From 2020 to 2021, the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the coup in Myanmar (which began in the morning of 1st February 2021) caused significant effects on media markets. Some businesses were disrupted due to lockdowns, and some were controlled and suspended by the Myanmar military.
It is expected that the pandemic and the coup will negatively impact businesses throughout 2021. However, some media markets have been unaffected and even benefited from this as they launch their contents remotely through the digital channels.
These are the top 6 Myanmar sources of media information that have an effect on consumer’s purchasing decisions in Myanmar media landscape in 2021 (reference: Deloitte’s Myanmar Consumer Survey 2020)
- Friends & relatives
- In-store promotions
- Social media
Anyway, it’s such a short time. There are now 4 mobile providers operating in the country of Myanmar (that was formerly known as Burma): MPT, Ooredoo, Telenor, and MyTel by MNTC. The number of mobile users in Myanmar decreased by 616 thousand (-0.9%) between January 2020 and January 2021. Due to deactivation of sim card because improper registration.
The media landscape has changed since social media has quickly grown. With the rapid growth of Social Media, the traditional media businesses such as newspapers and radio are also expanding their own media to online platforms to maintain customers and grow more audiences. Even though the online media grows their popularity among capital cities, there are many people in rural areas who still consume news and entertainment by using offline media. Such as TV, print media (newspaper and magazines), and radio. Nevertheless, the new media has changed Myanmar audiences’ behaviours of consuming entertainment and data in many ways.
Due to the military coup in February 2021, phone and internet connections were disrupted in the main city like Yangon, Naypyidaw, and some other parts of the country. The internet connectivity fell to 16% from the ordinary level. The internet shutdown happened hours after Twitter and Instagram have been blocked. Facebook had been banned a day earlier. Also, the state media including TV channels, radios, and local phone services have been cut off. The Myanmar Times and 7 Day News have stopped all media operations until now and The Voice stopped their print operations only but still publish news on online media channels.
Many users avoided the restrictions on using social media by using virtual private networks (VPNs). According to the Arabnews, the offline messaging app, Bridgefy, was downloaded more than 600,000 times in a few hours in Myanmar. Now the mobile internet is banned but using the internet via wifi is still available. Myanmar people from Thailand buy international roaming sims and donate to protestors in Myanmar, so that they can share what is happening on the streets.
Social media and the internet has become an important part of people’s lives and daily routines. Hence, understanding customers’ behavior and interests could help businesses to understand their customers and know how to better communicate with them. In this article, we will cover the overview of the media landscape and the trends in Myanmar.
TRADITIONAL MEDIA IN MYANMAR
Top 5 traditional media in Myanmar
- Television (TV)
- Print Media
- Billboard & Car Wrap
- Sponsorship: Event sponsorship is a great opportunity for brands to connect with targeted audiences, and that is especially important in Myanmar.
Even though the new media has bloomed, offline media still has a huge effect on most of the people in Myanmar, especially television, radio, and printed media.
According to the survey by Nielsen and MMRD Research Services, COVID-19 and the State of Myanmar Media, September 2020, viewers have been spending more time in front of their televisions during the lockdown and economic depression.
In the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic from March to April, TV viewership went up about 22 percent according to the report. Viewership increased across all daily show time ranges. Viewers tended to watch more increasing from 3.5 hours to 4.6 hours per day
MRTV-4 and Myawaddy TV (MWD) are the two television channels in Myanmar that are still on air in February 2021.
MRTV-4 is one main channel broadcasting daily news, entertainments, music, education, health, religion and many other programs. It extends their channels which cover different categories like Reader’s channel, Maharbawdi, 4EDU. It also has sub-channels including Channel 7, Channel 9 and 5 Plus which target viewers at the age over 35 years old.
Myawaddy TV (MWD) is a 24-hours free-to-air television channel owned by Myanmar military based in Yangon and Naypyidaw. The channel presents entertainment, music, documentary, Educational, Sport, etc. The current channels of MWD television network are MWD Variety HD, MWD Movies HD, MWD Education Knowledge and Sports HD, MWD HD, MWD Family HD, MWD Documentary, and MWD Shopping HD .
How about a TV show? Here are the top Myanmar TV shows from 2020 to 2021:
- MasterChef Myanmar – a cooking competition TV show. The latest winner from MasterChef Myanmar season 3 is Hsu Mon Hnin
- The Money Drop – a game show
- World of Khit and Thit – a variety show twin life
- Myanmar Idol – Myanmar singing contest. The latest winner from the 4th season is Esther Dawt Chin Sung
- Myanmar’s Got Talent – a program mixed the reality and talent show together. The latest winner from season 6 is Phone Myat Min
- The Voice Myanmar – the singing contests. The latest winner from The Voice Myanmar season 3 is N Oo L.
- Family Feud (Myanmar) – the show of two families compete against each other.
For print media (newspaper and magazine), Eleven and 7 Days still have no less than 80K readers. Most of the readers of these two newspapers are aged over 50 years old. However, print media industries are adapting their business to the changes by creating their websites. So, the young generation and internet users can also read news and entertainment online. The examples of the newspaper and magazine that now open their website are 7 Days, Eleven, BBC Burmese, Irrawaddy Burmese, and Mizzima Burmese.
Additionally, during the COVID-19 period, newspapers were used to create awareness about the disease like showing an infographic about how to stay safe which is useful for people who don’t have access to tv and the internet.
Myanmar radio is one of the popular media for Myanmar taxi and bus drivers since they get to know the updates on news, traffic and also the entertainment like music. Similar to other media, radio is also moving to digital platforms, and some of them are available on websites. It is good for those who are away from home because they can listen to their favourite programs everywhere and everytime. Here are the example of Myanmar radio channel:
- Cherry FM was established in April 2009, and it’s now available in 11 major states and regions in Myanmar. Cherry FM offers programs suitable for all ages, but their target audiences are the young generation.
- Padamyar FM music channel is one of the popular FM stations in Myanmar. The station is serving every area all over the country providing the audience the best music library, lifestyle stories, entertainment and edutainment programs.
- Mandalay FM radio station serves the Mandalay metropolitan area, broadcasting via the FM band at 87.9 MHz and also on the Internet. Now, the radio station is serving 30 miles around Taungoo and 60 miles around Yangon too.
During the pandemic, the radio stations also ran a COVID-19 campaign named “Let’s beat COVID-19 together” to promote how to stay away from the disease and encourage patients and medical staff.
ONLINE MEDIA IN MYANMAR
Top 10 website in Myanmar
*Base on web traffic and relevance to Myanmar people
*Some websites have been taken out due to illegal copyright according to the reports from the Myanmar government
- Google: According to https://www.mmtimes.com/, here are the trending topics searched by Myanmar people in 2021: COVID-19 vaccine, the new normal, and the government (election, military, NLD) (spend 15m 41s/day and 17.02 pages/day)
- YouTube: Myanmar YouTube channels that have the largest audience are Mahar with 1,680,000 subscribers and total uploaded video views 683,284,476, DVB TVnews with 572,000 Subscribers, and AkonThi Media with 551,000 subscribers. The interesting point is that two of those channels are providing news. (spend 17m 23s/day and 9.86 pages/day)
- MMLoad : This website updates both Myanmar and international news covering politics, business, sports, entertainment and many other topics. (spend 3m 35s/day and 1.50 pages/day)
- Facebook: According to Socialbakers statistics, Myanmar Facebook’s fanpage with the largest group of audience are 7days News Journal with 25,600,340 total fans (more than 1 million increased from the last year). Also, the Eleven Media Group and BBC Myanmar are the fastest-growing pages in Myanmar. Both of them provide news. (spend 18m 47s/day and 8.82 pages/day)
- Channelmyanmar: Channelmyanmar allows people to watch the latest movies and series with Myanmar subtitles. The target audience of the website is people at the age between 18-40 years old. Moreover, Channelmyanmar has its own Facebook page with 60,665 followers (decrease for last year). (spend 5m 32s/day and 6.52 pages/day)
- Zoom: a cloud-based video conferencing service allowing users to virtually meet with other Myanmar people online. (spend 8m 14s/day and 3.93 pages/day)
- Google.com.mm: Google search engine website form in Myanmar (spend 5m 15s/day and 5.90 pages/day)
- Wikipedia: online encyclopedia created and maintained by a community of volunteer editors using a wiki-based editing system. (spend 3m 48s/day and 3.10 pages/day)
- Rabbit-converter.org: a website used to convert Burmese language font between Zawgyi and Unicode. (spend 3m 16s/day and 1.00 pages/day)
- Netflix: video streaming platform for watching movies, TV series, and reality shows. Netflix has Myanmar movies and also available with Myanmar subtitles. (spend 4m 26s/day and 3.23 pages/day)
The list of Top 10 websites in Myanmar is based on the content from Hootsuite (based from Alexa). We selected only the reliable websites and rechecked the popularity with the local Myanmar people and sources from other websites. The list is arranged according to 1 month traffic rank from the Alexa top sites. The rank is calculated using a combination of the daily average visitors and page views over the past month.
The online media in Myanmar is growing rapidly, and this is a big opportunity for many businesses that want to open their market in Myanmar.
To reach the mass audiences in Myanmar, we can use the Burmese language. Anyway, it is important to note that Myanmar is home to an array of ethnic groups. While the main spoken language is Burmese, there are other major ethnic languages in use.
POPULAR MOBILE APPS IN MYANMAR
According to gs.statcounter.com, the stat of Myanmar mobile operating system market share in 2021 shows that 89.35% of Myanmar people are using Android system smartphones and 10.47% are using iOS. Most of the smartphone users, either android or iOS system in Myanmar, can now download their favourite apps easily by installing Google’s Play Store, APKPure.apk or iOS app store. So they can choose the apps depending on their interests.
Here are Editors’ pick Top10 mobile apps in Myanmar. We’ve queried and narrowed it down to our top 10 apps in Myanmar.
- Facebook: there are 28,780,000 active users in 2021 which accounted for 52.6% of its entire population. It is increasing from last year around 28.8% from 22,350,000 active users in 2020. There aren’t anyone who has an internet connection and doesn’t have a Facebook account (some of the people have more than one account) in Myanmar.
- Messenger: many Myanmar people use Messenger to communicate no matter where they are.
- Google App: Google is a famous app in Myanmar. Most people tend to use Google App to search for news and information.
- Viber: it is estimated that there are 18 million active users in Myanmar which means almost 1 in 2 of all active cell phones in the country
- Youtube: according to socialbakers, most Myanmar people use Youtube to consume news and entertaining videos.
- Tiktok: a social-media that lets users create and share short videos, many no longer than 15 seconds. It’s the rising star in Myanmar and very popular among young people. TikTok becomes more and more popular while the coronavirus pandemic has kept consumers at home (climbing the rank from 8th in 2019 to 6th in 2021).
- Instagram: the most popular app among Myanmar young adults. Young people use Instagram for showing their lifestyle, fashion and others.
- Joox: a popular application in Myanmar allowing users to listen to updated songs.
- VIU: drama & movie app allowing Myanmar users to stream and download their favourite shows, movies, TV series and music in full HD quality. It’s very popular in Myanmar becauseMyanmar subtitles are available.
- Netflix: this video-streaming service has become popular among teenagers as it allows users to watch thousands of movies on any of your favourite devices and also save the movies and enjoy it offline.
Most of the Top 10 mobile apps in Myanmar by Editors’ pick are social media and entertainment apps. As in the Digital 2021 Myanmar Report, Datareportal said that there are 23.65 million internet users and 29 million social media users in January 2020. There are about 1.65 million internet users and 7 million social media users increased during 2020-2021. From the report, you can see that the number of social media users is growing rapidly in Myanmar.
1. Myanmar top celebrities according to socialbakers.com
- Sai Sai Kham Leng: the Hip Hop, alternative Hip Hop, Hip Hop Rock , pop singer and famous actor with 9,113,231 fans on Facebook page
- Wutt Hmone Shwe Yi: the actress who won Asia Model Festival: Asia Special Award 2019 with 5,331,104 fans on Facebook page
- Lay Phyu Crazy: the singer with 3,812,744 fans on Facebook page
- Phyu Phyu Htwe: the video creator with 3,828,222 fans on Facebook page
- Thet Mon Myint: the Myanmar’s 4th highest-paid actress with 3,647,593 fans on Facebook page
2. Myanmar beauty influencers according to mmtimes.com top-10-bloggers,
- Nay Chi Oo: one of the top-tier beauty bloggers in Myanmar, and became famous for makeup tutorials on Beautybynachi her Facebook fan page with 2,069,970 followers
- Win Min Than: Win Min Than’s Facebook page is Yangon In My Heart. It contains everything that a young woman needs to know from facial treatments, perfumes, lipsticks, and more. Her beauty content is mixed with information about relationship advice making her content unique. She has around over 590,716 followers in 2021.
- Teddy: the beauty blogger that makes the makeup tutorial videos and self-care routine live. She encourages people to be proud of themself and be beautiful in the way they are. Her Facebook fan page is Beauty by Teddy followed by over 238,089 followers
3. Myanmar travel influencers according to mmtimes.com top-10-bloggers, Fanpagekarma.com, and Facebook audience insight
- May Zune Win: under Facebook profile “mayzunewin3”, every time May Zun Win travels she updates her I Love Travelling Facebook blog, which has over 754,308 followers in 2021. Her blog also won the Myanmar Travel Influencer Award in 2018
- Travel Kueen: another famous travel blogger who received Stella Seven Entertainment’s Myanmar Influencer Award in 2019. Her Facebook account is followed by over 879,557 fans in 2021.
- Thiha, the Traveler: Thiha is a young adventurer with an eye for photography and the interest in people.
- Travel by Naw Htike: the famous travel blogger in 2021 with over 633,233 fans
4. Myanmar food influencers according to Myanmar Facebook audience insight
- FoodoKit: a food blogger who explores easy home-cooked meals, local street food and restaurants with 593,364 followers
- Food in Yangon: a food blogger who shares information about food & restaurant service with 1,120,359 followers
- Sermalmm: a blogger, tourism & hospitality expert, and also the digital marketing consultant with 1,105,263 followers
5. Myanmar game streamers & influencers according to Fanpagekarmar.com and Facebook audience insight. Ranked by 2021 growing rate.
- I C E I C E: one member of Burmese Ghouls mobile legends team, with 1,575,861 followers and 2.6 percent growth rate
- Ardam: famous for the daily streaming and posting some highlights, guides and montages with 646,696 followers and 2.4% growth rate
- StreamingbyShinelayz: a streamer, Internet celebrity, YouTuber, Dota 2 Sports commentator and founder of XNINE TV with 1,221,116 followers and 0.72% growth rate.
6. Myanmar in Thailand media according to the insight from Fanpagekarmar.com and Facebook audiences.
- Shwe Myanmar In Thailand: the video creator with 1,840,905 followers which makes contents about life, love and drama for Myanmar migrants who live in Thailand. (39,600 share in average and the top sharing post is at 121k share)
- Myanmar Live: live streaming creator that provides updated news in Thailand for Myanmar people who live in Thailand (600 shares in average) *Temporary close
- Sawasdee Myanmar: the video creator with 406,109 followers offering contents about teaching Thai language for Myanmar people (100 shares in average)
Myanmar was climbing the e-commerce ladder even prior to the pandemic. The country jumped seven spots from 133 to 126 out of 152 countries in the 2019 UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index – a marker of its e-commerce progress in recent years.
Businesses in Myanmar are still mostly under the cash-based economy, but COVID-19 pandemic has forced individuals, employers, and businesses to move to online platforms which drive the growth of e-commerce and e-services. Accordingly, the authorities start to set new regulations to catch up with the digital economy. Myanmar’s e-commerce firms have seen a spike in sales during lockdowns because COVID-19 encourages consumers to stock up on hand sanitizers, dry foods, canned goods, and other essential items.
But significant risks still remain. The ongoing internet restrictions in the restive states of Rakhine and Chin as well as the blocking of websites of activists and media outlets raise doubts over whether consumers in Myanmar can rely on e-services or not. The censorship has also been criticized by telco operators and business chambers, who warn that the moves hurt Myanmar’s reputation as an investment destination.
According to the World Bank survey, 28 percent of people said that they do not have any challenges with selling goods or services via online channels. Nearly, one in five companies reported that the greatest challenge most of the firms face is the lack of IT capacity and technological skills.
Here are the example of Myanmar e-commerce sites in 2020
- Shop.com.mm is still at the top of popular online shopping websites in Myanmar. It provides various payment options including credit or debit cards and cash on delivery service.
- OneKyat is a buy and sell C2C marketplace for Myanmar which is designed to be simple and easy to use.
- Rgo47.com sells products in many categories such as clothes, children, groceries, mobile gadgets and many others. (unavailable at the moment due to current circumstances, possibly got hacked by the anti coup protesters.)
Myanmar people prefer paying by cash. Over 74 percent of citizens do not have a bank account, only 5% have debit cards and less than 1% hold a credit card, but online payment is becoming more popular.
Surprisingly as stated in Statista, 6.06 million users in Myanmar use mobile POS payments (transaction value: 151 million US dollar) and 13.36 million users use digital commerce (transaction value: 1,152 million US dollar) in 2021. There are a variety of payment methods available on Shopmm.com such as credit/debit card (prepayment), COD (cash on delivery) and can also pay via Wave Money.
In Myanmar, the number of new users using the online payment method has grown exponentially by 20%. Myanmar users have many choices such as these five mobile money services licensed by the Central Bank including Wave Money, M-Pitesan, OK$, My Money, MPT Money. In addition to these five non-banks, commercial banks are also active in online payment and have their own digital wallet. For example, KBZ Pay which is operated by KBZ Bank, CB Pay by CB Bank, OnePay which is a group company of AGD Bank, and Ongo which has a partnership with MOB Bank.
All of these institutes work in a similar way. They have mobile wallets which you can deposit or withdraw money, pay for goods and services, and also send or receive money (only
There are top 5 places for cashless payment in Myanmar
- 66% Hypermarkets/Supermarkets
- 52% Restaurants
- 47% Transportation
- 57% Shopping malls
- 50% Convenience stores purchases
We hope we have given you a brief overview of Myanmar media landscape. Understanding the Myanmar media landscape is the key to start planning media for your brand effectively. We are happy to give you 5 simple tips on how to plan your media effectively in a fast changing world.
- Define your goals and targets clearly.
- Conduct necessary research if needed.
- Let your media planner work closely with your marketing team. Create a holistic marketing plan with the team, learn fast and move fast.
- Have a data strategy to create data as your asset.
- When you measure ROI of your media investment, you have to balance between sales and branding.
If you want to be successful in doing marketing in Myanmar you can check out this article. https://blog.happioteam.com/marketing-in-myanmar-insights-from-online-agency-happio/
Our Happio team specialise in “Creative Digital & Activation Marketing” for the Myanmar market. We hope this article is useful to you, if you face any problems about marketing in Myanmar, feel free to contact us for consultation, we are open for a friendly phone call or email!