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Youth drive the mode of Internet usage in India

Youth Internet usage

75% of the web audience is under the age of 35, compared to 52% of the global average and 57% of the regional average.

comScore recently released a report named as “State of the Internet with a focus on India”. As the name suggests the report, provides an overview of audience trends globally including insights into how digital media consumption is evolving across regions. As per the report findings, the worldwide online population has risen to 1351 millions this year as compared to a population of 1219 millions in 2010. Regions such as North America, European remained flat in their approach but the growth in developing regions is likely to continue as more people move from shared access environment to home & work use.

Although India’s Usage is relatively low as compared to similarly sized countries, but web users in China and India post the least average usage when compared to BRIC countries and other similarly sized web populations. Like an internet user in India spends around 12.5 Total Hours Online, on an average while in countries like Germany it goes up to 23.4 hrs per Visitor. However, the proportion of youth audience in India is substantially larger than any of the regional or global averages. Primarily because, Internet audience in India skews dramatically young as three-quarters of the web audience is under the age of 35, compared to 52% of the global average and 57% of the regional average. The heaviest internet users in India age between 15-24 years driving the highest internet consumption in the country. Out of which, males spend more time online than females in most age groups except the 35-44 year old age group wherein women spend 1.7 hours more online than males.

“The digital world is expanding, driven by growth in several key categories across the board. And it’s not wrong to say that Social Networking is a key driver of PC and Mobile activity in the country. As the younger consumers in India are leading the revolution, with more engagement coming from 15-34 age groups primarily,” says Kedar Gavane, Director, ComScore India.

Furthermore, the report highlights that search, social networking and webmail are key online categories in online. Social networking remains central to internet usage in India as these sites reach up to 84% of the web audience in India, and takes up 21% of all time spent online. Interestingly, India, along with Brazil, had been two of Orkut’s final strongholds –until August this past year, when Facebook over took Orkut to be the leading Social Network in the country.

Out of the most visited online areas, travel, retail, business/finance and technology remains on the top-slot at a descent growth rate ranging between 4-13%. Two new areas- News/Info category and Cricket sites have accelerated in a big way as 58% of Indian web users visited a News/Info site that resulted in a growth rate of 16%. The Yahoo! News Network, which includes Yahoo! News India, remained the top site, reaching a third of the web audience while The Times of India edged out Yahoo! News in terms of usage, with average usage of 15.7 minutes.

Termed as the second religion in India- Cricket sites saw a 38 % increase in visits to Sports sites over the past year.

Even online entertainment shared a big space in India as 77% of web users in India visited an entertainment site in March representing a growth of 8%, higher than regional and worldwide growth. A few entertainment categories received more than their “fair share” of visitors from India: Movies, News, Music, and Humor. Despite this, average time spent watching online video in all four BRIC nations are still far lower than averages in North America and Europe: for example, average time spent watching video in the U.S. was 15.7 hours over the same time period.  Another area that witnesses an upward surge is the career services and development sites, including job search, career, resources and training Sites that was visited by 40 percent of the Indian web population, a rate higher even than visiting to these sites from North America and Europe.

At the same time, there was also an influx on the traffic on personal sites as around 14 of Internet Users in India visited a Personals Site displaying a high level of comfort with using personal sites. The country still relies on Webmail as 78% of web users used online e-mail in March 2011, while the global and regional use of webmail declined over the past year and stayed flat in India.

The report concludes by spotlighting that Online advertising is effective, both as a direct response and as a branding strategy, but for online advertising to get its fair share of advertising dollars, ad effectiveness needs to be measured “beyond the click”. It also mentions that accurate measurement of the delivery against media plan is essentially very critical.

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