History of Myanmar Media and Platforms
Back in the day, Myanmar had limited censorship regimes. But the country opened up in 2012, Myanmar’s media ecosystem started developing, and new media outlets sprouted and bloomed after the removal of limited censorship.
Since 2013, telecom industry liberalization policies have contributed to the rapid increase of mobile and internet usage, with the country recording a 105 percent SIM penetration rate and an 80 percent smartphone penetration rate in 2018. In addition to the four telecom companies, Myanmar now has approximately 140 licensed internet service providers.
Myanmar inhabitants went from not having a phone or even sending a text message to utilizing smartphones on a regular basis as a result of the digital leapfrog. Most people, on the other hand, have very low Media and Information Literacy (MIL) skills, making it difficult to evaluate information critically.
The changing political and economic context is giving way to emerging needs and new opportunities for addressing media development inside Myanmar. As of August 2021, Twitter was among the top 10 social media platforms used in Myanmar after Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Bigo Live.
There were 26 million social media users in Myanmar in January 2022. The number of social media users in Myanmar increased by 7 million (+32%) between 2020 and 2021 followed by a decline due to the coup. The number of social media users in Myanmar was equivalent to 53.1% of the total population in January 2021.
Radio is the most preferred source of information for the rural population, although it lacks capacity both technically and on the content side. The 6 semi-state-owned FM/AM stations focus on “non-controversial” content such as music and entertainment from private producers. Back in the day, almost every citizen in Myanmar used to listen to the news media channel for daily news and current affairs.
Myanmar Media Landscape in the Year 2022
The epidemic of Coronavirus illness (COVID-19) and the internal conflict in Myanmar (which began on the 1st of February, 2021) had a huge impact on media markets from 2020 to 2021. Those situations are predicted to have a detrimental influence on the businesses in 2021. Some media markets, on the other hand, have been unaffected and have gained as a result of this, as they launch their material remotely via digital platforms.
As per Deloitte’s Myanmar consumer survey, these are the top 6 Myanmar sources of media information that have an impact on consumer purchasing decisions.
- Friends and family members
- Promotions in-store
- Use of social media
Myanmar’s Most Used Mobile Apps
According to gs.statcounter.com, Myanmar’s mobile operating system market share in 2021 shows that 89.35 percent of Myanmar citizens use Android smartphones, while 10.47 percent use iOS. Most smartphone users in Myanmar, whether they use an Android or an iOS system, may now simply download their favorite programmers by using Google’s Play Store, APK Pure. apk, or the iOS app store. As a result, they can select apps based on their interests.
The top mobile apps in Myanmar are listed below.
Facebook: In 2021, Facebook had 28,780,000 active users, accounting for 52.6 percent of the total population. It’s up roughly 28.8% from last year’s 22,350,000 active users in 2020. There isn’t a single person in Myanmar who does not have access to the internet and does not have a Facebook account (some people have many accounts).
Messenger: Many Myanmar people, regardless of where they are, utilize Messenger to communicate.
Google: In Myanmar, Google is a well-known app. The majority of users use the Google App to look for news and information.
Viber: Viber has an estimated 18 million active users in Myanmar, accounting for about one-fifth of all active cell phones in the country.
Youtube: According to social bakers, the majority of Myanmar people utilize YouTube.
Future of Digital media in Myanmar
- According to data from Meta’s advertising resources, Myanmar had 19.25 million Facebook members in early 2022.
However, towards the end of 2021, Meta made substantial changes to the way its advertising resources provide audience reach statistics, including large alterations to its base audience data for Facebook, so the figures in this report are not directly comparable to those in earlier reports.
According to the company’s revised audience numbers, Facebook’s ad reach in Myanmar at the start of 2022 was equivalent to 35.0 percent of the total population.
Though Facebook only allows people aged 13 and over to use its network, it’s not for everyone.
In January 2022, Facebook’s ad reach in Myanmar was equivalent to 76.2 percent of the country’s internet users (regardless of age)
In Myanmar, 44.7 percent of Facebook’s ad audience was female at the start of 2022, while 55.3 percent were male.
- It’s worth noting that LinkedIn’s advertising tools report audience reach based on total registered members, rather of the monthly active users that most other social media platforms use to calculate ad reach.
As a result, the data for LinkedIn are not directly comparable to the figures for other social media sites.
According to LinkedIn’s advertising reach data, the company’s audience in Myanmar accounted for 1.2 percent of the entire population at the start of 2022.
However, because LinkedIn is only available to persons aged 18 and over, it’s also useful to know that in 2022, 1.7 percent of Myanmar’s “eligible” audience will be using the site.
- Instagram restricts the use of its platform to people aged 13 and above, so it’s helpful to know that 4.3 percent of the “eligible” audience in Myanmar uses Instagram in 2022.
It’s also worth noting that Instagram’s ad reach in Myanmar at the start of 2022 was equivalent to 7.3 percent of the local internet user base (regardless of age).
In early 2022, 55.4 percent of Instagram’s ad audience in Myanmar was female, while 44.6 percent was male.
Changes in the social media landscape as a result of covid and the coup, where we’ve seen more people get on to platforms like Instagram and Telegram that were not used much in the past. It would be interesting to see how user behaviour will impact the future of the platforms. For brands, this user behaviour opens up new doors to reach out to their audiences on multiple platforms rather than relying on one specific platform(Facebook) which has been a case for a long time in the country. Moreover, people’s reaction to military-related businesses after the coup, has a huge impact on social media usage, for example, People stop using a specific music app, etc. Since this could be an opportunity for the new businesses, we also hope homegrown startups take over the giant across industries. hope homegrown startups take over the giant across industries.