Singaporeans are hooked to the net, but they remain vigilant.   

88% of Singaporeans are now online, and they spend close to 7 hours a day on the Internet. If we allow roughly 8 hours a day for sleep, Singaporeans currently spend more than 40 percent of their waking lives using the Internet.

While Singaporeans warmly embrace the ambitious Smart Nation initiative, online privacy is becoming a growing concern amongst net-savvy citizens. Two-thirds of internet users are worried about how companies use their personal data. To prevent tracking, 63 per cent are deleting cookies from their web browser, and nearly half of them are using some form of ad-blocking tool. Along with the growing phenomenon of fake news, 62 per cent of Singaporeans users also expressed concern over authenticity on the Internet.

Mobile phones reign supreme as Singaporeans' preferred device for online actions.

This little red dot has 8.56 million mobile connections, which is 1.5 times the total population (5.83 million). On top of that, 99 percent are connected via broadband (3G - 5G). Mobile phones earned the highest share of web traffic (56.8 percent).  

In fact, Singapore is the world's second-best country for mobile connectivity. With a score of 86.6 in the Global Connectivity Index 2020, Singapore trails behind top-ranking Australia which scored 88.4.

Watching video on the go is becoming the nation’s favourite online past time. 

Video streaming apps are also rising fast in popularity in Singapore. Three-quarters of Internet users are using entertainment and video mobile apps. Popular streaming service Netflix is the number one mobile app by consumer spend. BIGO Live, a live streaming app takes second place and VIU, Hong Kong-based video streaming app ranks fifth. 

Meanwhile, the popular video-sharing platform YouTube is the most-used social media platform in Singapore, overpassing Facebook (world’s most-used social platform). It’s also the second most-visited site with users spending an average of 23 minutes browsing around 10 pages per visit. Furthermore, all through 2019, YouTube was one of the most common queries Singaporeans have entered into Google search. And based on the top YouTube search queries, movies, music (particularly Kpop), and gaming videos piqued local audience’s interest. 

Mobile gaming is also gaining considerable momentum.

Following the above online video trend, 15 percent of Singaporean Internet users actually watched a live stream of other people playing games. 

72 percent of Internet users play video games on their mobile. Singaporean are keen on playing as well as paying for video games with 7.9 percent of the users purchasing a game add-on or downloadable content. While Pokemon Go has the most active users, popular mobile MOBA, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, ranked first for consumer spending.

The nation also spends with the swipe of the thumb.

The average Singaporean spends a total of USD $3016 per year through digital payment transactions. This amounted to a total annual value of USD $12.31 billion in digitally-enabled consumer payments. 

Some eCommerce categories are experiencing significant growth. Local consumers are warming up to purchasing furniture and home appliances online. Most pieces are a major investment and consumers usually would want to see before acquiring. Yet, the category actually experienced a 12 per cent eCommerce growth last year, indicating consumer trust in online shopping for big-ticket items.  

Digital music sales also climbed, most likely due to streaming services. Last year, the category raked in US$47 million, showing an 11 percent growth as compared to 2018.


For more information, read the full Singapore Digital Report 2020 here.

Written by Melantha Tan (planner) from WeAreSocial Singapore.