Are Indonesia’s Rural Cities A Potential Internet/Mobile Market?

1 min read
May 26, 2011

Most Indonesian startups launched these days only focuses on Jakarta and maybe 2 other big cities as their main target audience. It would be Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta, Surabaya, and Bali, and the rest of the cities in Indonesia is forgotten. Most would argue the lack of internet adoption, although one could argue with the fact that most of mobile revenue is generated from areas outside of Jakarta.

A recent research conducted by Marketeers, shows an interesting fact about the rural areas and its relationship with the internet. They published a chart that shows how important a media is to people in specific cities. They’re interviewing 2100 people from 10 cities around Indonesia, 14-35 years old from A,B,C SES – class. And the result is quite surprising!

As you can see in the chart, people in Jakarta prefer Internet rather than television. Normal.

But if you see the rest of the chart, you can also see that Denpasar and Pekanbaru has the same behavior with Jakarta, they prefer Internet rather than TV. It’s pretty obvios for Denpasar, tourist destination and probably the most “western”-part of Indonesia with the sophisticated blend of western culture and Balinese.

But Pekanbaru? That’s new.

I would never have guessed that people in Pekanbaru prefer Internet rather than TV, newspaper and other offline media. It seems to me, Pekanbaru is more modern than I thought. And it is a fact that finding an internet connection in Pekanbaru is really easy, some people even say it’s easier to find internet in Pekanbaru rather than Jakarta and Surabaya. The infrastructure in several cities in Sumatra turned out to be already set up by the government, but I guess nobody actually use it except for Pekanbaru.

This is a solid proof that Jakarta, Bandung and Jogjakarta are not the only potential markets in Indonesia but there’s still so many potential markets without nobody noticing. And this also means, there’s so many opportunities for tech companies and/or startups to make a move in these non major cities in Indonesia.

For example, mig33 has 24 million users in Indonesia and most of them live outside of Jakarta. Services like Facebook, Friendster, Multiply, Mig33 and even the mobile content providers who let people subscribe for daily celebrity updates are making a lot of money from people outside of Jakarta. These markets aren’t necessarily A-B SES class, it might be lower economic class but that doesn’t mean they’re spending less money. These are the people who’s willing to pay small fees to get what they want, but there’s millions of them all with the same behavior.

That’s a huge chunk of market, desperately need to be explored.

Rama Mamuaya

Founder, CEO, Writer, Admin, Designer, Coder, Webmaster, Sales, Business Development and Head Janitor of DailySocial.net.

Contact me : [email protected]


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