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Regional language users to account for 75% of total internet users, by 2021: Times Internet study

The study highlights the rapid shift of digital users towards regional content consumption. The study has validated the rising trend of online content consumption across the eight most widely consumed regional languages in the country

By 2021, regional language users will account for almost 75% of the total internet user base in the country, says a study titled ‘The Changing Lingual Face of Digital India’, released by Times Internet.

The study highlights the rapid shift of digital users towards regional content consumption. With this study, Times Internet has successfully validated the rising trend of online content consumption across the eight most widely consumed regional languages in the country. To map the magnitude of this trend, online content consumption patterns of over 90 million netizens were evaluated, unveiling many future possibilities and the impact of content in regional languages.

India is inching closer to becoming a digital-first nation as affordable smartphones and low priced 3G and 4G connections are driving internet penetration and digital literacy in the country. Access to high speed internet connectivity is no longer restricted to metro cities, which is causing a massive shift in online content consumption patterns, across the country.

 

Key findings by language differentiation:

*Out of the 90 million+ surveyed digital users, more than half are non-English readers and more than two-third of Hindi readers are also reading English

*Regional languages have surpassed English with a 66% share in overall content consumption

*Hindi users had about 35.6% of content consumption, while Bangla users had 7.44%, followed by Tamil and Telugu, which had 5.61% each

*Regional language user base in India has grown at a CAGR of 41% from 2011 to 2016, and is expected to further grow at 18% by 2021 to reach 536 million

*English language users are expected to grow at 3% CAGR to reach 199 million by 2021

By 2021, regional language users will account for almost 75% of the total internet user base in the country

Key findings by regional differentiation:

*Regional language content consumption is not limited to the regional boundaries, but it gets a trend from all across the nation

*English is the most consumed language on the internet in Delhi (52% of total consumption), Mumbai (62%), Bengaluru (79%), Pune (54%), Kolkata (68%), Ahmedabad (42%), Hyderabad (89%) and Chennai (85%)

*Lucknow and Jaipur were the biggest markets for Hindi language consumption with 58% and 57% of the total internet consumption being on Hindi, respectively

Key findings by device and language differentiation:

*Among the Hindi language users, 69.7% was consumed on mobiles, while 29.5% was consumed on desktop

*40.3% of the total Marathi language users consumed on mobile and 57.9% was consumed on desktop, along with the rest 1.8% was consumed on tablet

*Among Kannada users, 61.8% used mobile phones and 36.2% consumed on desktop

*Bangla language content was consumed on mobile for about 66.3% of the total, while desktop accounted for 31.4%

*Gujarati language users had the maximum consumption on mobiles, which is as much as 96.6%

Other key highlights:

*Across all regional languages, news as a genre sees the highest content consumption at 67%, followed by sports at 17% and entertainment at 16%

*Among female users, Gujarati language sees the highest online content consumption at 44.78%

The results of the study highlight that content consumption in regional languages among younger audiences is fast growing, with consumption among Indians in the 25-34 age group being the highest.

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