Indians consume traditional media more than digital: report

Indians spend an hour on digital media on average, far behind other countries, says report by eMarketer


eMarketer estimates that the total time spent with media to be 3 hours and 36 minutes in 2016, far behind all other countries in their forecast. Photo: Mint
eMarketer estimates that the total time spent with media to be 3 hours and 36 minutes in 2016, far behind all other countries in their forecast. Photo: Mint

Indian adults spend about two-and-a-half hours per day on traditional media including television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, compared to the one hour they spend on digital media on average, according to a report released by market-research firm eMarketer.

eMarketer estimates that the total time spent with media to be 3 hours and 36 minutes in 2016, far behind all other countries in their forecast.

A number of digital media start-ups and established companies are banking on Indians’ increasing appetite for online media, including music streaming, on-demand video streaming and other types of online content.

Companies such as Google, too, have produced tweaks and features for the Indian market like Youtube Go, which enables offline video viewing.

In 2016, the time spent on TV (not including digital) accounted for 56.4% of the total time spent on media consumption, while time spent on print media (newspapers and magazines) was 7.9%, with radio accounting for 5.3% of the time spent.

In 2018, TV will account for 52.1% of the time and digital for 35.9%, while print and radio decrease to 6.9% and 5.1%.

Even if one multi-tasks and watches an hour of television while browsing on a laptop, eMarketer counts this as one hour spent on television, and one hour spent on digital too.

eMarketer estimates that 29.4% of the Indian population uses the Internet on a monthly basis, with the average adult spending just 46 minutes each day on the internet.

“However, those figures mask how much time Internet users in India really spend online, because they are averaged across the whole population of adults, most of whom don’t surf the web at all,” said the report.

The average internet user in India spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on the internet, almost as much time as the average adult spends with traditional media each day.

“Among those who have access to the internet, time spent rises sharply but still falls behind other advanced nations. As internet speeds and connectivity improves in India, we expect that time spent on the internet will eventually rise to the levels seen in other countries,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen in the report.

In China, adults will spend 3 hours 8 minutes on digital media and about three hours on traditional media this year, whereas in the US, adults will spend an average of 12 hours 5 minutes per day on media this year—nearly an hour more than the average in 2011, thanks to media multi-tasking, according to eMarketer.

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