NEW DELHI: The number of internet users in India grew rapidly, by 40% in 2015, to 277 million, compared to the global growth of 9% to 3 billion, making India the only country in the world to have recorded a higher growth rate last year than the previous year (33%).
India has surpassed the US as the world’s second-largest internet market, behind China, according to the annual Internet Trends Report 2016 released by venture capitalist and analyst Mary Meeker at the Code Conference in California on Wednesday. Despite this, just about 22% of the Indian market is penetrated, offering scope for huge growth, particularly on mobile.
Also, at $158 per unit, India has the lowest average smartphone cost. At the same time, the cost of a smartphone in India, as a percentage of the country’s per capita (average) income, is 10%, which is among the highest in the world.
Meeker, a former Morgan Stanley internet analyst who is now partner at venture-capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, has been studying the technology and internet economy for close to two decades.
Global smartphone user growth fell to 21% in 2015, from 31% in the previous year. AsiaPacific remained the largest market with a growth of 52% in 2015.
Around 80% of the time is spent on three apps. While in the US it is Facebook, Chrome and YouTube, globally it is Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube.
In the digital advertising space, Google and Facebook control 76% of the total revenue.
The report also warned that online video ads are ineffective: 81% of the people surveyed mute video ads, 62% are annoyed by preroll ads, and 93% have considered using ad-blocking software.