Media telecommunications and streaming video concept

Online Vs. Offline: Which Rules in Brazil?

Brazilians like traditional media, like TV, radio and print.

In fact, they like them so much that they spend twice as much on them every month as they do on digital.

However, more Brazilians read news online than they do in newspapers. In addition, Brazilians report consuming more digital media than people in the world’s other large Internet markets, including the United States.

These contradictory results come from a survey done by KPMG of more than 9,000 consumers in Brazil, the United States, Canada, China, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Here are some of the other key findings:

  • Brazilians are spending US$15 per month on traditional media like print, TV and radio but only US$6 per month on digital media
  • 57% of Brazilians watch TV and use the Internet for non-social media activities, while 37% of Brazilians combine watching TV with going on social media
  • The 3 top online media activities for Brazilians were visiting social networking sites (77%), accessing maps (57%) and accessing news online (70%)
  • The top 3 offline media activities for Brazilians were watching TV (85%), listening to the radio (61%) and reading a newspaper (57%)

So while watching TV is the most popular activity among Brazilians, at the same time social networking and reading the news online are more popular than other traditional media.

Does this suggest that traditional media are still stronger in Brazil than Internet? Or that Internet is overtaking traditional media?

The KPMG study seems to offer evidence for both of these arguments. And curiously enough, so do other studies.

Evidence for Internet Overtaking Traditional Media in Brazil

  • A comScore study from 2012 showed that Brazilians spend more time using the Internet than other forms of media, including TV
  • It’s projected that by 2014 80% of Brazilian households will have Internet access
  • Currently there are 261 million active mobile lines in Brazil and major growth in smartphone and tablet use
  • Magazines went down 4.6% in circulation in Brazil in 2012 while IBOPE predicts Brazil will gain 22 million Internet users in 2013
  • IAB Brasil projected 13.7% share of ad spend for Internet in 2012, higher than print media’s share

Evidence for Traditional Media Reigning Supreme in Brazil

  • Free TV still commands the most ad spend in Brazil: nearly 65% in 2012
  • More than 16 million Brazilian households subscribe to pay TV, up from 14 million in mid-2012
  • Newspaper circulation went up 1.8% in Brazil in 2012
  • 9 out of 10 Brazilian homes have radio and 90% of Brazilians say that radio is the most trustworthy medium

So which assessment is correct? Both are.

I know, it’s confusing. The problem is that studies come out all the time and their results are reported as if they were the last word, rather than parts of a bigger picture.

The Big Picture in Brazilian Media
All of these study results indicate that the Internet is making strong inroads into the Brazilian market and gaining the attention of consumers. However, at the same time, while some forms of traditional media are losing some ground to Internet, many remain quite strong and have very clear places in the lives of Brazilian consumers.

For marketers and advertisers, this suggests that a strategic crossmedia approach will allow them to reach the largest swath of Brazilian consumers.

The tricky part is knowing how to distribute a media buy between online and offline media so you reach your target. That’s why we shouldn’t let ourselves get confused by all of these study results and stay focused on the basics. That means knowing which forms of media reach which demographics the most and adjusting your campaign based on that. For example, it’s well known that Internet users in Brazil tend to be younger: comScore just reported that 75% of Brazilian internautas are between 15 and 44, while only 7.4% are above 55. So a campaign targeting people above 55 in Brazil can have an online component but they should obviously direct most of it in more traditional media like TV and print since these have greater penetration with people over 55.

Ultimately, while it’s good to stay current with new study results as they come out, we should always place them in the proper context so we make the best decisions and get maximum ROI with our advertising investments.

To find out how we can help you reach Brazil via any other type of media, please contact us.

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