After an insightful keynote address by Mahendra Swarup, Chief Mentor, Smile Interactive, and President, Indian Venture Capital Association on Emerging Digital Trends, Paru Minocha, Executive Director, Synovate India, took the stage to present the exchange4media-Synovate Digital Media Usage Study. This was followed by a presentation on mobile consumption trends by Kedar Sohoni of Informate.
The exchange4media-Synovate Digital Media Usage Study was carried out across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Giving some key highlights of the study, Minocha said, “Earlier, building a brand used to be simple. All one needed to do was make a product, choose a target audience, make some ads, buy some media and watch the money roll in. But then, media vehicles started emerging, which were bigger than TV. Sixty-one per cent of Indian marketers sampled spend on digital media. Proportion spent on digital has gone up from 5 per cent to 20 per cent in the past three years.”
Minocha further said, “Indian marketers are bullish and are leveraging the potential of digital media. We are moving towards convergence. Mobile telephony is becoming the preferred media vehicle (50 per cent), followed by laptops/ desktops (46 per cent) and the remaining in netbooks and iPads (40 per cent). TV web browsers and widgets will shortly be available. Yahoo and Adobe have recently signed deals with Sony and Samsung to install them on their next generation TVs.”
She added, “Communication is becoming more tailored and bespoke and using more channels and technologies to reach the consumer where, when and how they want.”
According to Minocha Internet penetration and ineffective measurement were two major challenges that digital media faced. The steps taken to overcome these challenges include addressing the way online buzz is measured. Other steps include embedding microsites and social media content into tracking or pre-testing surveys, and showing the display in situ.
She concluded by saying, “It’s still about accounting all influences on brand beliefs, building emotional connections and measuring the impact on the brand relationship.”
Mobile consumption in India
Following Minocha’s presentation, Kedar Sohoni of Informate gave some mobile consumption trends in India. According to Sohoni, “Mobile Internet will be bigger than what most think. Globally, more users are likely to connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs. The ramp up of mobile Internet will be a lot faster than desktop Internet.”
Citing an example, Sohoni said, “It took iPhone and iTouch just nine quarters to reach a base of 57 million users.”
“3G will drive the reach and popularisation of Mobile Internet. We seem to be at an inflection point as 3G will soon cross 20 per cent penetration worldwide,” he added.
Speaking about mobile Internet in India, Sohoni said that it was already at a significant level in the country. He supported his statement with some interesting data. “India is in the forefront in the global mobile Internet marketplace. India ranks No. 2 (second only to the US) in the global ad requests served by AdMob, one of the largest mobile ad networks in the world. India ranks third among the top markets for Opera Mini, which reported that page views and unique users in India have gone up by 202 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively, in the last 15 months. Informate’s own analysis based on actual usage of SmartPhone handsets shows that mobile Internet pageviews have more than doubled in the last six months,” he pointed out.
Commenting on smartphone usage, he said, “Only a quarter of the time spent on smartphones in India is for voice/ SMS communication. Entertainment, browsing and applications dominate overall time spends.”
Looking into the future, Sohoni said, “More music will be consumed in India through mobile phones than through any other medium within the next few years. The mobile phone will be the No. 1 gaming device in India when it comes to share of time spent. Six out of every 10 users players have played a game in a last one month. The mobile phone will be the No. 1 medium for delivering ‘Breaking News’ in the future even as news on the mobile is on rise. One out of every seven users accesses news on their mobile phones through their phone browser. Eleven per cent of the users have used a downloadable news application on their phone in the previous month. Eventually, more people will access social networking sites through their mobile phones than through desktop PCs.”
He further said, “More searches will happen on mobile phones than desktop PCs. Search is the most popular genre on mobile Internet. With more than 70 per cent penetration and a close to 7 per cent share of pageviews, search dominates the mobile web in India. Our smart meter tracker reveals that telecom websites have high reach, but are clicked significantly lesser number of times than other web categories. New mantras on the web like content sharing, entertainment, Web communication and specific interest areas like BFSI and sports have low reach and pageviews, but they are expected to catch up fast.”
As for mobile advertising, according to Sohoni, “The advertising dollar will eventually follow eyeballs and there are already a lot of eyeballs glued to the mobile in India. Advertising dominates global desktop Internet revenue. That’s not the case for mobile Internet today, where advertising accounts for a small share. But there is large scope for disruptive innovation for monetising the opportunities that the medium has made available. At the same time, strong reliable metrics will act as a catalyst to the growth of mobile advertising.”