Habits of Digital Naagriks Decoded: How Indians Spend Their Online Hours

From Social Media to OTTs to Online Gaming, How Do Indians Navigate the Digital Realm?

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In today's digital age, it comes as no surprise that individuals are spending a substantial amount of their time on various online platforms. A recent report titled "New Age Digital Consumption: A Survey of Social Media, OTT Content, and Online Gaming" sheds light on the consumption patterns of Indian users, revealing some fascinating insights. This report that has been released by a leading tech and policy think tank - ESYA, provides valuable data on how users engage with social media, over-the-top (OTT) platforms, and online gaming. An academic version of this report is published  in an IIM-A working paper co-authored by Dr. Rajat Sharma, Associate Professor, IIM-Ahmedabad and Dr Vikash Gautam, Adjunct Fellow, Esya Centre. The study involved 2,000 respondents across ten major Indian cities and analyzed data of over 20.6 lakh users across 143 mobile applications.

Social Media Dominance

One striking finding of the report is that an average digital naagrik, spends approximately 194 minutes per day on social media. In contrast, only 44 minutes are allocated to OTT platforms, and 46 minutes to online gaming. Moreover, a significant 89% of users are active on social media every day, while the numbers drop to 22% and 12% for daily activity on OTT and online gaming platforms, respectively.

Spending Patterns

When it comes to financial expenditure, the report reveals that the average Indian user allocates between 200 to 400 rupees per month for OTT platforms. However, online gaming doesn't seem to enjoy the same financial commitment, as users spend less than 100 rupees per month on this form of entertainment. These findings challenge policy concerns related to undesirable user actions, particularly in online gaming, suggesting that actual user engagement and spending data may not fully support such concerns.

Impact of Pricing

The report also examines the impact of pricing changes on user participation. A 30% increase in participation fees for both OTT and online gaming platforms would affect the two industries differently. Online gaming might witness a substantial 71% decrease in participation, whereas OTT could experience a more modest 17% decrease.

User Perceptions

Interestingly, the report delves into how users perceive these digital platforms. For many, OTT content serves as a means of unwinding and relaxation. On the other hand, online gaming is seen as a tool that sharpens cognitive abilities and enhances employment prospects.

Implications for Policies

Experts have weighed in on how these insights can shape India's evolving digital landscape, emphasizing the need for nuanced understanding when crafting policies. India's regulatory environment is adapting to accommodate the dynamic tech industry, with recent changes in GST rates for the online gaming industry and the introduction of regulations by authorities like MeitY. Reports like these play a crucial role in providing factual data to policymakers, enabling the creation of user-focused and well-balanced policies that prioritize both user safety and industry growth.

In a digital world where trends and preferences are constantly evolving, a comprehensive understanding of user behavior is invaluable for policymakers, businesses, and industry stakeholders. The "New Age Digital Consumption" report offers a glimpse into the complex digital landscape of India, serving as a foundation for informed decisions in the ever-changing realm of technology and entertainment.

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