Research company GlobalWebIndex enters local market with FCB partnership

International research company GlobalWebIndex (GWI) has expanded into the local market, signing a founding partnership with FCB.

GWI is already active across 40 countries, offering profiling data to marketers and media agencies through a panel of over 18 million consumers.

In moving into the local market, GWI will compete with a wide array of other established researchers all vying to capitalise on the growing demand for consumer insights.

FCB digital strategy director Dan West admits the market is already well serviced with providers, but believes GWI will provide access to data that was previously tough to get hold of.

“One of the challenges we’ve had is getting info on digital,” West says. “We can usually only get global figures.”

He says that even gaining access to the number of local users on a social media platform can be difficult, let alone accessing more specific enquires such as the extent of adblocking in New Zealand.

Through FCB’s partnership with GWI, West believes his team will be better equipped to understand not only how many people are active on different platforms but also how they are using them.

He explains that when a new channel or platform emerges, we tend to apply the same rules we used on its predecessors.

“When radio first came to prominence, we read newspaper stories out. And then before we realised the strength of TV, we used to just play radio shows on it.”

He argues that we are now essentially doing the same with digital channels, applying the best-practice models learnt elsewhere to channels consumers engage with in an entirely different way.

He says that without understanding the channel properly, we can never fully harness its potential.

West says that another major advantage of the GWI is that it allows for comparisons between local and international audience segments.

This, in turn, allows the marketer to test whether the New Zealand audience is more or less mature than our international counterparts.

“There tends to be a lot of conjecture [about New Zealand’s digital maturity],” says West.

It’s not uncommon to hear of an analyst saying that other markets are ahead of us on the digital or mobile journey, but West says the figures from GWI show that the opposite is often true.

He points to New Zealand’s ad-blocking data as an example of this.

“Kiwi internet users are some of the most enthusiastic users of desktop ad-blocking software,” he says.

“44 percent are blocking ads on their main computer, putting them 25 percent ahead of the global average and placing New Zealand in second place globally for desktop ad-blocking, behind only Poland.”

At 17 percent, the figures are not quite as high on mobile. But with 44 percent of Kiwis saying they are interested in using mobile ad-blockers in the future, it’s an issue that advertisers need to take seriously.

By having access to this kind of information, West argues the team at FCB can find ways to solve these issues and ensure that clients’ ads are actually seen.

As is the case with any research, these numbers are, however, based on polling a limited representative audience, and West admits there’s always a margin of error, which should be taken into account when making decisions.

That said, this third-party data is still better than relying on information being fed from behind the walled gardens across digital media.   

Here are some interesting stats from GWI:


  • Kiwi internet users are some of the most enthusiastic users of desktop ad-blocking software. 44 percent are blocking ads on their main computer, putting them 25% ahead of the global average and placing New Zealand in second place globally for desktop ad-blocking (behind only Poland).
  • However, New Zealand is significantly behind the global average for blocking ads on mobile – only 17 percent of internet users in New Zealand are doing this. But with 44 percent of Kiwis saying they are interested in using mobile ad-blockers in the future, these figures are set to change.
  • It’s ad overload that is driving this adoption of ad-blocking software. By far the most important reason that Kiwi ad-blocker users give for stopping ads is that they find too many ads are annoying or irrelevant (72 percent of ad-blocker users say this). In fact, New Zealand is the No.1 market globally for citing this reason for blocking ads (ad-blocker users in New Zealand are also the most likely to say that they try to avoid ads wherever possible, whether on TV or online – 48 percent say this). Other key reasons that ad-blocker users in New Zealand give include finding online ads intrusive (60 percent) and thinking there are too many ads on the internet (57 percent)


  • Despite our ad blocking behaviour, New Zealanders appear less concerned with their personal privacy and personal data online. Only 52 percent of New Zealanders worry about who companies are using their personal data as opposed to 62 percent globally and 52 percent of New Zealanders are concerned about the internet eroding their personal privacy as opposed to 59 percent globally.

Messaging Apps

  • New Zealand’s Gen Z (16- to 22-year-olds) are some of the most active users of messaging apps. New Zealand is one of Snapchat’s best-performing markets among Gen Z, with 66 percent of this generation Snapchatting.
  • But it’s Facebook Messenger that New Zealand’s Gen Z are most ahead. In fact, with 83 percent of this group using Facebook Messenger, New Zealand represents the apps’ highest performing market among Gen Z.
  • As of yet, the messaging apps that are becoming widely popular across many Asian markets have not made an impact on New Zealand – only 12 percent of internet users in New Zealand are using WeChat and only 7 percent use LINE.

Second screening

  • Three-quarters of internet users in New Zealand are regularly using another device to get online while they watch TV. Mobile is the most importance device here, with 53% of Kiwis using mobile while watching TV, but 41 percent are also using laptops to dual-screen. Emailing is the most popular second-screen activity – 48 percent say they do this while watching TV, while 40 percent are checking social networks and 36 percent are messaging friends. 


  • Aucklanders are twice as likely as other New Zealanders to be using WhatsApp (32 percent vs 17 percent), and 20 percent more likely to be Instagramming (43 percent do). Internet users from this city are 30 percent more likely to be following brands on social media (41 percent do) but these two groups average the same amount of daily time per day on social media (about 1 hour 40 minutes each).
  • Aucklanders are also 50 percent more likely than other New Zealanders to be iPhone owners, they are 25 percent more likely to say their smartphone is their most important device and they average a half an hour longer online via their smartphones per day (1hr 57 mins vs. 1hr 30mins).

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