When it comes to using mobile phones to access the Internet, Indians play much more than work, and with the advent of 3G services, availability of free games and other entertainment will explode.
However, providers of information and news in India need to go a longer way. While 38 per cent of Indians access the Internet to download games and music to their mobile phones, the requirement of information is ninth on the priority list, according to a study by the US-based Nielsen group.
“Large numbers of Indians are now downloading games using their mobile phones, and with 3G, availability of free games would become wider,” said Alok Kejriwal, promoter, Mobile2win, a gaming and entertainment portal. “New mobile phones that have a single button to access entertainment and the Internet are driving the trend.”
“Users in the growing Brazil, Russia, India, and China markets haven’t had the benefit of broad-based content distribution thereby limiting their exposure, and are filling the service gap by embracing mobile’s transition into a personal entertainment platform,” said Jeff Herrmann, vice president of mobile media at Nielsen. People in other countries, including Chinese neighbours are using the Internet to e-mail, search for information or news, the Mobile Media Marketplace report released by Nielsen has found. Nielsen is a global organisation specialising in surveys.
Though people in these countries do download music and entertainment, they are more like users in Europe and the USA, where people use their mobiles more for work and to keep themselves informed than entertained.
Kejriwal also said that gaming is an exploding trend in the country, and provides companies with innovative routes to gain revenues, even as most of these downloads become free. Aerial’s company makes ‘Flash games’, which can be played inside a computer’s browser like Internet Explorer, or on a Java-enabled phone.
“In the US and Europe, broad access to media and entertainment has been available for decades through a large fixed distribution infrastructure, and more recently in specialised devices like bipods, to meet consumer’s entertainment needs,” said Herrmann.
Email, weather, news, and search are the top categories for both American and European mobile Internet users; in the US, entertainment, music, and games place eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively.