Wading Through Mobile Waters

Mobile, perhaps, is the only sector, that is never out of the news. From 2G to 4G, from simple substitutes of the telephone to smartphones, from sharing images to actually watching shows and programs, and of course as a retail platform, the journey has been exciting and would continue to be so for decades to come.  No media, so it appears today, can be as personal, as within the consumers’ reach and as manageable as mobile, thanks to the pocket friendly smartphones and data packs.

As per IDC India’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker released last month, smartphone companies shipped a total of 33.5 million units to India during the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), resulting in a healthy 20% year-over-year (YoY) growth. 

Studies by E&Y and KPMG-IMC too present a very robust picture of growth in mobile consumption. As per EY, smartphone users would more than double to 650 million and average data usage would increase to 18 GB per month – a 500% plus growth. KPMG, meanwhile, opines that digital economy in India is likely to reach $1 trillion by 2022 and $1.8 trillion by 2025. As for mobile data usage, it predicts a 500% growth by 2023.

Coming closer to our domain of interest, a recent eMarketer study shows that Mobile ad spend would rise by 75% in 2018. The report also states that More than a quarter of India (337 million) would use Smartphones as the cost barriers are being broken.

In this backdrop, it is obvious that media and entertainment industry would see a complete change in the way content is consumed – mobile first would not only be the strategy for online retail but would become a must do for media and entertainment players too.

Re-imagining India’s M&E sector, FICCI-EY report released in March this year indicates that ‘more than half the country is expected to have access to affordable broadband by 2020, which would result in over 500 mn video consumers. Rural and women audiences are expected to grow fastest, which will change the genre of content being consumed. The digital micro-payments ecosystem is also growing rapidly across both urban and rural markets.’ It adds, “These changes will grow digital content consumption significantly, and this presents M&E companies, both foreign and domestic, with an exciting opportunity to develop businesses and cater to the next generation of Indian digital consumers.’

Interestingly, the report also presents a new customer segmentation likely to be there by 2020:

  1. Digital only consumers – from 1 to 1.5 mn subscriber in 2017, it is likely to reach 4 mn subscribers
  2. Tactical digital consumers (Pay TV + Pay OTT) are likely to increase from 6 mn subscribers to 20 mn subscribers in the same period
  3. Mass Consumers (Pay or Free TV + Free OTT) would increase from 200 plus mn to 500 plus mn subscribers.

If one looks at the above reports in a holistic manner, it clearly indicates that a large percentage of M&E consumption would happen on mobile and women as well as rural consumers of both genders would become comfortable consuming media on mobile. Vernacular content and marketing, perhaps, would see a boom too.

How would this shift actually happen? How are the media companies and production houses gearing up for it? As more mass consumers move to mobile media consumption, would the broadcast programs and short format programs see a convergence? Can the evolution we are talking about happen without a robust measurement system?  And most important of all, how are marketers looking at it – and what are the first mover experiences?

It was these questions that intrigued us, and we are sure many in the industry would be as fascinated as we are. TMMS (The Mobile Media Summit 2018) is an outcome of these deliberations. A number of well-known names from media, marketing, digital and consumer insights space would debate, deliberate and discuss these topics at TMMS 2018. Be there for the takeaways that would make wading through ‘MOBILE’ waters simpler.


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