MEDIAWATCH #1: South Korea

Over the last year, I have been fortunate to visit 10 different countries on business.
The experience and learnings I captured during each trip are tremendously valuable.
I have been writing specific work reports, and I have also decided to share broader observations about each market.

This is my media watch, starting with South Korea where I am spending the week.
I will then backfill with India, Brasil, Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, Australia, France..

  • Population: 49.3 Million
  • Internet penetration: 85.3%

Skorea population and internet metrics

  • Media Spend:  Mobile ad spend is said to account for 10-15% of total ad spend in 2015 and as much as 29% by 2019.
    IPTV & Mobile represent the strongest growth. This demonstrates the power of fast mobile network accessible anywhere (when everyone watches mobile on their phone in the subway: commute time is the new prime time).

S Korea spend by media

  • Mobile leaders: Google and Facebook are strongly represented, yet they are being crushed by the regional giants Daum Kakao and Naver.

S Korea mobile apps used

  • Opportunities for international companies: South Korea is well connected and extremely competitive. The lessons learnt by observing the dynamics can be very valuable (Kakao’s vertical integration is fascinating. Although described as a messaging service it also offers e commerce, content curation, taxi services…).
    South Korea is a great benchmark.
  • Barriers for international companies: Language.
  • Personal observation: This is the most competitive market I have ever seen with local player being extremely advance + vertical integration like nowhere else.
  • Fun fact: #KPOP is everywhere.
      • Travel tips: Traveling to Korea is like stepping into the future.

Marie Sornin

Most RT ever

During the 86th Oscars Ceremony @TheEllenShow Tweeted the most popular selfie in history… which resulted in the most RT Tweet ever

I love the fact that a Tweet is now part of every piece of broadcast around the Oscars

Which also helped  @TheEllenShow grow by apprx 1 mill followers

It Beat @BarackObama‘s Tweet which held the record until today

So, @TwitterAU, we decided to be part of history as well:



Social networks: quick facts!

Update with April 2013 stats:

Key trends over the last 12 months:
Facebook is starting to lose reach (very slight decline-0.18% YoY)
– Instagram shows record growth (+118% YoY), ahead of Reddit (+88.41% YoY) and G+ (+68.68%)
Linkedin & Twitter still fighting for number 2 position but will be interesting to see how things evolved with G+ bridging the gap with these two!
– Not surprisingly Foursquare and Myspace keep shrinking….

Social Networks in Australia (April 2013)- Nielsen netview

Social Networks in Australia (April 2013)

Previous  stats from Jan 2013.


Tracking the growth of social networks in Australia over the last 6 months:
Spotify is the clear winner, strong increase from G+ as well which has overtaken Linkedin.

Let’s keep an eye on the new myspace to see what that’s going to do!


April 2012

No surprises in the ranking: Facbeook still dominates (Facebook actually claims to reach 12 Mill users, but Nielsen still reports 10 Mill +).
The interesting trends are with the smaller networks: Tumblr, Pinterst still going strong. Instagram going off the charts (but that was before they got bouth out by Facebook. I suspect this might slpw down and will get rolled up into Facbeook traffic, with the new Facbeook camera), and teh new entrant: Spotify… watch this space, or shoudl I say… listen to this space…


Stats from December 20111


Because these stats are always handy…
I will update them regularly, feel free to download!

Marie Sornin 

Why do people become friends with brands on Facebook?

In March 2011, Mediabrands and Facebook joined forces to conduct some research to understand the motivations for users to engage or disengage with brands on Facebook. This information is exclusive on the Australian market! I can’t yet reveal the details of the research methodology and findings since we are just releasing it… but get in touch with me and the Mediabrands Sydney team if you’d like to hear more.


What I can do is tease you with the top 5 findings: 

 #1 Facebookers are more actively rejecting people than brands: 60% have deleted a friend/ 33% of  people who have made friends with a brand have then gone on to unlike it

#2 If they don’t like a brand they’re more likely to cut the friendship than just hide the content (so Facebook friends is a good indicator of engagement)

#3 Free stuff isn’t the primary motivator for befriending a brand (getting free stuff is the third motivator)

#4 Brands get the axe because of too many updates + uninteresting content – whereas people are forgiven for this!

#5 Accessing Facebook from mobile phones is stable throughout the day but PCs or tablet spike at various times

Marie Sornin


Social Media Business Benchmarking Study 2011

On May 19th 2011, Nielsen and Community Engine release the 2nd wave of their research on Australian businesses and social media.

The full report available for download here gives a tone of interesting data about the motivations and barriers for companies to engage in social marketing activities.

In a nutshell I would summarize the last 3 years as:

  • 2009: the year of growth
  • 2010: the year of consolidation
  • 2011: the year of integration

I would add that 2012 looks like it will be the year of scale!

Here is what particularly struck me in the research findings:

  • There has been a  strong push towards social with more business wanting to/ getting involved, and budget are expanding (44% of respondents) rather than being reallocated (37% of respondents)
  • Even though one in four Australian businesses have a presence on Facebook there are still very few companies that have a formal social strategy in place (17%), or social policy (23%)
  • Marketing objectives are shifting from branding relationship building and word of mouth… which expresses more maturity in the market
  • I was also surprised to see that social budgets are primarily from Direct Marketing (41%) and Print (37%) and not from digital (23%). TV which very often represents the biggest share of media expenditure doesn’t get cut: 17% (probably due the high ticket entry and low volatility of the investment)
  • ROI is not the barrier nb1 to social investment; along with establishing KPIs, it is the barrier that has declined the most since 2009. The main fears are the lack of knowledge and expertise (both internally and amongst agencies & providers) and the difficulty to allocate resources and sustain the activity. This puts the challenge on agencies to demonstrate their able to integrate thisdiscipline in their core acitivity might it be media, advertising or PR.

Some more nuggets:

  • In spite of a big growth in the integration of sharing capabilities (like, share buttons, participation…) on websites overall only 7% facilitate social shopping
  • Average # of Facebook fans: 2,252
  • Nielsen leads social listening market with 19% share; Radian6 ranks 4ths with only 6% market share.

Melanie Ingrey (@melanie_ingrey), Research Director at Nielsen, who presented the research to the industry on Wednesday. Here are her observations on the market trends (please excuse the average quality of the video as I am working on my director skills)

Thanks Melanie for your summary

More business doing social well… it also means a more competitive and aggressive market ahead!

Comments with  

Marie Sornin


Twitter dominates conversation about the Royal Wedding

The micro blogging platform hosted most of conversation about the Royal Wedding in Australia, in the UK and in the USA

On Friday the 28th the world turned to the TV to watch one of the most expected events of the recent years – the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. So many expectations about the bride’s dress, the menu, guest list and the ceremony made people turn to the internet to search for information, comment about it and share their feelings about the big event.

As we experienced in previous events such as the Japan and New Zealand’s earthquakes, conversation in social networks increased during this period. However, this time surprisingly Twitter smashed the other channels and hosted almost 90% of the buzz around the Royal Wedding.

According to the listening platform Radian6, in Australia, 88% of the conversation around the Royal Wedding took place on the micro blogging system, leaving behind News Sites (4%), Blogs (3%) and Forums (1%). Same figures happened in the United Kingdom, where Twitter hosted 89% of the conversation followed by Blogs (3%), News Sites (3%) and Forums (1%).

In the United States, where Twitter was created, the situation is a little bit different. The micro blogging platform still dominates conversation but not as much as in the UK and Australia. In the US, Twitter hosted 66% of the conversations, followed by Blogs (13%), Facebook* (11%), Forums (2%) and News Sites (2%). This shows that in the US the media was less interested in the Royal Wedding than the media in the UK and in Australia.

Share of Royal Wedding conversation for each channel in the 30 days that preceed the event:



Source: Radian6


Americans are less enthusiastic about the Royal Wedding

The americans reacted differently to the british and Australian nations. Not only regarding the channel they used to talk about the event, they also have the lowest positive sentiment towards the Royal Wedding – 53%, compared to Australians (60%) and the british who lead positive sentiment with 64%.

Source: Radian6

*Due to privacy facebook only allows social listening platform to listen in public pages, not personal profiles.