Internet – A promise of exponential growth since late 90s has yet to make its presence felt. Whilst there is a vast improvement no doubt, it is not something that can be taken for granted. However, this leads to the question of trends over the next couple of years.
1. Mobile: Nearly 70,000 crore have been paid by the Telecom companies to the government for licenses, which they need to monetize and quickly. This is being aided by the ‘Smart phones’ which seem to be the norm compared to the feature phone, never mind that most use it as a feature phone.It is also true that users access internet thru a variety of devices – tablets/phablets leading to increase of Apps.
2. Social Media: The buzzword of this decade. Everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. 33+ millionn internet users access some form of social networking sites, translating into 80%+ of the total internet audience.This clearly says, like it or hate it, social media is here to stay.
3. Resurgence of eCommerce: Except Travel – Air & Rail, India has yet to witness significant numbers in ecommerce. However, this is set to change. Non travel ecommerce should take off over the next 15-36 months. This basically would be due to value, convenience, accessibility etc.
4. Digital advertising spends: Currently at under 3% of ad spends, this is one area of sustained growth, in particular from younger businesses and business people. Logically, there is no reason for it not to hit double digit over the next couple of years. This would also be driven by mobile & DTH advertising. The question to be addressed here – Will there be continued dominance of performance metrics based pricing – cost per clock/sale/user – in my personal opinion, this is headed for a dramatic shift in the next 15 months.
5. Media consumption and audience: Referring to point 1, where the higher speed of internet access a given, users would be hungry for rich media content. YouTube is already there, but Movies, Music is all waiting.Marketers are hungry to target relevant audiences. And this is where the biggest challenge shall lie. Everybody will expect a ‘Google’ or ‘FaceBook’. Marketers/Advertisers will demand relevant audiences with special emphasis on demographic, behaviour, location. This is where, Telcos should/are concentrating to unlock value.
6. Mcommerce: mCommerce still in infancy, due to a wide variety of regulation involved, but is slowly and consistently gaining traction. This will take off over next 3 years in a major way.
These points are in no way comprehensive and all compassing, but more from a generalist perspective. What have I missed out? Share your thoughts and I would be glad to add them to make this more comprehensive.