Assocham says Internet Connections in India to Exceed 380 Million Mark

New Delhi: Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 35 per cent, total number of internet connections in India is expected to surpass 380 mn by 2017 from the current level of 168 mn, according to the ASSOCHAM-Yes bank recent study on Driving Growth in New Media.

While releasing the study Rajkumar Dhoot, President ASSOCHAM said, the mobile revolution is being spearheaded by increasing sales of mobile devices and smart phones as well as the rapid adoption of android and 3G services.  Soon to be launched technologies such as 4G will allow mobile phone users to surf the internet, video conference, download music, video and other content at a rate several times faster than 3G services.  It will offer services such as high-definition mobile TV and video conferencing, superfast access to high definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and much more – all of which should further fuel the growth of mobile adoption and media consumption.

The study further reveals that wireless connections comprising nearly 90% of all connections added over 2012-17.  There are over 1 billion users worldwide on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.  As per the data, the number of social media users in urban India reached 62 mn by December 2012 and it is estimated to reach 66 mn by June 2013.

These audiences largely consist of the youth segment and it is no surprise then, that digital advertising is capturing a larger share of ad spends.  Given the cost effectiveness of this medium in reaching the target segment and the increased measurability offered – companies are allocating increasing amounts of their ad budgets for the digital medium, points out the study.

The recent explosion of social media platforms has been their gradual adoption by content creators. Social Media is fast being recognized as a powerful brand management tool for targeted engagements with the consumer and is an essential marketing tool which provides valuable feedback mechanisms.

With its low cost and increasing adoption by the youth, content creators can engage and develop relationships with the younger audience while marketing content more effectively. These innovative content delivery mechanisms enable content to generate incremental digital revenue streams.

The hit song, Gangnam style, succeeded in creating a rage globally and had estimated earnings of approximate USD 8 mn on You Tube in less than 6 months after its release.  In the Indian context, a similar craze was seen for the Tamil song Why this Kolaveri Di from the Tamil thriller film 3.  Within three weeks of its release on You Tube, the view of the song, garnered 19 mn views and was shared by 6.5 mn Facebook users.  The hype generated spread beyond India, as it gained popularity with NRIs from US, UK, UAE, France and the Gulf region.

A lot of popular Bollywood songs and scenes are now released first over the internet medium as a teaser campaign.  Once the song or scene gains popularity and is viral, television and other promotions follow suit before the movie is released.   The interactive website for the film allows the users to get a sense of the characters as well as the story and the Facebook page allows the users to interact and generate hype for the film even before it has been released.

Content creators are leveraging upon the interest garnered from pre-release social media campaigns to not only generate word-of-mouth publicity but also to use the traction and hype generated as a bargaining tool for better realizations from music, satellite, distribution and other ancillary revenues streams, adds Dhoot.

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