Thursday, 29 October 2009

Pinoy kids now have more to spend -- Cartoon Network

Jeffrey O. Valisno

FILIPINO CHILDREN now have more money to spend and are increasingly tech-savvy, a study commissioned by cable television channel Cartoon Network showed, offering an opportunity marketers cannot afford to ignore.

The combined spending power of kids in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, according to the "New Generations Philippines 2009" survey, has risen to some P42 billion, up from P37 billion when the study was last conducted two years ago.

Filipinos have apparently weathered the global economic downturn better than most, said Turner International Asia Pacific, Ltd. Vice-President Duncan Morris, with parents reporting a 17% increase in average pocket money given to kids.

Turner is the parent firm of Cartoon Network.

"The vast majority, about 91%, of Pinoy kids receive pocket money, which compares favorably with kids in other countries such as Japan, with only 49% of kids receiving pocket money; Australia, with only 59%; and India with only 41%," Mr. Morris said in a press conference.

Filipino children, according to the study, receive an average of P197 in weekly pocket money, up from P169 two years ago. Kids 11 to 14 years old receive P244, while those from the AB segment get as much as P348.

Children from Manila receive an average P205 weekly while kids from Davao get P177. Cebuano children get an average of P156.

Boys receive more -- P214 per week -- compared to P181 for girls.

Aside from pocket money, children also get "gift money" during their birthdays and Christmas. Mr. Morris said 96% of those surveyed receive gift money averaging P2,130 per year, which brings the "annual income" of a typical Filipino child to P12,374.

"Combining pocket money with gift money, and extrapolating this to the kids’ population of about 3.7 million across the surveyed cities, Pinoy kids collectively have P42 billion spending money per year," Mr. Morris said.

"Marketers should be aware that kids are not only primary consumers anymore," he said. "They just don’t spend their money on snacks."

"Filipino children are increasingly becoming secondary consumers, as they greatly influence their parents on what to buy, from computers, to cars, and other gadgets. As the survey reveals, kids as young as seven have well-established views on everything," he added.

The 2009 survey also showed that Filipino children are increasingly becoming more digitally savvy, and Mr. Morris said: "A new wave of Pinoy tech kids who view technology as an integral part of their lives is paving the way for the future"

He said the survey showed an increase in computer ownership among Philippine homes, to 47% this year from 42% in 2007. Internet access grew to 32% from 23%, portable music players like iPods are now in a majority of kids’ homes (52% from 45%), and 38% of kids now personally own mobile phones from 26% in 2007.

"The way in which kids are consuming media and connecting with brands like Cartoon Network is rapidly changing. Where once it was all about watching TV, today kids can comfortably view, use, play and engage with our characters, whenever, wherever, and however they wish," Mr. Morris said.

The proportion of Filipino kids using the Internet has grown significantly in just two years, he said. From 46% in 2007, 63% of kids are now classified as regular Internet users.

In terms of online activities, gaming remains the number one attraction, with 78% online games within the past month. Catching up fast was online video viewing at 61%. Half (55%) use the Internet to assist them with their homework and a rapidly growing 45% visit social networking sites. Social networking is more popular among girls (50% in past month) than boys (41%).

The New Generations Study 2009, which was conducted from August 25 to September 21 this year, used in-home face-to-face interviews of 1,000 children aged seven to 14 from the A to D socioeconomic classes. Eighty percent were from Manila and 10% each came from Cebu and Davao.

The survey was conducted by Synovate Philippines. Similar localized surveys were also commissioned by Cartoon Network in Japan, India, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore.

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