Kantar, the world's leading data, insights and consulting company, has released its ICUBE 2019 report on digital adoption and usage trends in India. The report says that the number of monthly active internet users has registered an annual growth of 24%, indicating an overall penetration of 41%. An 11% growth has been projected for 2020, with an estimate of 639 million monthly active internet users from 574 million in 2019.
Active Internet User
Children and homemakers will be the new internet adopters in the next year or two. All monthly active internet users use mobile phones as one of the devices to access the internet.
As per Kantar’s findings, India's digital revolution continues to be propelled by the rural masses. Rural India registered a 45% growth in the monthly active internet users in 2019. The estimates are that there are 264 million internet users in rural India and expected to reach 304 million in 2020. Local language and video are the underlying factors for the internet boom in rural.
*Children and homemakers will be the new internet adopters in the next year or two. Most of these users already have the internet at home, and it will be more about breaking the mindset barrier to access the web. With the availability of curated content for these groups, the adoption will be considerably faster among these segments.
*Video, Voice and Vernacular (3 Vs) will be significant usage factors for the internet users. These will drive higher engagement and frequency of usage, thereby helping the users mature in their internet journey.
*IoT and smart devices will make the internet as much a household phenomenon as it is an individual phenomenon.
Entertainment moves online
The report says about 84% users access the internet for entertainment purposes. 2019 witnessed a surge in OTT, both audio and video, probably driven by original contents and cricket (both IPL and Cricket World Cup streamed on OTT platforms). The convenience of content available across devices and on-the-go low-cost internet services resulted in significant growth in the entertainment consumption in the last year. It will continue in 2020 too, especially given the lockdown.
More children on the internet than ever before
At 38%, school-going children segment in the age group of 15 years or below have shown promising growth in internet usage. Access to information and education, social media, gaming and entertainment, primarily and sports are driving the adoption.
Content availability drives the surge in daily usage
Content is the king and is driving the surge in daily internet usage. ICUBE 2019 reports a growth of more than 60% in regular internet users in the last year; almost nine out of 10 active internet users were accessing the internet daily owing to entertainment and communication needs.
Rural masses continue to propel India's digital revolution
India's digital revolution continues to be propelled by the rural masses — rural India registered a 45% growth in the monthly active internet users in 2019. It is estimated that there are 264 million internet users in rural India, and expected to reach 304 million in 2020. Local language and video are the underlying factors for the internet boom in rural. The rural population has finally crossed the point of a chasm by embracing the internet in a big way, resulting in a 2.5X growth in penetration in the last four years.
Puneet Avasthi, Senior Director, Insights Division, Kantar, said, "The latest edition of Kantar ICUBE 2019 report shows that the digital base in India achieved strong growth with the addition of over 112 million users last year. The new decade is expected to witness the next wave of digital India aided by the recent Covid-19 pandemic that has catalysed the speed at which the already connected consumer is getting further connected with devices, payments, e-medicine, etc. Kantar's ICUBE 2019 report gives a front-line view of the digital adoption and its growth drivers, thereby providing marketers the key insights necessary for formulating their marketing and communication strategies."
Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Vice-President, Insights Division, Kantar, said, "The lockdown and social distancing have pushed users to experiment with various digital solutions, some of them by desire while others due to compulsion. The comfort of accessing services and availing their benefits from the comfort of home in the times of social distancing will continue to push users to adopt and use multiple Internet services. Given this, the year 2020 is likely to see a tectonic shift in both Internet adoption and frequency of usage. OTT, hyperlocal services, social media and communication and online payments will be some key elements that will drive the impact."
(Internet user is defined as anyone who has accessed the internet in the past one month)
ICUBE is an annual syndicated study of Kantar to measure the reach and frequency of internet usership in India. Launched in 1998, the study is in its 22nd year. ICUBE 2019 covered about 75,000 respondents across 390 cities and urban locations and about 1300+ villages. The study represents all states and union territories of India, barring Lakshadweep. The data collection for the study was conducted between May and August 2019.