India to Overtake United States as Mobile Web Takes Over

Image: Multi-Generation Indian Family With Digital Tablet

India’s internet audience is set to reach 300 million users by the end of December, which will see it become the second largest internet market in the world. This rapid change has seen internet uptake grow 30 per cent in a year.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) released its Internet in India 2014 report last night with the news that it expects India’s internet audience to reach 300 million users by the end of the year, becoming the 2nd largest global web consumer behind China (which now boasts around 600 million users).

The Indian market is in the middle of a massive digital uptake that has seen its growth accelerate dramatically on earlier years. At the turn of the century it took India almost a decade to go from 10 million to 100 million users, yet it’s tripled in size within four years from 2010 – 2014. This is thanks to the 2010 auction and release of India’s 3G and, later, 4G networks, which has allowed wider distribution and faster connection speeds across India’s broadband networks.

Mobile web has also been attributed as one of the other main contributors. The report estimates that there are 173 million mobile web users, around 57 per cent of total internet users. This is an increase on this time last year of 60 million users, with the majority of these coming from urban areas. As previously reported, the Indian mobile web advertising industry is seeing massive investment and huge growth in order to meet the swell of new users. Particularly as the price of internet-enabled mobile devices and data continues to fall.

Sixty-four per cent of India’s internet users are online at least once a day, with 18 per cent accessing it several times throughout. In both rural and urban areas of India, communication and social networking are both primary reasons for internet access. In fact, when it comes to social networks, around 85 per cent of both groups report usage. Using the internet for entertainment purposes is the number one reason rural Indians connect to the internet.

This seismic growth in web usage and the switch towards mobile channels has had a significant effect on business and advertising in India, with many brands looking towards mobile channels as a way of directly reaching users in both urban and rural areas. Through mobile advertising, brands finally have a way of delivering their brand message and video advertisements to customers in metropolitan areas while opening up a unique channel to reach a new audience in less accessible rural areas.

Mobile’s falling handset costs, increasing network coverage and improving usability mean that it become the first point of access for most Indian internet users. The country is currently the fastest growing in new mobile subscriptions, with 18 million new users in the last three months. This monumental growth is guaranteed to continue and provides a highly engaged audience to marketers, as mobile users are 20 times more likely to interact with advertisements.

India is a perfect market for digital and mobile advertising. It’s growing, it’s engaging and it’s only just starting to cross the chasm of mobile device uptake. Now is the perfect time to harness the power of mobile advertising, while the industry is thriving but before the market is overpopulated.

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Ryan Davies

Author Ryan Davies

Marketing guy and coffee addict. I help brands reach consumers and help content owners monetise their mobile websites at AdSpruce. To chat about AdSpruce, Marketing, Mobile Video Advertising or any other topic you can find Ryan on Google+ or get in touch via Twitter (@ryan_adspruce)

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