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India - the Biggest and Fastest Growing Audience in the Internet World

India - the Biggest and Fastest Growing Audience in the Internet World

Tuesday September 03, 2019,

7 min Read

India - the Biggest and Fastest Growing Audience in the Internet World

India is today registering the fastest growth as far as Internet population is concerned, amongst the developing countries along side welcoming entrepreneurs from all over the world for business investment.

India’s Internet population is scaling at a jet set speed. As per the recent stats, India has the world’s second highest number of Internet USERS; with 669 Million users connected, second only to China, which has over 746 million users. 

On the other end technology has massively influenced our lifestyles and has touched each age group and class and steadily inched towards making its mark across India including “Bharat” to a significant extent!

The millennials of this country are completely hooked to technology and things online and this trend will continue to boom in the upcoming time with India said to have more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35 and by 2020 average age of an Indian to be 29 years as compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.  This brings in the message that technology and online madness will only grow in times to come for India. 

Of the total Internet user base, 87 percent or 493 million Indians are defined as regular users, having accessed Internet in last 30 days. Nearly 293 million active Internet users reside in urban India, while there are 200 million active users in rural India, as per recent report in media and interestingly 97 percent of users use mobile phone as one of the devices to access Internet.

 All these stats and the growing OTT market, changing dynamics of marketing with social media and mobile emerging as the most sought after medium for customized advertising and branding, very well establish the dominance of India as the Biggest and Fastest Growing Audience in the Internet World!

Rush of tech giants and global brands into Indian market and their massive expansion into Indian market be it Amazon, Facebook, Netflix etc. is one of the stamping statements on what India’s growing Internet boom means to the world.

The Video OTT market size in India is said to be 823 million USD (53,630 million INR) by 2022; to be amongst global top 10 markets by 2022. With one-fifth of the global subscribers coming from India; the upsurge in video streaming platforms and the growth registered by the likesof YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime other than the growing Indian USER base for social networking apps and online games etc. is all a clear indication of growing India Internet market.

Many of these platforms are registering a steady rise in their USER base through varied engagement model with one being that of subscription wherein users enjoy add-on and unlimited video hours as per their subscription plans - an important space to watch out for in the near future in terms of revenue model and sustainability.

India today is the 2nd largest smartphone market globally and it is these smartphoneusers that go in for subscribing to the available video streaming platforms for entertainment purpose. According to ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study: 'Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined'-the number of smartphone users in India is expected to double to 859 million by 2022 from 468 million users in 2017 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9%. The non-smartphone ownership in India is set todecline from 701 million in 2017 to 504 million in 2022 at a CAGR of -6.4% as more and more people opt for smartphones as per the joint study unveiled recently by ASSOCHAM-PwC.

It is quite obvious with these numbers that the country's population across all strata is increasingly getting addicted to the internet as India moves to beamongst the top two smartphone markets globally. Yes, that's right! India approximately accounts for 10 per cent of global smartphone sells and we see one or the other mobile brands launching /introducing new versions every other day catering toall segments of the population existing in the country.

According to International Data Corporation, when the global demand for smartphones was falling, India was the nation that successfully managed to buck the trend by clocking a 29 per cent increase in terms of smartphones sell.

Growing availability of content in vernacular and regionalized languages and success rate witnessed by platforms focusing on regionalized content is again an indication of how Internet (& mobile) has finally touched the rural ad semi urban India that constitutes 65-70% of India.

The increased consumption of all kinds of news and entertainment content on mobile with the lower tariffs be it the data or handsets, is ensuring each mobile owner is connected to its mobile for his/her all kinds of need from consumption of content in very personalized and regionalized flavor to transactional requirements. Recent industry body reportsstate that the Data usage is set to grow at 73% CAGR by 2022 and Media and Entertainment sector to grow at CAGR of 11.7 %.

The news of Ministry of Telecommunications, is all set to introduce panels for creating a roadmap to roll out 5G services in India by 2020, and this could see India having a new set of audiences getting linked in with the availability of high-speed internet connectivity; other than private players of the likes of Reliance, Airtel etc.-all doing their best in the current though tough market from business point of view - to improve the last mile connectivity for the end user wherein a farmer in a remote village or a rick guy in a city can get hassle free internet and thereby eventually adding to the India Internet and mobile boom like in no other country.

The emergence of India as an IOT (Internet of Things) hub and IOT today being termed as the future of Smart India, is another indication that India is registering the fastest growing Internet audience. The IOT applications in India across sectors can be clearly segmented into three: consumer, public sector and industrial. Though most of the work until now in IoT has been focused on industrial opportunities, there has been a focus to the consumer space, too and the IoT applications for consumers that are being developed, is opening new and intimate entertainment experiences including in the area of safety and security. Shifting consumer preferences towards smart sensors, wearables and clustered systems, like fitness or safety trackers or smart homes, are triggering growth in the consumer application of the IoT.

Smartphone applications that lock doors, reset thermostats etc. though already exist, there are now IOT focused firms coming up with ways of cooking that can be done and monitored from the comfort of theirwork place through the smartphone. Increasing sophistication of sensors is making it possible for devices to understand consumers at unprecedented levels and yes all this and much more in the offing!

There are several factors that contribute to its growth like increased mobility, the evolution of smarter lifestyle and 24/7 connectivity, improved decision making, data analysis etc. other than cloud computing and analytics - the key drivers of IoT.

According to a Deloitte report, the Indian IoT market is expected to grow ~7x- from US$ 1.3 billion in 2016 to US$ 9 billion by 2020. Key technology factors enabling IoT adoption in India include sensors, networks, standards, augmented intelligence and augmented behaviour and yes the fundamental that is data connectivity. The IoT units in India are said to see a rapid growth of ~32x to reach 1.9 billion units by 2020, from its current base of 60 million as per the study published.

 All this and much more happening on the ground in India is undoubtedly making India stand in the forefront as far as Internet audience is concerned. However, crucial will be to see how all this translates into growth and development of an individual, business and country!