Digital media dominates consumers’ choice in India but growth in consumption appears to be slowing
December 8th, 2022, Bhawna Singh

Digital media dominates consumers’ choice in India but growth in consumption appears to be slowing

YouGov’s Global Media Whitepaper 2022 across 18 international markets aims to understand how media behaviour has changed during the last 12 months and what the future media landscape might look like in the year ahead.

When comparing global future media behaviour to the previous 12 months, YouGov research shows that media penetrations remain high and stable across various types of media. Digital media continues to dominate consumer choice, with websites or apps registering the highest penetration.

In India, two-thirds of (67%) urban Indian consumers report having visited websites/apps in the last 12 months and six in ten (59%) intend to continue this activity in the next 12 months.

In addition, more than half have streamed video and music (53% and 51% respectively) in the previous 12 months, and a similar proportion (48% and 50%) are likely to do so in the coming 12 months.

Watching TV (both live and non-live) appears to be more popular than watching movies in a theatre but engagement with cinema may increase in the future.

Listening to radio and attending live events were the least consumed forms of media in the past twelve months, and consumption is likely to remain similar in the future as well.

Exploring consumption of different media channels by age, annual penetration of websites/apps remains high across all age groups, whereas engagement with social media starts to drop off among adults aged 45+.

Traditional media activities such as watching live TV and reading newspapers/ magazines have lower engagement among those aged under 24. Younger audiences are significantly more likely to stream music and video, play video games, listen to podcasts, and attend live in-person events or watch movies at the cinema than watch TV or read newspapers/magazines.

If we look at the ‘net growth scores’ for each media activity (calculated by subtracting less consumption from more consumption percentages) in the last 12 months, we see polarization between digital media activities and outdoor in-person activities.

At the top end of the scale, websites and apps registered the highest ‘net growth’ score in the last 12 months (+57%), followed by social media (+45%), streaming music (+36%), and streaming video (+35%). On the other hand, traditional media like radio registered a negative ‘net growth score’ of -10%, along with in-person mediums such as live in-person events (-5%) and watching a movie in a theatre (-3%).

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, growth in consumption for digital media types appears to be slowing, but penetration of traditional media (such as newspaper/ magazine and radio) is expected to grow in the next twelve months.

In-person media activities are likely to pick up in the future as well. Watching a movie in a theatre shifts from a negative (-3%) ‘net growth’ score in the last 12 months, to a positive (+5%) score in the next 12 months.

The gap between those expecting to increase their number of outings at live events (rather than decrease) is also closing, with a -1% 'net growth' score in the next 12 months (compared to -5% in the previous 12 months).

As media behaviour continues to evolve, it is key for marketers and advertisers to understand which media consumption habits are most likely to stick, and which are set to grow among current consumers.

Read the full report here.