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Reality of new media in India

On line media adds 10 lakh new individuals every month which is more than the readership of the leading business newspaper in India, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

business Updated: Jan 17, 2006 20:05 IST

"The number of Internet users surpassed one billion in 2005 - up from only 45 million in 1995 and 420 million in 2000, with India accounting to 50.6 million."

Hindustan Times

, 10th January 2005.

If that isn't good enough probably the next headline in the same newspaper the same day is. "While the US continues to lead with nearly 200 million Internet users at the end of 2005, China and India are now in second and fourth place among Internet users."

Translating figures into facts:

- The online audience in India now stand at a whooping 5,60,00,000.

- We today have the 4th largest online audience in the world.

- Comparing online audience with newspapers and magazines

The figures I have are a month and a half and stand at 3,85,00,000 as the size of online audience in India. But even at those figures the Indian online audience

- stood at 5.2 times the readership of the leading English daily.
- Or 2.8 times the combined readership of leading 3 newspapers in India.
- Or 3 times the combined readership of India's leading 5 English magazines.

Now, with an audience of 5.60 crore, I wonder how many times bigger the on line audience is if you combine all the major newspapers and magazines in India.

- The new media adds 10 lakh new unique individuals every month which is more than the readership of the leading business newspaper in India.

New Media and the Importance of the Indian Market

Online population

The Indian online population is estimated to be 111 mn by 2010. India would have the 3rd largest Internet user base in the world after USA and China and ahead of Japan

Mobile users

The Indian mobile user base is estimated to be 139 mn in 2010 making it the 3rd largest in the world.

Broadband

India will be the 5th largest BB market in the world by 2010. India's 10 mn BB HH Base will be almost equal to Korea's BB HH base of 12 mn.

Overall ad spend

The overall ad market in India is estimated at $3.38 bn in 2010. The online ad market at 3% of the total ad market will be $100 mn.

The E-commerce Market in India

According to Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the total ecommerce market in India is estimated at Rs.1,180 crores in current year (this report was released on December 8th, 2005). IAMAI also estimated that this figure would double to Rs.2,300 crores in next financial year.

According to market researcher ACNielsen whereas worldwide consumers averaged 4.9 purchases, the same as for the Asia-Pacific region, Europeans averaged 5.1 purchases. Indians averaged 5.2 online purchases last month.

According to Dr Egil Juliussen of eTForecasts, "Much of current and future Internet user growth is coming from populous countries such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia."

Growth - adding fuel to the fire

A ministry that works

Dayanidhi Maran, this is perhaps the third time I am taking his name in the last one-and-a-half-years. Reason is simple enough I really like this minister. This man has done more for the IT Industry than perhaps any other minister I know of. But right now not to talk about other issues, his two initiatives the broadband initiative and Rs 10,000 PC in association with hardware manufacturers added fuel to the fire.10 lakh new unique individuals every month adding to the new media isn't a small figure for sure. Its more than the readership of the leading business newspaper of India.

Cyber cafes

The cyber-cafe market has grown at high rates, averaging year-on-year growth of 45% over the past five years, market researcher IMRB International says. Currently there are more than 105,000 cyber-cafes in India, with the number expected to grow to 262,000 by 2010.

The problem of the new media

Such a huge audience. One million new individuals adding every month. Yet revenues remain small. The advertising revenue of this huge audience remains small. So where exactly is the problem?

I buy Raj Nayak's argument "Perception Problem" argument. He says "The 'new mass media' suffers from a perception problem. It adds 10 lakh new users every month, but it has only 80 advertisers. TV has about 3,000 while print has 28,000.

The new media is too huge now and growing at phenomenal speed. To be a part of it or not to be a part of it isn't a question any more. The question is can you afford to ignore the new media any longer?

Puneet
Mehrotra is a web strategist atwww.Cyberzest.comand editswww.MidnightEdition.comyou can email him on puneet@cyberzest.com