Indonesia’s Digital Content: 2020 Recap

by | Dec 25, 2020 | Study Insight | 0 comments

In our last article on Media and ICT, we highlighted the industry’s market overview in Indonesia. With a USD 150 billion sector revenue outlook by 2025, the industry is mainly driven by the increasing number of Indonesian internet users. The country’s most prominent segments that have a lot of potential to grow are telecommunications, digital media and services, and cybersecurity. 

As one of the most emerging markets in Indonesia, the digital media sector’s revenue growth will reach around USD 8,168 million by 2021 (PwC, 2020). In January 2020, it was recorded that there were 175.4 million Indonesian internet users, an increase of 17% from 2019 (Hootsuite, 2020). 95% of Indonesian internet users use mobile platforms. With shifting consumer behavior, more and more content is being distributed in the digital world each day. 

Businesses are now utilizing digital media as one of their marketing strategies. Focusing on the content that is being distributed, digital content marketing has been one of the marketing tactics that work effectively in increasing customer engagement and brand awareness. This article will highlight the digital content marketing trends that are happening throughout 2020. Which content stimulates engagement the most, and how will it be soon? 

The Shifting Consumer Behavior

As the fourth most populous country, Indonesia has a demographic advantage. Most of its people are at the productive age of 25 to 54 years old. According to Deloitte’s Consumer Insights report, the majority of Indonesia’s population are young and digitally savvy. Indonesia is also currently undergoing massive urbanization, making 57% of the total population are urban consumers that are highly concentrated in 12 big cities.       

Indonesian consumer’s behavior towards digital media has been shifting from time to time. Especially the youths, Indonesian are reacting very responsively towards digital content. The role of traditional mass media platforms has shifted. Radio has mostly been replaced by online community groups in Social Media such as Facebook, Telegram, and Twitter. The role of television is also shifting, although it still has the widest reach. The demand for premium TV and cable is also increasing, as Indonesian consumers are willing to pay more for premium, personalized, and ad-free content. 

In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, people are spending more time with digital devices, as there are social and physical movement restrictions in the country. This year-long pandemic has also shifted Indonesian consumer behavior towards digital media. There has been an increase in media consumption. According to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), during the pandemic, around 70% of Indonesian consumers have tried at least one new digital service. 

Among the many social media platforms in Indonesia, YouTube became the most used platform in 2020. Followed by WhatsApp with 84% of internet users, Facebook (82%) and Instagram (79%). Other platforms that are also popular in Indonesia are Twitter, Line, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As of November 2020, there are 169,7 million Indonesian Facebook users, where 54.4% are men, with 25 to 34 years old as the largest user group. Meanwhile, there are 81,7 million Indonesian Instagram users, where 52.5% of them are women with 18 to 24 years old as the largest user group.    

Top Five Content Topics 2020

Google has released its Year in Search reports for Indonesia, and here are the top five topics that Indonesian are curious about: 

  1. Coronavirus 

The coronavirus has been trending not only in Indonesia but all over the world. The new virus that has affected many people’s lives is the number one topic that is searched for in 2020.  

  1. The Large-Scale Social Distancing  (PSBB)

Following the coronavirus pandemic, the Indonesian government tries to control the spreading of coronavirus by setting out a large-scale social distancing regulation, or as known as PSBB. 

  1. Pre-employment card (Kartu Pra Kerja)

The pre-employment card program is a Government program that aims to develop competency and increase the labor force’s productivity and competitiveness. The program is limited to job seekers, terminated employees, and employees that require improvements.

  1. Folding bike

Indonesian have been increasingly aware of their physical and mental health during the pandemic. Mostly in big cities, many are choosing bicycles to stay fit, maintaining physical health, and to reduce boredom. Using folding bicycles was the new rising trend among Indonesian in 2020.  

  1. Odading

This trend proves how anything can go viral in Indonesia. Odading is a traditional Sundanese fried sweet bread, usually found in the West Java region. The seller of ‘Odading Mang Soleh’ has been selling his Odading in one of the big markets in Bandung for 30 years. However, he suddenly became viral after promoting his Odading on social media.


Digital Content Trends in 2020

Mobile-content consumption continues to surge. Among the 197 million internet users, 98% of them usually access the internet through their mobile smartphones or tablets (Nielsen, 2020). Over the months, the rate of mobile users is steadily increasing (Advertising+Marketing, 2020).  Also, video is very popular among Indonesian internet users. According to Nielsen’s research, YouTube is the most widely used platform to watch online mobile videos. There are about 132 million active users of YouTube, accounting for 88% of the total Indonesian internet users.  The rate of mobile video consumption increased this year, especially the short type of video.    

Concise and relatable content. Personalized content is proven to be attracting customers the most. Indonesian enjoy the content that is relatable to them and is easy to understand. Most Indonesian prefer straightforward but informative content that is entertaining and easy to understand. 

User-generated content sparks engagement. Studies found that customers find user-generated content (UGC) to be more influential. UGC is also triggering customer engagement the most. One of the examples of UGC that leads to a great engagement is the beauty products reviews done by Indonesian beauty influencers using many platforms, mostly YouTube and Instagram. Other than that, TikTok gained increasing popularity in 2020, as more engaging UGC content is distributed  around the platform.   

Interactive content. The use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for content was increasingly popular in 2020. To increase the value of customer’s experience, several brands utilize AR to increase customer’s online experience. Specifically in an online furniture shop, some provide AR so their customers can project how the furniture fits into their home.   


The digital media platforms have been an effective marketing strategy that is being adopted by businesses in Indonesia. With the shifting Indonesian consumer’s behavior, content distribution around digital media will continue to be popular in 2021. Social media platforms will also continue to be one of the most effective platforms to trigger customer engagement.  


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