Internet is the revolution in the country. More than 205 million internet users were recorded by 2013. The country is adding 4 million internet users every month and by the end of 2014, there will be over 250 million internet users. Predicting on this growth Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India added that India is about six years away from hitting the half a billion mark and by 2020, India will have half a billion connected users. He also highlighted some more trends while speaking at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress in New Delhi.
The MD at Google India who dreams of adding 100 million internet users every year shared that India will soon become the second largest internet market in the world and this is extremely important for companies that have a huge dependence on digital.
Stating more about trends, mobile remains at the top for Rajan along with growth in e-commerce, explosive growth in social and the growth in digital ad spends.
Labeling Internet today as mobile, Rajan informed that out of the 200 million internet users, 100 million only access the internet on mobile devices and not on a desktop or a notebook. He also predicted that by the end of 2014, this number will double to 140 million connected smartphone users.
“Whether you are a publisher, advertiser or an e-commerce venture, you have to be on smartphones,” he said.
Online retail is another big business that is all set to explode. According to Crisil Research, a unit of Mumbai-based ratings firm Crisil Ltd. revenues of e-commerce companies could triple over the next three years to 504 billion rupees ($8.13 billion). Talking about e-commerce, Rajan added that market will grow eight times and the number of digital shoppers by three times in five years.
Social media has already seen an explosive growth in the country and online video would push it more. Google plans to double the 55 million unique users watching YouTube per month over the next 18 months with the help of Reliance Jio broadband services. At the same time he also stressed that content consumption will grow on various platforms with vernacular content raising the demand.
“The vernacular sites are growing at 56 per cent y-o-y and English sites just by 11 per cent y-o-y. The fastest growing websites in India are now vernacular news sites and the consumption is growing five times as compared to English,” he informed.
Finally Rajan also expects that the industry will witness increase in digital ad spends and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 34 percent. He believes that there is a huge opportunity around small business advertising. In fact Google is already aiming to help half a million small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India go online by the end of 2015.
According to Google in last two years, it claims to have enabled 300,000 SMBs to go online. Its premier partners cover 65 cities and this number is expected to go up to 100 this year.
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