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

Mumbai: YouGov’s Global Media Whitepaper 2022 across 18 international markets shows that in India, two-thirds of urban Indian consumers (67 per cent) reported having visited websites/apps in the last 12 months, and six in ten (59 per cent) intend to continue this activity in the next 12 months.

The whitepaper sought to understand how media behaviour has changed over the last year and what the future media landscape might look like in the coming year.

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.

More than half have streamed video and music (53 per cent and 51 per cent respectively) in the previous 12 months, and a similar proportion (48 per cent and 50 per cent) 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 the 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 under 24. Younger audiences are significantly more likely to stream music and videos, 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 one looks at the ‘net growth scores’ for each media activity (calculated by subtracting lower consumption from higher consumption percentages) in the last 12 months, we see polarisation 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 per cent), followed by social media (+45 per cent), streaming music (+36 per cent) and streaming video (+35 per cent). On the other hand, traditional media like radio registered a negative ‘net growth score’ of 10 per cent, along with in-person mediums such as live in-person events (five per cent) and watching a movie in a theatre (three per cent).

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, growth in consumption of 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 the 'net growth' score from a negative (three per cent) ‘net growth’ score in the last 12 months, to a positive (five per cent) 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 one per cent 'net growth' score in the next 12 months (compared to five per cent 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.

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