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Digital Trends - Asian Consumers Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Digital Trends - Asian Consumers market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report explores Asian consumers’ technology usage as well as their digital activities, how they access the internet, and their attitudes toward technology and the digital world.

Mintel’s use of the term “Asian Americans” refers to Asians who have immigrated to the US or who are living in the US of any immigration status. They may be visiting foreign nationals or first-, second-, or higher-generation immigrants.

For the purposes of consumer research for this report, Asians are defined as persons having origins in the following regions:

  • East Asia: Japan, China, North and South Korea
  • Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos
  • South Asia: India, Pakistan

In this report, acculturation refers to which culture is most dominant in an Asian American’s life. The following terms and definitions are used:

  • Unacculturated: the respondent’s Asian/Pacific Island culture is more dominant in their life.
  • Bicultural: Asians are equally affected by Asian and American cultures.
  • Acculturated: American culture is more dominant in their life.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Poelking, a leading analyst in the Leisure & Media sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although the Asian American population is small, it is incredibly influential to the development of emerging tech trends in the US. A mobile-first strategy and smart home integration will be important to reaching this tech-savvy group as they look to connect to their domestic and international interests through the adoption of new hardware and services John Poelking
Leisure & Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • Figure 1: Devices used to access the internet, Asian vs all US consumers, March 2019
        • The influence of culture on content
          • Asian Americans want representation
            • Key opportunity
              • Figure 2: Attitudes toward content featuring Asian culture, March 2019
            • The impact of free video
              • Very little need to pay
                • Key opportunity
                  • Figure 3: Weekly media activities, indexed to all, March 2019
                • The act of engaging in tech
                  • Consumers want to learn what’s coming out
                    • Key opportunity
                      • Figure 4: Attitudes toward tech trends, all vs Asian population, March 2019
                    • The importance of communication
                      • Substituting in-person interactions
                        • Key opportunity
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes toward digital communications, March 2019
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Mighty and growing population
                            • Moving toward mobile
                              • More money going into digital
                                • Staying ahead of the curve
                                • Asian Americans – By the Numbers

                                  • A small but growing audience
                                    • Figure 6: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2013-23
                                  • Chinese, Indian population comprise majority of Asian Americans
                                    • Figure 7: Primary Asian heritage/ancestry of US residents who identify as Asian only, by country, 2017
                                  • Population skews toward key tech demos
                                    • Figure 8: Asian and total population, by share of age, 2018
                                  • Huge spending power for the most wealthy
                                    • Figure 9: Median household income, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2007-17
                                    • Figure 10: Educational attainment of population aged 18+ by share of degrees, Asian vs total population, 2018 estimates
                                    • Figure 11: Household income distribution, Asian Americans vs total US population, 2017
                                  • Emphasizing the family
                                    • Figure 12: Share of married adults, by race/Hispanic origin, 2018
                                • Tech Usage

                                  • Gap between computer and mobile use more defined
                                    • Figure 13: Computer and mobile devices used to access the internet, indexed to all, March 2019
                                  • Emphasizing the home
                                    • Figure 14: Smart home device use, indexed to all, March 2019
                                  • South Asian consumers explore new platforms
                                    • Figure 15: Devices used to connect to the internet, by region of origin, March 2019
                                  • Asian culture inspires smart home connection
                                    • Figure 16: Devices used to connect to the internet, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                • Market Perspective

                                  • Fragmenting of the media landscape
                                    • More investment in digital
                                      • Digital drives connection across the world
                                      • Market Factors

                                        • More home internet access
                                          • Figure 17: Access to broadband internet, by race and Hispanic origin, 2015-17
                                        • Heavy emphasis on mobile
                                          • Figure 18: Attitudes toward mobile, all US consumers vs Asian American consumers October 2017-November 2018
                                        • Trade wars could mean slowdown of innovation
                                        • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                          • Asian brands leading significant tech developments
                                            • Representation matters in content creation
                                              • Decision fatigue affecting gaming and paid video growth
                                                • Creating new digital experiences
                                                • East Asian Brands and the US Consumer

                                                    • Tencent
                                                      • Alibaba
                                                        • Weibo
                                                          • Huawei
                                                            • Xiaomi
                                                              • Rakuten
                                                              • What’s Working?

                                                                • Mainstream embrace of Asian content
                                                                  • Domestic representation
                                                                    • International imports
                                                                      • Figure 19: @fathomevents Instagram post, April 2019
                                                                    • Jailbroken streaming media players for international content
                                                                      • Apple has its loyal audience
                                                                        • Figure 20: Ownership of apple smartphones and tablets, all US consumers vs Asian consumers, October 2017-November 2018
                                                                      • Health monitoring on the rise
                                                                        • Figure 21: Weekly physical activity tracking, all US consumers vs Asian American consumers, March 2019
                                                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                                                      • Gaming having a hard time finding its audience
                                                                        • American paid video services struggling for Asian audiences
                                                                          • Figure 22: “Netflix debuts AnimeJapan 2018” video, March 2018
                                                                      • What’s Next?

                                                                        • Putting creators first
                                                                          • Figure 23: “The Storytellers Behind Apple TV+” video, March 2019
                                                                        • Emphasizing the live experience
                                                                          • Blending VR with real world
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • The importance of Asian culture
                                                                              • Prioritizing media over most things
                                                                                • Trusting the voices of the masses
                                                                                  • Keeping the attention on free video
                                                                                    • Leading with mobile
                                                                                    • Culture and Digital Communication

                                                                                      • Key opportunity
                                                                                        • Asian culture influential to content choices
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Attitudes toward content featuring Asian culture, March 2019
                                                                                        • South Asian consumers look to their roots
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes toward content featuring Asian culture, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                                                                        • Substituting physical communications for digital life
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Attitudes toward digital communications, March 2019
                                                                                        • Asian culture keeps active digital life
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Attitudes toward digital communications, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                                                                      • Reasons to Use Technology

                                                                                        • Key opportunity
                                                                                          • Video more essential to Asian Americans
                                                                                            • The importance of media
                                                                                              • Practical tech uses are less exciting
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Reasons to use technology, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                              • Different media for different regions
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Reasons to use technology, by region of origin, March 2019
                                                                                              • Seeking connection from Asian dominant consumers
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Reasons to use technology, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                                                                            • Tech Purchase Decisions

                                                                                              • Key opportunity
                                                                                                • Asian consumers stick with tech trends
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Attitudes toward tech trends, all vs Asian population, March 2019
                                                                                                • Product information proven to be valuable
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Path to purchase, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                                • Online shopping, viewing more popular among Asian Americans
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Weekly online shopping activities, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                                • Brand loyalty runs deep
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Attitudes toward tech brands, March 2019
                                                                                              • Media Behaviors

                                                                                                • Key opportunity
                                                                                                  • Video, articles dominate media habits
                                                                                                    • The power of free video
                                                                                                      • The need to stay informed
                                                                                                        • Other media on par
                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Weekly media activities, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                                        • Free videos crucial to unacculturated Asians
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Weekly media activities, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                                                                                        • Cable tries to hold on in a crowded digital field
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Media subscriptions, March 2019
                                                                                                        • Signing up for streaming more than letting go
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: New and cancelled streaming subscriptions, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                                      • Media Attitudes

                                                                                                        • Key opportunity
                                                                                                          • Moving to mobile
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Attitudes toward streaming, indexed to all, March 2019
                                                                                                          • Unacculturated Asians driving digital consumption
                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes toward streaming, by level of acculturation, March 2019
                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                      • Terms
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Primary Asian heritage/ancestry of US residents who identify as Asian only, by country, 2017
                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Asian heritage/ancestry of US residents who identified as Asian alone or in combination with another race/ethnicity, by country, 2017
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes toward technology and media, October 2017-November 2018
                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Daily social media usage, all US consumers and Asian US consumers, February 2019