Mobile web popular with Indian youth

16 September 2009

BANGALORE:  A majority of young people in India frequently use their mobile phone to access the internet, and a large number of this group are also responsive to advertising by brands via this medium, according to a new survey by InMobi.

The specialist advertising network reported that the number of mobile subscribers in India is growing by around 10 million users a month, with young people among the main drivers of this trend.

Based on a poll of 205 consumers of college age in the country, it found that 57% of respondents regularly accessed the web using their phone, while 33% often "engaged" with ads on this platform.

In terms of their response to this advertising, 72.5% of participants said they would typically go on to visit the website of the specific brand in question.

A further 17.5% bought the product being promoted in the relevant ad, and 10% called the manufacturer to find out more information.

The most popular mobile marketing tools included discount coupons, free games with "unobtrusive" ads, humorous video clips and targeted "alerts" for items on sale in the local area.

Some 54.7% of the panel had visited a search engine on their phone, a figure falling to 51.3% for news content, and 31.6% for social networks.

Online banking scored 13.7%, with 12% viewing blog content, a further 8.5% playing games, and 5.1% reading electronic books.

InMobi also reported that 20% of people who utilised the mobile internet could be identified as being "working class", with 38% from the "lower middle class", and 42% from the "upper middle class."

Airtel, the network operated by Bharti, was home to far more people who regularly browsed the web in this way than Reliance, one of its main rivals, the company's research also found.

Data sourced from InMobi; additional content by WARC staff