Content consumption has changed, available on multi-devices, in a personalised manner and making micro-moments possible, opined Google India industry director Vikas Agnihotri at the ninth edition of the two-day Indian Magazine Congress in Chennai, which concluded on 24 February 2015.
“From the days of families sharing a device, be it the television or a radio or a desktop, it is for the first time that an instrument that is truly personal to you -- the mobile -- is available,” he said.
He referred to the immediacy of information sought by the consumer today, in the same context.
Reeling out statistics from the Google Internal Query Trends, Agnihotri said YouTube has become the second largest search engine with Indian user base touching the 70 million mark. “Users are watching 95 minutes of content on this medium per month while 90 million videos are being watched per day,” he said.
“The invasion of mobile in people’s life is to such an extent that we check phones once every 10 minutes. India has over 100 million active social media users and 46 per cent social media users actively share content. Life is becoming more of an intensive search but only the medium has changed. The manner of communicating content has changed,” Agnihotri pointed out.
“To feel connected, express yourself and share experience,” are the three key factors that are charting the course of communicating content, according to him.
Google encourages ‘moonshot thinking,’ said Agnihotri, reasoning that doing the unbelievable is far more exciting and challenging. “This is the best time the country has ever seen and it is the best time to be here,” he added.
Given the slow pace of internet penetration in India, it took 20 years to reach the first milestone of a 100 million user base. With the exception of colour TVs which took 25 years, other channels reached this mark in far less time – mobile (11 years) and smart phones (eight years) -- he said, pointing to the rapid acceleration made possible on the back of science and technology advancements.
"We have gone past the routers and dial-up period. Data pricing and mobile prices have come down. Earlier, it used to cost Rs 25,000 and above to buy a mobile but today decent smart phones are available in the Rs 6000 to Rs 8000 price points,” Agnihotri said, adding that the Indian consumers were ready for the digital medium.
From 300 million Indians who are online today, the figure would go past 650 million by 2020, he said, adding that the penetration to population percentage mark was 49 per cent in China compared to 25 per cent in India.
According to him, the three major drivers – screenagers, women and rural population – were responsible for this online user surge. The last two would emerge as key growth drivers in 2020 with 30 per cent of the Indian women choosing to be online and working women spending twice more time on surfing. This would mean that working women would be shopping 1.5 times more than a normal housewife taking the online shoppers figure to 100 million, he said.
“Access to information and relevance are keys. Also the fear of technology is reducing,” Agnihotri said.
However, the need is to adopt a “different strokes for different people” approach, so that a diverse bouquet of services could cater to the consumer preferences, said the speaker.
He added that more than 40 per cent of the online users prefer Indic over English. “The Indic content consumption is growing at five times that of English content consumption,” he said, pointing to the successes of ScoopWhoop, HinKhoj and News in shorts. Agnihotri, however, lamented about Indic languages lagging behind on digital content.