When it comes to Indians checking emails, Indian working women and non-working women beat segments of ‘younger men’, ‘older men’ and ‘school-going children’ with a significant majority. This was a finding of the latest report on Internet trends in India, called the ‘Internet in India 2006 -- Mapping the Indian Internet space’ by IAMAI.
The report covered a sample size of 16,500 households covering 65,000 individuals across 26 major metros and small towns, and it said that working and non-working women comprise 56 per cent of the demographic profile when it comes to checking emails, followed by older men which garner a 53 per cent. While the younger men account for 50 per cent, the youth contributes to 35 per cent. Also, the school-going children put in 23 per cent.
In India, Internet is on its way of becoming a mass media as users are spending most of time surfing the net. The usage is growing exponentially, with 28 per cent people surfing almost daily, including holidays, in 2006; as compared to 17 per cent in 2003. The popularity of this medium can be gauged by the fact that the percentage of heavy Internet users, that is 8.2 hours per week in India, has rapidly increased from 16 per cent in 2001, 20 per cent in 2004, to 38 per cent in 2006. At the same time, the percentage of light users has steadily declined from 63 per cent in 2001 to 28 per cent in 2006.
The evaluation of Internet as a medium is evident from the fact that traditional favourites like email and chat are slowly giving way to other emerging applications like information search, e-ticketing, matrimony, product information, entertainment, jobs, banking, blogs and infotainment.
All these innovations have led to a growth of 32 per cent of active Internet users in the year 2006. As user mature on the application curve, they look for other applications to continue their relationship with the Internet. The demographic preferences start coming into the picture as users develop their clear favourites in this domain. The study reflects these nuances.
In the infotainment segment, school-going children and youth are more active. They respectively contribute to 47 per cent and 37 per cent of Internet usage for infotainment, as compared to young men and older men, at 21 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively. The percentage is almost same among the working and non-working women, who contribute 22 per cent.
The study also brings to light the fact that the average time spent on the Internet, in terms of minutes per week, has increased with the increasing age of the users. While school-going children spend an average of 322.2 minutes per week on the Internet, college-going students spend 433.2 minutes a week. Older men spend 580.5 minutes a week, while working women and non-working women spend an average of 535.3 minutes 334.5 minutes, respectively.
These figures go on to strengthen the belief that some sections of consumers spend more time on Internet that any other media, a fact that could very well be food for advertisers and media planners.