Global Media Intelligence 2019: India

Key Features

Most internet users in India consume a broad range of digital and traditional media; one hasn’t eclipsed the other.

  • Print formats maintain a strong presence in India, as these are still a central feature of the media day for most residents—not least residents who were relatively affluent, male and lived in cities, all of whom predominated in the GlobalWebIndex poll (see note below). As a result, penetration of print newspapers remained above 73% of internet users across all demographics in the study, even 16- to 24-year-olds. More than two-thirds of internet users polled in Q1 2019 had also read a print magazine in the prior month.
  • Overall, 91.5% of internet users ages 16 to 64 had watched live TV in the month prior. But internet users are increasingly viewing TV programs and other video content in other ways. About 75% said they had used broadcasters’ catch-up or on-demand services, while 66.7% had recorded TV shows and watched them later. Moreover, nearly 71% paid for subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services such as Netflix.
  • In fact, video streaming has become more widespread than watching live TV, according to GlobalWebIndex. Some 94.4% of internet users polled said they had streamed video content in the prior month. That activity accounted for 1 hour, 31 minutes (1:31) per day, on average, compared with 1:36 devoted to broadcast TV. Similarly, digital audio consumption is on the rise, reaching 86.2% in H1 2019, and accounting for larger amounts of time spent; music streaming alone claimed an average of 1:44 per day.
  • Voice search was also significant in its penetration of India’s internet users—54.7% had used voice assistants such as Siri or Cortana in the month before polling or used a voice command to activate a smart speaker device. That said, just over 35% of respondents ages 45 to 54 had used voice search. The greatest usage (60.4%) was among individuals living in the top 25% of homes, ranked by income.
  • Consequently, digital devices claim the bulk of internet users’ media time. Though many of India’s web users were mobile-first—smartphone ownership reached 96.0% of respondents in H1 2019—72.7% owned a desktop or laptop. (Just 24.5% owned a tablet—though penetration among affluent respondents was near 40%.) Moreover, mobile time spent reached an average of 3:36, balanced with the 3:37 spent with PCs and tablets.

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Karin von Abrams

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