Each year, Marketing magazine undertakes one of its most significant research projects to discover the media preferences of Hong Kong’s marketers. We hope to understand which media platforms that marketers are interested in for advertising solutions across digital, outdoor, TV, radio and print platforms.
In this research, we ask respondents to name the magazine, TV station, digital platform, or OOH groups they would use to target consumers across key industries from luxury, local business and finance.
How did we achieve this?
The media rankings were derived from questions in the annual Media Spend Benchmarking Survey. It 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 620 respondents participated in the Media Spend Benchmarking Survey. Genuine advertising decision-makers and influencers across key agency-using industries were well represented as were agency professionals from various marketing services.
Over 72% of respondents were manager-level decision makers and above, with about 28% from the most senior ranks of client advertisers – CEOs, MDs or GMs.
Advertisers from major and local international banks, FMCG companies, property and construction, IT and telecommunication firms, as well as those from travel and tourism companies participated in the survey. Agency professionals across the marketing services spectrum were also represented.
Ohpama has proven to be a favourite destination for Hongkongers with little ones to look after. A parenting resource under the Sing Tao News Corporation umbrella, it offers a wealth of valuable information on topics such as the best local and overseas schools, parental advice, to a directory of events and even product recommendations – both from Ohpama’s own editorial as well as fellow users.
Coming in just behind Ohpama is SundayKiss, a Hong Kong-based parenting editorial platform from New Media Group. The site offers a wide range of content including news to advice and guides for mothers, from self-care while expecting to recipes to feed young children. Its KissMOM members club offers a chance for mothers to share resources and information with one another on their parenting journey.
No.3 Sassy Mama
Part of the Sassy Media Group, Sassy Mama bills itself as “the go-to guide for parents in the 852”, offering the best of what to do in Hong Kong for moms with children to look after. From lists of kid- friendly events to dining, shopping and places to play, parents will find no shortage of ways to keep their children entertained.
Price.com.hk is Hong Kong’s leading price comparison website, listing a wide range of consumer electronics, namely audio/visual, photography, communication, home appliance and gaming.
Apart from price comparison services and information related to consumer electronics, Price.com.hk also has two sister websites, including PriceShop, an online platform for brands or companies to open online shops, and Price E-Marketplace, an online shopping platform offering a wide range of products such as furniture, consumer electronics and even fresh food.
Established in 2008, Unwire.hk is a free website providing technology information and analysis, product test reports and profiles. The website says its target users are aged 20 to 40 from students to professionals and claims it reaches more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month. Other than the online platform, Unwire.hk also hosts offline activities such as networking events and previews.
Established in 2002, DCFever.com is Hong Kong’s leading photography, tech and lifestyle website, aimed at creating interaction between consumer electronics users and encouraging them to use technology to elevate their standard of living. The site boasts over 980,000 members and claims 1.8 million visits per day to DCFever.com, while monthly unique visitors reach 1.5 million.
Claiming the top spot once again, this site provides the digital edition of the Hong Kong Economic Times and has an archive dating back to 2005. HKET offers professional analysis on finance and property markets as well as the macro economy, which users can access across mobile, tablets and desktops.
No.2 Bloomberg Digital
Bloomberg Digital positions its platform as a global ecosystem built for speed, relevancy and constant evolution. That ecosystem offers a wide variety of touchpoints including mobile, OTT, podcasts, social and video, just to name a few. Bloomberg Digital claims a total of 53.1 million monthly worldwide multiplatform visitors and 13.8 million monthly worldwide video viewers. 60% of monthly traffic comes from mobile or tablet.
Founded in 2000, AAStocks.com offers free real-time global financial information and analytical tools, covering Hong Kong shares, A-shares, US shares, forex, precious metals, global indexes and more. The company claims that the number of unique visitors to its website and mobile platform exceeds 3.8 million and 1.6 million each month, respectively.
No.1 Apple Daily
The leader of this category, Apple Daily ushered in a new chapter by launching and implementing a paid digital subscription model for Apple Daily and its edition in Taiwan last year. The publication’s digital presence also extends to video and animation, featuring a signature style branded as Apple Action News.
100most provides a self-curated stream about current affairs and online content accompanying an ad platform. The site provides integrated advertising and media services to customers which are categorised into digital services, print services, and events organisation and artist management.
HK01 provides personalised and diversified internet services for the digital era. As a trailblazer of Hong Kong’s internet industry, HK01 provides factual information and inspiring content through the use of innovative technology. It offers a wide range of content, including investigative reporting, international news, financial features and editorials, entertainment and sports.
No.1 Hong Kong Discuss Forum
The Hong Kong Discuss Forum has secured first place again this year. Established in 2003, discuss.com.hk is one of the most popular forums – and one of the most frequently visited websites – in Hong Kong. Members of the HK Discuss are mainly adult, working class and are interested in exchanging ideas on news, entertainment, real estate, relationships, property and more. The site claims it reaches more than 10 million unique visitors per month.
Often referred to as “Hong Kong Reddit”, LIHKG is a local popular online discussion forum. Launched in 2016, LIHKG covers topics such as current affairs, sports, travel, and entertainment through a local Hong Kong lens.
A perennially popular forum in Hong Kong, Baby Kingdom was first launched in 2002 to serve families with young children. For expecting parents seeking advice on what to do during pregnancy to those raising and taking care of toddlers as they grow, it has grown into a valued resource for those taking parenthood head on.
No.1 U Travel
For a year that saw travel come to a screeching halt, Hongkongers looked to their top home grown travel outlet to get up-to-date news on what was happening, to dream about where they’ll go in the future, and figure out what to eat, see and do in their own backyard in the meantime. Through it all, U Travel has delivered consistent and relevant content that kept readers coming back for more.
No.2 Go Trip
Go Trip casts a net across Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Macau to provide updates on travel news, expert opinion columns, advice for staycations while we wait for the world to get back to normal, and even offers discounts for hotels and food that offer extra incentive to stay a dedicated reader.
With excellent SEO for all things travel, it’s no surprise that Hongkongers find themselves returning to TripAdvisor again and again when it’s time to plan a staycation or just an afternoon away from the city. From neighbourhood guides to reviews to seamless opportunities to book, TripAdvisor provides an all-in-one solution for anyone looking to explore their world.
No.1 U Lifestyle
Year after year, Hongkongers turn to U Lifestyle as their digital resource for the best of Hong Kong. Combining U Travel, U HK, U Beauty, U Food, and the U Blog, they provide an excellent user experience, an engaged social base, and a distinctively local portal for everything you could need.
No.2 Harper’s Bazaar
Adding yet another feather in the cap for SCMP Hearst, Harper’s Bazaar offers an elevated look into the lifestyle, celebrity and fashion realms, with a website that mirrors the experience of the print product.
Founded in Hong Kong in 2016, PressLogic offers a homegrown portal to a variety of engaging, informative and beautifully designed lifestyle content that caters to a range of different audiences, including young girls, mothers, business professionals, and even South Korean culture obsessives.
With the launch of Vogue Hong Kong in 2019, Condé Nast opened the 26th international edition of their fashion bible with a challenge to make waves in Hong Kong’s luxury space across print and digital, as well as differentiating themselves from sister editions in Taiwan and China. It’s safe to they succeeded.
No.2 Tatler Hong Kong
With a creative rebrand in early 2020, Tatler Hong Kong navigated the challenges of the year by giving Hong Kong’s luxury space a relevant and informative portal online. From the city’s best fine dining to art and jewellery, Tatler Hong Kongcontinues to be a resource for those who appreciate the finer things.
Bearing a name forever associated with man at his best, Esquire’s Hong Kong edition rises to the occasion, complemented by a stunningly beautiful and easily navigable website giving guys their ultimate online guide to the things they love.
News & Current Affairs
No.1 Apple Daily
Just as with the Digital Media: Entertainment category, Apple Daily takes the top spot for News & Current Affairs. With their Apple Action News branding for digital video and animations, Apple Daily keeps its finger on the pulse of current happenings. Its paid digital subscription model for Apple Dailyand Taiwan Apple Daily was launched last year, and continues to be a success. On social media, Apple Daily’s total of over 2.5 million likes on Facebook is the highest number among Hong Kong’s news outlets.
HK01 provides an online news service for Hongkongers. With a staff of over 700, HK01 provides up-to-date, reliable content across its web platform, multiple social networks, and its own app, giving readers a wide range of content that includes investigative reporting, international news, financial updates, entertainment, and sport, all through a lens relevant to Hong Kong.
No.3 South China Morning Post
A complement to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s longest-running English language print publication, SCMP.com boasts a readership of 347,000, alongside about 197 million monthly page views. The website boasts 50 million active monthly users and 256 million video views. SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world; and Goldthread, a content platform with a focus on food, travel and culture in China.
Leading the way for the beauty category in digital media is Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan.com.hk is the official website of the iconic “Cosmo”, published as a part of the SCMP Hearst partnership. The site bills itself as “the on-line hub for young women in Hong Kong,” offering them expert advice on everything from fashion to beauty to fitness to careers.
No.2 Beauty Exchange
Beauty Exchange is as much a news and lifestyle content provider as it is a social network for beauty lovers in Hong Kong and beyond to share their looks, advice and resources. Members are encouraged to share and interact, making it an excellent portal for aspiring beauty influencers to make a name for themselves.
Another win for the SCMP Hearst division, ELLE is another traditional print magazine that has earned a place in the Hong Kong digital media landscape. Offering a portal to discover the latest fashion, beauty and fitness trends, ELLE also maintains an active and impressive social media following across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
A name so synonymous with searching online that it needs no introduction, Google takes the top spot for Hongkongers, whether they’re looking for information, photos, videos, news, shopping, or, in a far more normal year than this one, flight information. With an extensive portfolio of products that extends beyond search, such as Google Workspace and Gmail, the company is intent on remaining the name you think of first before you look for, well, anything.
Yahoo remains a crucial and important search resource for many in Hong Kong as its product offering and localisation remain especially useful for Chinese speakers. Early in a year marked by Coronavirus and boredom, Yahoo revealed that its most-searched terms by the end of April included “surgical masks”, “yoga”, and the Korean Netflix hit series, “Crash Landing On You”.
Often referred to as the “Google of China”, Baidu unsurprisingly remains and continues to grow as a critical resource for Chinese speakers. Offering the ability to search in Chinese phonetics, as well as news, images, video, weather and more, Baidu also offers an ever-growing suite of products and services spanning from productivity apps to mobile gaming.
The reigning king of social – and sixth largest company in the world by market capitalisation – it’s no surprise that Facebook is at the top of every Hongkonger’s list when it comes to social media. With a product offering that began as a college directory and has gone on to consume and connect nearly every online touchpoint in our lives in less than two decades, Facebook and its interconnected apps and ad partners are with us, and our friends, and their friends, every step of the way.
Acquired by – who else? – Facebook for US$1 billion all the way back in 2012, Instagram’s photo-sharing, storytelling and live- streaming platform has become the standard way that many of us share photos and keep up with friends, family and total strangers online. In recent years, the service has integrated smarter ad tech and functionality for business partners, making it a crucial element of digital strategy for just about any marketer.
Launched in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006, YouTube still wears the crown for online video. It has long served as a place where commercials, music videos and future viral videos are first seen by the public, but has also turned countless users sharing personal content into celebrities in their own right, with many going on to sign massive deals in entertainment, eSports and more.
Demand side platform
No.1 Google Marketing Platform
Just barely edging out Facebook’s Ad Manager, the Google Marketing Platform takes the top spot once again this year. A fully integrated digital marketing service, Google Marketing Platform launched in 2018 to unite the company’s DoubleClick and Analytics360 offerings, creating a one-stop shop for marketers to plan campaigns, understand their customers, create connections, and ultimately, drive results.
No.2 Facebook Ad Manager
With more and more businesses relying on Facebook as a part of their digital marketing strategy, Facebook Ad Manager has grown more important every year. Offering the ability to place ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Audience Network, the platform enables precision targeting of potential consumers and sophisticated analytics to ensure advertisers get the most out of every dollar spent.
No.3 Verizon Media DSP
After expanding DSP earlier this year with programmatic and Native Marketplace offerings, Verizon’s Demand Side platform is more robust than ever. Advertisers have full control over planning, buying and management, and insights and optimisation for a full end-toend ad buying experience.
Mobile ad networks
With an audience of 2.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook has an unprecedented ability to track and analyse user data. It only makes sense that their ability to help marketers create effective mobile advertising is second-to-none. With the ability to target even the most specific and niche demographics, Facebook’s ad manager ensures you’re reaching the consumers you want – when you want to reach them.
No.2 Google AdMob
AdMob, Google’s mobile advertising platform remains an extremely popular option for app developers who want to monetise their mobile products by way of in-app advertising. Both developer and user-friendly, AdMob is designed to ensure that relevant and appropriate ads are served, maximising performance for the developer without driving users away.
Consolidating the power of big data analytics and applications, Vpon utilises innovative machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to analyse user behaviour and market trends to help marketers come up with an optimal strategy to target and reach consumers across multiple mobile advertising formats.
No.1 Smart Parents
Published by Sing Tao News Corporation, Smart Parents claims top spot in the parenting print category yet again. Staking its claim as Hong Kong's most popular parenting magazine, it provides its readership with comprehensive content and practical guidance on issues that are pertinent to parents, and is designed to be a guide for parents who are intent on bringing out the best in their children.
No.2 Sunday Kiss
Another widely recognised Hong Kong parenting magazine, Sunday Kiss covers topics on childcare, parenting and education, and offers shopping tips, claiming to be especially popular among families with young parents. The website of Sunday Kiss covers a wide range of topics relevant to young moms and dads, including parenting activities, school enrollment options, and interviews with celebrity parents.
No.3 Baby Magazine
Covering a wide range of topics related to pregnancy and parenting, Baby Magazine takes an expert approach, inviting medical professionals to offer insights pertinent to new and expecting parents. The magazine also extends their content across YouTube and Facebook to further engage readers.
No.1 Apple Daily
As local newspapers go in Hong Kong, few are as immediately recognised as Apple Daily. While the paper continues its strong showing reputationally and in this year’s Media Report, the publication has not been immune to the challenges of the industry, claiming to have moved 88,685 copies per day during the 2019-20 fiscal year, compared with 102,500 copies per day in the previous period. Apple Daily’s main sources of advertising revenue comes from the property, government, decoration and furnishing, and travel sectors.
No.2 South China Morning Post
The South China Morning Post’s print edition is Hong Kong’s longest-running English language print publication and boasts a readership of 347,000, alongside about 197 million monthly page views of SCMP.com. The publication also has claim to a relatively affluent readership: they possess personal net worth of US$3 million, own more than six investments or financial products, and have flown first- or business-class on both business and leisure trips in the past 12 months.
The free Chinese-language newspaper am730 is distributed from Monday-to-Friday and covers local, international, entertainment, fashion and travel news, while providing content on its website and mobile app as well.
No.1 Vogue Hong Kong
After launching last year, the Hong Kong edition of Condé Nast’s high-fashion bible has managed to differentiate itself from local high-end mags – as well as its own sister titles in Taiwan and China – and staked its claim as the top luxury glossy in town. Putting a spotlight on the region’s fashion, culture and creative scenes, Vogue Hong Kong delivers the final word, in both English and Chinese, on the finer things in Hong Kong.
SCMP Hearst’s ELLE continues to be recognised for producing a gorgeous print book showcasing the finest of women’s fashion and beauty while featuring some of the biggest stars in Asia for their covers, with Blackpink’s Rosé and actress Nana Komatsu covering issues in 2020.
No.3 Tatler Hong Kong
After officially relaunching this year as part of the rebranded Tatler Asia Group, Tatler Hong Kong continued to do what it does best: telling compelling stories, shooting beautiful photography, and offering insider access into the lives of Hong Kong’s most influential and powerful people.
No.1 U Magazine
Local favourite U Magazine continues to be Hongkongers’ magazine of choice. The weekly publication offers three separate brands – Travel, Food and Life+Weekend – and offers columns, information, and guides to everything that travellers, food lovers, and locals looking to plan the weekend ahead need to know.
More than just a showcase for beautiful fashion, beauty and Asia’s biggest names, many locals also look to ELLE as a high-end guide to the best of where to spend their hard-earned in Hong Kong, with expert tips on the finest luxury hotel stays, chic cafes, and shopping guides to chic and in-the-know.
No.3 Ming Pao Weekly
While a number of international glossies cover Hong Kong and beyond, for over 50 years, Ming Pao Weekly has been a mainstay and a favourite of Hongkongers who want the latest on celebrities, entertainment, society and the arts, but with a distinctly local flair.
No.1 Bloomberg Businessweek
Founded in 1929 as Businessweek, the magazine provided information and opinions on important happenings in the world of business. Renamed to Bloomberg Businessweek L.P. in 2010, the publication provides news about markets, technology and lifestyle, and hosts editorials and opinions in its magazine and on its website.
No.2 The Economist
The Economist maintains its spot as runner-up in this category for the third year. Founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade, the title aims to provide insights that connect the dots between business, politics, technology and culture. With a reputation for sometimes radical opinions and a reverence for facts, it is firmly established as one of the world’s most authoritative and influential publications.
Rounding out the business magazine category is iMoney, a member of the Hong Kong Economic Times. Established in 2007, it focuses on wealth management with content that stretches across global and local finance news, innovative business features, marketing strategies, topics that concern the workplace and personal development.
No.1 U Travel
U Travel is one of the books distributed by U Magazine, providing the latest information and travel reports to destinations both at home and across the globe, featuring promotions and suggested itineraries. Over the past few years, U Magazine has gained increasing recognition in the media industry, achieving multiple honours for its work.
No.2 Weekend Weekly
Focused on travel, dining, shopping and leisure, Weekend Weekly caters to the Hong Kong lifestyle and travel magazine market. Since its debut in September 1999, the magazine has attained a firm foothold in the market with high-spending readers who place an emphasis on enjoying a quality life.
No.3 Japan Walker@HK
Previously known as Hong Kong Walker, Japan Walker@HK lays claim to being Hong Kong’s only Japan travel magazine published by a Japanese company. It covers a wide range of topics concerning Japanese travel news, such as dining, lifestyle, destinations, and hot issues related to the country.
OOH Media/TV Broadcaster
Out of home media
No.1 JCDecaux Transport
Claiming the first position in the category once again, JCDecaux Transport has now secured a place in the OOH Media top three for five consecutive years. Adding to their growing list of accolades: JCDecaux Transport secured gold awards in Best Engagement Strategy; Best Media Campaign – Experiential; and Best Media Campaign – Out-of-Home at Marketing magazine’s Spark Awards. The company has been managing the ad sales concessions for the MTR for more than 30 years, and for the Hong Kong International Airport since 1998.
POAD retains its place on the list of this year's top three in the OOH category. It is the operator of the Cross Harbour Tunnel advertisement boards, billboards across prominent spaces in Hong Kong’s business districts, and taxi advertisements. It also creates large-scale OOH ads in multiple locations throughout Hong Kong, offering brands high value ad placements in the city.
No.3 Asiaray Media Group
Asiaray has seen great results in this year’s Media Report. The out-of-home media company has worked with a number of Hong Kong brands to create eyecatching ads for clients including Wheelock Properties, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, AXA, and WeChat Pay Hong Kong to name a few. Its works can be seen across various platforms such as billboards, LED walls, shopping malls, bus shelters and MTR stations.
Currently in its fifth year of operation, ViuTV has taken the TV world by storm and has already become the favourite choice for local marketers. The channel operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and its English arm ViuTVsix broadcasts various types of programming throughout the day, including news and public affairs, lifestyle, documentaries, and overseas content.
No.2 Now TV
Now (“Network of the World”) TV is a pay television provider and the largest in Hong Kong. While most of its programming is in English, Cantonese or Putonghua, it also offers some programming in Hindi and French. On 30 September 2020, its operator PCCW Media was sold to HKT for US$250 million (HK$1.95 billion), making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of HKT.
No.3 Hong Kong Cable Television
Cable TV revealed in its latest annual report that Cable TV revealed in its latest annual report that the customer base contracted during the six months ending30 June 2020. However, it has won the multi-year contract with MTR to be the exclusive commercial airtime sales distributor and content provider for In-train TV through2023. The services will be further expanded to the Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Tseung Kwan O Line, and the Tuen Ma Line Phase I.
Editor's Note: Congratulations to Michael Siu, the winner of this year's Lucky Draw! Thank you for participating in our survey, your prize is on the way!