In India, Media Use Shows No Signs of Leveling Off

Digital continues to grow, but traditional media hold strong

People in India will engage with media more than ever this year and continued growth is expected, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast.

We expect adults in India will spend 4 hours, 34 minutes each day watching, streaming, reading and listening to media in 2018. This is an increase of 20 minutes over last year and up from 2 hours, 52 minutes in 2013. By 2020, the total will reach 5 hours, 10 minutes.

In contrast to many of the other territories eMarketer tracks, traditional media use in India has not leveled off. TV in particular holds its own, and this year we expect it will command a 56.9% share of media time among the adult population overall, equating to 2 hours, 36 minutes daily. Among those who view TV, the average time spent will reach 3 hours, 33 minutes this year.

A growing use of digital media has also helped to bolster overall media time. This year, adults in India will spend 1 hour, 24 minutes per day with digital devices, more than double the total from five years ago. Smartphone usage has also climbed thanks to increased connectivity in rural areas and more affordable data plans across the country. While overall smartphone penetration is still relatively low (just 29.1% of the adult population), those who use smartphones use them a lot. We predict smartphone users in India will spend 2 hours, 39 minutes daily with their handsets in 2018.

“As TV and digital time spent continue to rise in India, neither are growing at the expense of other traditional outlets [like print and radio],” said Christopher Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “The gains are all additive, meaning the appetite for entertainment and media is expanding, especially among those who gain access to TV or mobile internet for the first time.”

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