The media consumption landscape has changed tremendously in India. With great smartphone penetration and ample data availability with packages which are affordable – thanks to Jio, the consumption of content across the spectrum has changed.
News reporting over the years has changed and with the advent of digital the pipelines to consume news have also evolved over the years. As per the latest report of Comscore India’s Trends in Online News Consumption, India is the second largest online news consuming nation in the worldwith an average of 282 million unique visitors every month. However, with 617 million unique visitors every month China becomes the largest online news consuming nation in the world
As per reports, Digital news is the most popular content category by reach, with 96% reach, followed by social media, entertainment and retail. India is actually on the first spot with regards to news penetration all over the world.
General News tops the chart of the most preferred genre of news with 273 million unique visitors. Business and Financial news with 136 million unique visitors, Technology with 118 and Weather 42 million unique visitors respectively.
Mobile Leading the Way
Indians prefer the smartphone as their device of consuming content and especially news. ComScore’s report states that in India more than 90% of the users consume news on their mobile phones, whereas only a marginal percentage of close to 9% prefer to consume news on desktops.
Despite an overwhelming majority that states that smartphones are Indians’ primary device for consuming news, the average time they spends on news sites at 191 minutes, which is much lesser than countries such as Finland with 667 minutes, China with 496 minutes and US with 352 minutes.
The Vernacular Promise
With regional being the buzz word across the content industry, the country has seen tremendous growth of vernacular news consumption.
Hindi leads the pack with 66% reach, followed by Marathi and Malayalam with 11% reach. Tamil and Telegu also have a reach of 5% each.
Increase in News Aggregators
News aggregators bring a lot of eye balls to news consumption. ComScore’s report states that news aggregators attract 56% of news viewers.
Dailyhunt leads the pack with having 43% reach. Flipboard has only 6% reach,Newspoint has 5%, Google News 3% reach, Inshorts with 2% and UCNews 1% percent. It is quite clear and evident that Dailyhunt is the undisputed market leader.
Video A catalyst in news consumption
Video clearly acts as a catalyst to increase the reach of digital news consumption. The Reach of Top 5 Video players in news category saw exponential annual growth.
In one year from September 2018 to September 2019 Network 18 saw a staggering 395% growth in visitors because of video. India Today Group saw a 39% growth in visitors whereas ABP News Network saw a 32% growth. Times Internet Limited saw a 274% growth in visitors and Zee Digital a whopping 1973% but that is also because initially they only had One million unique visitors which in a year reached to 26 million unique visitors, in absolute terms.
Key Takeaways from the Report
News is here to stay, although the formats will keep evolving.Partnerships are the cornerstone of News Discovery and growth.Video on mobile is witnessing the ever increasing engagement.As Internet access become more and more inclusive, vernacular news and content will continue to explode.