Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Daily mobile internet consumption to touch 79 minutes by 2021: Study

  • Cinema consumption has marginally gone up from 1.1 minutes a day in 2014 to 1.7 minutes a day in 2019
  • According to the findings, Indians are spending an average of 320 minutes a day consuming media across platforms

Television continues to engage consumers globally, including India, but the mobile internet is set to set to witness higher consumption per person on a daily basis. Indians spend an average of 144 minutes daily watching television, up from 140 minutes in 2013, according to a media consumption forecast by media agency Zenith.

However, the growth in the time spent on the internet is the highest with media consumption on mobile internet going up from 9.4 minutes daily in 2013 to 54 minutes this year. According to the estimates, the time spent on mobile internet is expected to touch 79 minutes by 2021. This growth is being fuelled by the availability of affordable smartphones, faster connections, better screens and app innovation.

“Mobile internet technology has expanded both the amount of time people spend with media and what counts as media," said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. “Media now means comparing prices on the high street, sharing jokes with friends and booking your next holiday, opening up new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers."

This is the fifth edition of the Media Consumption Forecasts, which have surveyed changing patterns of media consumption since 2011. This edition forecasts how the amount of time people allocate to different media will change between 2019 and 2021.

According to the findings, Indians are spending an average of 320 minutes a day consuming media across platforms, up from 270 minutes in 2013. By 2021, Zenith estimates that the average consumer will spend 348 minutes a day consuming media.

Between 2014 and 2019, the average amount of time spent reading newspapers has fallen from 11.6 minutes a day to 9.7 minutes, while time spent reading magazines has fallen from 7.8 minutes to 0.8 minutes. While mobile internet is growing at a rapid pace, the media consumption on desktop has witnessed slow growth from 16.7 minutes a day in 2014 to 19 minutes in 2019.

Mobile internet has eaten into the amount of time people spend with some – but not all – rival media.

Cinema consumption has marginally gone up from 1.1 minutes a day in 2014 to 1.7 minutes a day in 2019. Outdoor media consumption registered a minor decline from 67 minutes a day in 2014 to 64 minutes a day in 2019. However, consumers’ appetite for radio has remained robust, with radio listening rising from 21.3 minutes a day in 2011 to 29 minutes daily this year.

Tanmay Mohanty, chief executive, Zenith India and head of global partnerships (India), said, “While television remains the dominant medium, internet consumption led by mobile shows the fastest growth. There is nothing more personal to the consumer than the handset and for many in India the first taste of media consumption comes from the small screen. Mobile consumption is only expected to go upwards with falling data prices, increased mobile penetration in tier II and III markets, availability of low-cost handsets, entry of 5G networks and explosion in vernacular content formats. Marketers who adequately invest in mobile technology and mobile-first strategies will reap the rewards."

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