Overview of the Digital Media Landscape of Bangladesh

Overview of the Digital Media Landscape of Bangladesh

With the increasing adoption of smartphones, internet services, and social media sites, the digital media landscape of Bangladesh is expanding rapidly. The days of consuming content through traditional media like televisions, radio, and newspapers, are slowly becoming extinct. Nowadays, most people access information and entertainment via streaming platforms, media sites, etc. through the screens of their smartphones or computers. This has led to a huge revolution within the media space as everyone can now access their desired content with just a few taps or clicks. 

Though it is true that western countries are still the most dominant consumers of digital media, the demand for online content has seen a huge increase in Asian countries as well. This has led to massive developments in the communications and network infrastructure, especially in Bangladesh. And as a result, 4G networks and high-speed internet services became easily accessible to the masses. In this article, we are going to be taking a peak at the current state of the digital media landscape of Bangladesh by looking at a few interesting statistics, examples, and research papers. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!

Evolution Of Digital Media In Bangladesh

Digitization in the media landscape of Bangladesh began with the emergence of the internet in the 1990s. However, back then the internet was not as accessible as it is today. This meant that only the wealthy could afford it. Moreover, internet connection and speed were also quite lackluster back in those times. But all of it changed in the 21st century as both telecom companies and ISPs started offering better internet services at a more economical rate in Bangladesh. It’s quite remarkable to see how the country went from using dial-up internet to having WiFi networks almost everywhere. 

For the last 10 years, the Bangladesh Government’s endeavors to digitize the country has been a resounding success. Bangladesh has finally caught up to the rest of the world in terms of internet technology thanks to the government’s investment in submarine cable infrastructure, funding of technology-based companies, and prioritizing cutting costs of high-speed internet connectivity. This conviction to digitization can be further seen in how the government operates many of its public services like national ID applications, passport applications, utility payments, tender submissions, and even COVID-19 vaccinations. Because of all these reasons, it has been reported by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) that more than 120 million people in the country are now connected to the internet, where almost 92% of the people are accessing the net through their phones.

Demographic Of The Digital Media Landscape Of Bangladesh

In order to fully understand the current state and future of the digital media landscape of Bangladesh, we must first analyze which demographic of people are actually engaging with it. This is a rather simple task as it can be quite easily deduced that the newer generations are the most invested in digital media. Below we have outlined how Bangladesh compares against its neighboring Asian countries in terms of the average age of people who consume digital content on a regular basis. 

CountriesAverage Age Of Digital Media Consumers

From the data above, we can see that the average age of the population of Bangladesh that regularly engages with digital media is the second youngest on the list. However, every other country apart from China also illustrates a similar pattern in demography. Thus, we can conclude that people between the ages of 18 to 35 are the most engaged with digital media and online content in Bangladesh. 

Important Factors Of The Digital Media Landscape Of Bangladesh

There are several factors that have played a significant role in the development of Bangladesh’s digital media landscape. Among these, the two most significant ones are:

Adoption Of Smartphones

With the gradual rise in the GDP of Bangladesh, the buying power of people has also increased. As a result, people of all income levels are now able to buy smartphones, which has given them easy access to digital media. Furthermore, Chinese smartphone manufacturers like Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo, have a strong foothold in the Bangladesh market because of how incredibly affordable their devices are. Hence, as large masses of people are now able to purchase smartphones, it has significantly boosted internet usage as well as consumption of digital media. 

Expansion Of The Telecom Industry

With the previous point in mind, the telecom industry has also experienced significant growth due to the mass adoption of smartphones. As it stands, almost 99% of the entire population of Bangladesh is under network coverage. Telecom giants like Grameenphone, Banglalink, and Robi, are constantly running promotional campaigns on internet packages, offering enticing price points to people who avail them. Tactics like this have played a vital role in convincing people of all ages to become a part of the internet culture. 

Use Cases Of Digital Media For Businesses

Given the nature of digital media, it has several use cases that we have highlighted below. 

  • Identifying target markets: Since user information such as age, gender, location, occupation, and interests are readily available online, digital media can help businesses identify target markets very efficiently.
  • Cheaper than traditional media: Compared to traditional media, businesses can leverage digital media more economically. For instance, it costs a lot more to put up a billboard to promote a product than making a Facebook post and sharing it.
  • Massive potential for reach: Digital media has the potential to reach a much larger audience base than any other form of media as there are no logistical barriers. That is because the only requirement needed to be fulfilled is that the user has access to a phone or a computer.
  • Social media marketing: Promoting brands or products through social media is the new norm. That is because social media marketing allows for high conversion rates at a relatively cost. This is especially effective if the target audience is the younger generation.
  • Digital media will keep growing: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that digital media will continue to expand for the foreseeable future. Experts have concluded that the use of digital media in Bangladesh will grow exponentially over the next 10 years, surpassing several other industries.
  • Shift from traditional media: For instance, when people are commuting, they are usually more engrossed in their phones, listening to a podcast, reading the news, or watching a video. They don’t usually look up to see banners, billboards, or posters anymore. This shift can give rise to a whole new world of opportunities if utilized correctly. 

Key Statistics Of The Digital Media Landscape Of Bangladesh

It has been projected that the digital media market of Bangladesh will roughly generate about $890 million in revenue by the end of 2023. In this section, we are going to be looking at some of the most prominent stats that can help us understand the trajectory of the digital media landscape of Bangladesh. And since we are talking about revenue, here is a more elaborate breakdown of it as per each segment. 

Segments2020 (in million USD)2021 (in million USD)2022 (in million USD)2023 (in million USD)
Web Publishing58.9072.4981.0591.56
Digital Music12.6916.3019.8124.89
Video games312.50408.90502.00597.90

From the information given, we can see that video games brought in the highest amount of revenue, followed by VOD services, web content publishers, and digital music. But how much did these industries actually grow? Let’s take a look!

Segments2020 (in %)2021 (in %)2022 (in %)2023 (in %)
Web Publishing20.523.111.813.0
Digital Music98.428.421.525.6
Video games56.630.822.819.1

Here we can see that the growth rate for the digital media industry has been slowing down. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the industry is still growing steadily as more people are adopting new technologies. Speaking of which, here is a chart that outlines the average revenue per user for each segment. 

Segments2020 (in USD)2021 (in USD)2022 (in USD)2023 (in USD)
Web Publishing3.373.563.723.84
Digital Music1.912.102.362.54
Video games10.2311.2012.8313.65

Though the previous data stated that digital media growth was slowing down, we can clearly see from here that the revenue generated from individuals is rising steadily. For further analysis, we must also know the number of users present in each segment. 

Segments2020 (in millions)2021 (in millions)2022 (in millions)2023 (in millions)
Web Publishing17.520.421.823.9
Digital Music6.
Video Games30.636.539.143.8

Similar to the previous information, the number of users in each sector is also increasing gradually. This also goes to show that internet penetration in Bangladesh is increasing as well. Overall, this information proves that the digital media industry in Bangladesh is growing at a constant pace as the number of people who are engaging with it are also increasing.

The Current State Of The Digital Media Landscape Of Bangladesh

Given that there are more than 47.2 million active Facebook users in Bangladesh as of June 2021, the impact of digital media cannot be ignored. It’s clear that Gen Z has a very strong affinity towards digital media as they are spending a large portion of their time online now. Moreover, the increased demand has also caused video streaming sites like YouTube and OTT platforms like Bongo and Bioscope to focus more on the type of content they publish. Seeing this shift, marketers and businesses are also trying to capitalize on this opportunity by promoting their products and services via digital media. In conclusion, Bangladesh is well on its way to become one of the most prominent consumers of digital media in Asia. 

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