Usage of internet highest in North India, Hindi content being the reason

Today’s Mint newspaper carried a very interesting report (Indicus Analytics) about the media consumption across India. The report talks about the three mediums – Newspaper, TV, Internet, Radio across various Socio Economic Classes (SEC categories) in India.

Let us get to the basics of SEC. We read about it often but may not know the exact definition. I found it very well explained in an old blog posting,

  • CWE: the person who contributes the most to the household expenses
  • The socioeconomic classification (SEC) groups urban Indian households on the basis of education and occupation of the CWE of the household into five segments (SEC A, SEC B, SEC C, SEC D and SEC E households in that order).
  • The classification takes into account the lifestyle of the household also.
  • High’ socioeconomic classes refers to SEC A&B, ‘mid’ socioeconomic class refers to SEC C and ‘low’ socioeconomic classes refers to SEC D&E.
  • Data sourced from Indian Readership Survey (*IRS 1998-1999) gives the education and occupation profile of the chief wage earner of households. (haven’t yet found this link)
  • Households belonging to the mid and low socio economic classes (SEC C, D &E) are becoming relevant target groups as they constitute more than 70% of urban households.

The Indicus report records the number of minutes spent per day in each of these mediums across SEC A-E,

  • TV is reasonably flat across all SECs (ranges from 96 min to 75 min)
  • Newspaper: 43 minutes to 17 minutes
  • Internet: 87 minutes to 10 minutes. Clearly a huge difference in the usage pattern. Internet publishers can safely ignore SEC E “for now”
  • Radio: 30 minutes to 18 minutes. I think the usage of radio is linked to how bad the traffic jams are. The more you are stuck in the traffic you tend to listen to radio.

Some interesting points from the Indicus report across SEC A-E,

  • TV is the preferred medium. It has massive penetration, advertising is very expensive.
  • Internet is catching up (yuppie!)
  • Newspaper is a distant third (43 minutes per day in SEC A)
  • Higher the SEC, the more time they spend on media.
  • Western India shows preference to TV
  • Northern India prefers Internet (Hindi content playing a role)
  • Cities with high usage of internet: Delhi, Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Visakhapatnam, Vadodara, Faridabad.
  • Households whose CWE are highly educated use internet a lot, especially when they are young, single or married without children
  • Mobile internet will be benefited by low income households in the coming years.


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