EY, the multinational professional services firm, has released its latest report about key trends that will shape the future of Digital content consumption in the country. Titled, ‘Future of Digital Content Consumption in India’ and spread across eight key areas, the report predicts an increasing proliferation of digital media consumption into rural markets driven by smartphone adoption.
The 8 key trends highlighted in the report are:
Increase in content for the individual
Smartphone penetration in India is expected to grow to 520 million by 2020. This use of smaller screens on personal devices will fuel ‘personal escapism’ or watching content individually, with 45% of all content consumed expected to be on the small screen by 2020.
Content breaks out of the 30 and 60 min. programming pattern
Short form and snackable content is primarily driving the growth in consumption of digital media, and is very popular with a younger audience. The average length of video viewed in India is less than 20 minutes, with short form content constituting 62 per cent of all content consumed on YouTube.
Omniplatform content consumption
While television serves as the primary screen currently, we are entering an era where all screens will work seamlessly together — they will just come in a wide range of sizes.
The changing face of rural consumers
The next wave of growth in India’s internet penetration is expected to come from tier II and tier III cities, enabled by wireless mobile internet. The preference of the Indian consumers towards vernacular and regional language content is constantly on the upswing, with 93 per cent of the time spent on videos in Hindi and other regional languages. By 2020, of the 650 million internet users, 50-55 per cent is expected to be rural users, up from 33 per cent in 2013.
Growth in earning population
India’s earning population (above 25 years of age) is expected to grow from 40 per cent of the total population to 54 per cent of the total population by 2018. In addition, mobile wallets are increasing in popularity, and would see a 60x growth in the number of transactions till 2020. This increase in the earning population and ease in the ability to pay will lead to a growth in spending on media and entertainment.
Mass content will evolve to suit the new market needs, aided by the increase in individual content consumption, and the ability to unicast content. Expect to see increased niches being created and the focus move from only mass products, to mass and niche communities.
Rise of e-celebrities
The proliferation of digital platforms have also given rise to the phenomena of ‘e-Celebs’. With the growing influence of similar home-grown celebrities in India, it is expected that such talent would be partnered extensively by content and brand players to build offerings for consumers on different digital platforms. Successful e-Celebs can then be ported across media and given shows online, on TV and other media.
Increase in digital gaming
With the increase in the number of mobile internet users, smartphones and tablets in India, mobiles will be among the most important platforms in gaming, garnering a 54 per cent share of the total Indian gaming market by 2020.
Commenting on the report, Raghav Anand, Digital Media Head, Media and Entertainment, EY, said, “A combination of high speed wireless broadband and cheaper smart devices combined with increased digital advertising spends will propel digital media sector beyond Rs 200 Billion by 2020. Further, easier digital payments mechanisms like wallets and telecom APIs, together with sharp analytics will enable an on-impulse transaction ecosystem for entertainment content consumption.”
At a foundational level, the eight highlighted key trends will require M&E companies and content providers to develop much richer relationships with audiences. Players will also need to invest in the technologies that will enable them to analyze audience data, deliver deeper engagement with advertising and prove incremental value to brands.