2020 Vietnam Media Landscape Highlights
One of the fastest emerging economies in Asia, Vietnam is home to a digital population that is highly connected to the Internet and mobile devices. In a country of 96.9 million people, there is a 70% internet penetration rate – the number of internet users in the country increased by 10% to 68 million last year. There are also 145.8 million mobile phone connections and 65 million active social media users as of January 2020, according to the 2020 We Are Social Vietnam Report.
Despite the strong digital presence, the popularity of traditional media has not diminished in Vietnam. Television remains a powerful form of mass media – the number of television channels increased by 18% to 87 channels last year and more than 8 in 10 people watch television daily, based on figures in the Kantar Media TNS Media Vietnam Report. Vietnamese people spent a daily average of more than 6 hours on the internet, while more than 5 out of 10 internet users read a print newspaper or magazine in the prior month.
With stiff competition from social media in the advertising sector, traditional media outlets in Vietnam have seen a decline in ad revenue in 2020. This is compounded by the economic difficulties due to the impact of COVID-19. At the National Press Conference in December 2020, some print media outlets reported a 70% drop in revenue, while the overall profits of the broadcast sector saw an 8% dip.
- The Role of Media in the Fight Against COVID-19
Both traditional media and social media played an important role in managing the pandemic in Vietnam. According to the Ministry of Information and Communication report, the press published a total of 560,048 pieces of articles on COVID-19 from February 1 to May 31, 2020. On the news sentiment, 42% of them are positive, 35% are neutral while 23% are negative.
In September, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Vietnam National Television (VTV) Digital, launched the Steadfast Vietnam programme. It aims to support and update information on the fight against COVID-19 in Vietnam. According to the Ministry, the media was active in informing and educating audiences, complied with legal regulations and the direction and orientation of the authorities, actively fought against fake news and false information. The media also showed how the authorities in Vietnam are doing their best to prevent and control the pandemic.
Social media has become a pivotal channel that connects people to the authorities. It has also helped the government in surveillance and reporting suspected cases. The Ministry of Health has been sending regular updates on the COVID-19 situation via its Zalo account since 28 January – 6 days after Vietnam confirmed its first case. The Government’s official Facebook page, which has been around since October 2015, has grown massively following over the past year. Its number of Facebook followers increased from 298,376 in May 2019 to 939,335 in May 2020.
2. The 95th Anniversary of Revolutionary Press Day
2020 marked the 95th anniversary of Revolutionary Press Day in Vietnam. Various activities were held across the nation to mark the event in June. In conjunction with the event on June 21, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee launched its new Youth Science Research Magazine and will continue to be published on a monthly basis. Also, after two years of preparation, the digital version of Ninh Binh Province’s Newspaper was officially launched on the same occasion. On June 24, Vietnam News Agency’s Danang TV station made its debut in Danang City, aiming at improving the communications in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam.
- Rise of subscription video-on-demand services
In terms of media consumption habits, changes are inevitable due to social distancing measures. According to the Vietnam Media Intelligence 2020 report by eMarketer, GlobalWebIndex and Starcom Worldwide, more consumers in Vietnam are using subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services like Netflix.
In H1 2020, 62.3% of internet users polled had used SVoD services to watch TV programs, films, and other video content in the previous month, compared with 56.2% in H1 2019. The overall adoption of video-on-demand (VoD) stood at 84.0% of internet users in H1 2020, thanks to the expansion of time-shifted and digital viewing options.
New Key Media
This monthly magazine, which is started last June, focuses on science and research news that is targeted at young people.
The 25-year-old Thị Trường Tài Chính Tiền Tệ magazine launched its online version in September 2020. The magazine is the voice of Vietnam Banking Association, which is a voluntary professional organization of credit institutions in Vietnam. The magazine features finance, monetary policies and general business news.
Mekongsean Magazine reports on the news and developments surrounding the Vietnam branch of Vietnam-ASEAN Association for Economic Cooperation Development. It focuses on general business news in Vietnam and the ASEAN region.
Sức Khoẻ Cộng Đồng Online Magazine covers health and medical news in Vietnam and publishes news and developments from the Vietnam Association for Public Health Education
Enternews Magazine, which general business news, is the official magazine of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The magazine’s predecessor is Diễn Đoàn Doanh Nghiệp Newspapers (The Enterprise News).
With the surge of ‘fake news’ or rumors on social media, especially around COVID-19, in the past year, the Vietnam government has issued a directive for traditional media outlets to focus on more in-depth reporting to differentiate themselves from social media content. Instead of competing with social media outlets to break the news first, traditional media outlets should focus on in-depth news and analysis from credible sources.
On the social media front, the popularity of the all-singing, all-dancing social media phenomenon, TikTok will continue to soar, especially among Generation Z and &. One-fifth of online users use the video-sharing app to view and share short-form videos on their phones – up from 15% in Q3 2019. Even government bodies have jumped on the TikTok bandwagon. Vietnam’s Ministry of Health launched its own #happyathome (#onhavanvui) TikTok campaign during the lockdown, sharing snappy videos on hand-washing, mask-wearing and social-distancing measures.
For more communications resources in Vietnamese, visit PR Newswire’s Vietnamese website
This is the 5th instalment of PR Newswire’s 2020 Asia-Pacific Media Landscape series. Our Audience Development team, which is based in 9 markets in APAC, gives an overview of media developments across the region.
For a complete look at Vietnam’s media scene, look out for PR Newswire’s 2020 Vietnam Media Landscape Whitepaper!
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This blog post is written by Vũ Thái Dũng (Vincent), the Media Relations Manager at PR Newswire Vietnam. Vincent is in charge of partnerships, expanding media network, organizing events, conducting media interviews, and other company-wide projects for the Vietnamese market. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on LinkedIn here.