I was asked by MXMIndia to give them 5 reasons why the future is regional language on the internet in India. The original text I sent them is below but the presentation in the published article was far better.
Diversity of India is the main factor – Official data related to literacy is 74.04%. Now internet is used only by the upper middle class, slowly penetrating to the huge middle class sector which is the largest in India. Upper strata of middle class is moving to the upper middle class category. Their aspirations are high.
Indian internet penetration will be doubling in coming years. Upper strata of the internet users may not understand Indian Language but others, which is the majority, is going to outnumber the upper strata. Change in the economy is the major factor for this. If the economy grows middle class internet usage will increase, which will lead to consumption of Indian Language content.
One can see the phenomenal growth of Hindi language news papers circulation during last five years, soon news papers will see stagnation in circulation and readership – users will be depending other media channels like Internet and Television.
There are 898 million mobile subscribers in India, 292 million of these living in rural areas. The same data showed that 346 million Indian mobile users had subscribed to data packages. Telecom operators are already activating GPRS by default as they realize their users want mobile internet access. We need to recognize the fact that mobile internet (and possibly desktop internet) is not a luxury anymore but a necessity.
Internet penetration has always been increasing but what we want to see in increase in ‘internet usage’. Unless there are content, services out there in a language the masses can understand why will they use the internet? Regional languages will bridge this gap.
Advertisers are not for or against any language. Once they see there is a huge user base of regional language users they will jump onto the advertisers bandwagon on the language sites. We at Oneindia have seen an increase in interest in language advertisers.
- MCKINSEY STUDY – The middle class currently numbers some 50 million people, but by 2025 will have expanded dramatically to 583 million people—some 41 percent of the population. These households will see their incomes balloon to 51.5 trillion rupees ($1.1 billion)—11 times the level of today and 58 percent of total Indian income.
- Internet peneteration in India is below 20 percent