9 of the 10 new internet users today are Indian language users: Google

Google and KPMG India released a comprehensive report “Indian Languages – Defining India’s Internet” in April 2017. The report has a lot of useful details which were not known to most of us. Mint had recently carried a summary from the report.

  • India has 234 million Indian language users online, compared to 175 million English users
  • The Indian language user base will continue to grow at 18% annually to reach 534 million in the next four years
  • Indian language internet users are expected to account for approx 75% of India’s internet user base by 2021.
  • 9 out of 10 new internet users coming online today are Indian language users
  • Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi-speaking users have the highest adoption of online services, followed by those who speak Telugu, Gujarati and Malayalam
  • In the next 4 years, Hindi-speaking users alone will overtake English-speaking users and will make Hindi the most used language on the internet in India
  • Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu-speaking internet users will form 30% of the total Indian language internet user base
  • 99% of Indian language users access internet through mobile devices. The overall share of internet users in India accessing internet through mobile devices is 78%
  • 68% internet users consider local language digital content to be more reliable than that in English
  • 35% of Indian language internet users access government services, classifieds, news and payment services exclusively online
  • Language-enabled preloaded applications and web browsers see higher adoption among first time/new Indian language internet users
  • 88% of Indian language internet users are more likely to respond to a digital ad in their local language vis-a-vis an ad in English

While these numbers are impressive we need to see a similar growth in revenues from Indic digital space. It has improved over the last decade but we still see brands prefer to advertise in English. This is purely because of their lack of understanding of the power of Indic.

Huge Percentage of Language Speakers Consume Language Content

Indian language users literates who prefer their primary language over English to read, write and converse with each other.

Indian Languages in 2016 (in millions)Primary language speakerIndian lang users%age of literates
Hindi52125449%
Bengali1015352%
Telugu914044%
Marathi896472%
Tamil754053%
Gujarati563257%
Kannada463270%
Malayalam402255%

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