong Kong, ELLE’s website covers a wide range of topics, namely fashion, beauty and health, celebrity, and bridal news. Apart from the website, ELLE HK also reaches its readers through Facebook, Instagram, Weibo, YouTube, and Tencent QQ. ELLE HK launched a new membership programme in July, offering information about latest trends, make-up and fashion workshops, and discounts. Members will also receive souvenirs after registration.

Vogue Hong Kong

The latest expansion of the Condé Nast publishing empire, Vogue Hong Kong launched this spring. And though the landing may have been bumpy, with some drawing issue with its initial launch cover, the magazine’s presence on this list shows it has arrived. An offshoot of the legendary brand, Vogue HK aims to deliver the final word on the city’s fashion, contemporary culture, and creative scene. Bolstered by a bilingual online and social media presence, Vogue Hong Kong is set to be a major arbiter of taste in the region.


Bridal magazines

Cosmopolitan Bride

Part of the SCMP Hearst division and published twice a year since 2004, Cosmopolitan Bride has become a widely recognised Hong Kong wedding magazine and web portal. It combines current styles with local sources to offer brides the inspiration they need for their big day. From gorgeous dresses to the hippest honeymoon destinations, the magazine is packed with ideas, tips, and expert advice to assist with the planning process. Additionally, more detailed sections cater to the bride’s specific interests as well as the needs of her groom, friends and family.

ELLE Bride

ELLE Bride covers a wide range of topics, including fashion, beauty and health, celebrity, life, and romantic advice. Other than these expected topics for a women’s lifestyle magazine, it also offers a lot of information about bridal news, such as the latest trends on gowns and make-up. As a useful handbook for brides-to-be, lifestyle topics are also an important part of ELLE Bride.

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings is a spin-off magazine from Hong Kong Tatler, and like the original, is published by the recently rebranded Tatler Asia Group. It pitches itself as the quintessential wedding guide, reaching an internationally-minded, well-educated audience of affluent brides and grooms in the region. The guide showcases high society nuptials, wedding planners, dress designers, and banquet venues. It maintains a current circulation of 28,000, a readership of 126,000, and in addition to its biannual print publication, has several digital portals.


Men’s Magazines

Esquire

Esquire targets stylish and metropolitan men and provides audiences with content on fashion, food, culture, technology, design, gadgets, and more. The title has also expanded its digital footprint on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. The website of Esquire Hong Kong was launched in September 2014, and maintains different versions in a number of languages.


Local newspapers

Apple Daily

Apple Daily has had an extremely good year, with the Next Digital publication becoming an essential source of news for Hongkongers during what has been a tumultuous year for the city. Usually, it’s a gamble when a news rag introduces an online paywall, but in 2019, Apple Daily got over 500,000 subscribers within a month of announcing it. The reputation of the outlet as a bastion for up-to-the-minute honest journalism has seen it maintain its position as a local leader despite (or possibly because of) its regular tussles with political figures over its coverage.

South China Morning Post

Founded in 1903, the South China Morning Post’s (SCMP) print edition is Hong Kong’s longest-running English-language print publication and boasts a readership of 396,000. The publication positions itself as the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia. Its tailor-made platforms about China include Abacus (reporting on China tech news); Inkstone (a daily multimedia digest of China-focused stories); and Goldthread (which offers stories about the way of life of Chinese people).

Hong Kong Economic Times

As a brand, Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET) caters primarily to business executives, investors, and professionals, and covers news of local and international financial markets, properties, trade and industry, alongside social news, wealth management and lifestyle. In August, HKET won Media Owner of the Year and Media Brand of the Year at the Spark Awards for Media Excellence in Hong Kong 2019. HKET has also set up various social media channels to reach potential readers, highly engaged in the internet and social media.


TV broadcasters

TVB

TVB is facing fierce competition from PCCW’s ViuTV, and is now expending a greater effort on retaining audiences. It operates five digital HD channels and annually produces about 600 hours of dramas and 23,000 hours of infotainment programmes. This includes news, current affairs, variety shows, and travelogues. Recently, however, the company has faced heavy pressure from the public over perceived bias in its news coverage and the resulting demands from advertisers to remove their ads from its channels.

ViuTV

Still a relative newcomer to the local broadcast scene, ViuTV first hit Hong Kong screens in 2016, swooping in to fill the on-air gap left by ATV’s departure. It’s one of several brands, under the masthead of the HK Television Entertainment Company, itself part of the PCCW family. Notably, rather than capitalise on importing or adapting Western productions, it has made its biggest splash with the presentation of original local content or material from within Asia, such as popular Korean dramas. At a stage when it should still be shakily finding its feet, ViuTV is making the television game look easy, hitting viewership numbers that may give local mainstay TVB a reason to blink.

Now TV

Now TV is a Hong Kong pay-TV service provider based under the umbrella of PCCW Media – the same as ViuTV. Offering a diverse range of local and international content, Now TV self produces a wide variety of home-grown material. This includes two news channels and a line-up of entertainment and infotainment programmes. This is complemented by high-quality productions sourced from across Asia and further abroad, and recognisable brands across the genres of news, entertainment, information, and sports.


This article was produced for the November issue of Marketing Magazine Hong Kong. For more features and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your free monthly print copy here or you can read the digital version in its entirety here.

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