TV remains most influential platform in India

16 March 2010

NEW DELHI: Television remains the most influential advertising channel in India, but mobile and online are both playing an increasingly important role, research from Deloitte has found.

In its State of the Media Democracy in India study, the consultancy assessed the habits and preferences of consumers aged 14–69 years old living in first and second tier cities in the rapidly-growing economy.

Some 84% of this group owned a mobile phone, a figure that fell to 77% for a "traditional" TV set, 65% for a DVD player, and 61% for an analogue radio.

Only 31% possessed a desktop computer, indicating more people can access the web through a mobile than using a PC, while 23% had a flat-panel TV.

Overall, 92% of participants regarded television as being their preferred form of entertainment, a total that reached 58% for newspapers, either in print or online, 48% for cinema, and 18% for radio.

Reading magazines, in physical or digital form, posted a score of 17%, with attending live events on 15%, reading books and surfing the net both on 5%, and playing videogames on 4%.

Deloitte argued the wider "reach" of TV, and its ability to engage all people irrespective of their profile, played a major role in shaping this result.

More specifically, "leading millennials" – those aged 20–25 years old – gave the internet the highest rating on this measure, on 15%, while TV fared worst among this group, albeit still on 85%.

When assessing the impact of different forms of advertising on their decisions, contributors again gave TV the top spot, on 94%, with newspapers on 89%, and magazines further back, on 34%.

Mobile marketing was in fourth, on 21%, with radio and outdoor on 17%, ahead of online, on 15%, and cinema, on a more modest 3%.

While mobile had a similar influence on consumers irrespective of their age, internet advertising exerted the most persuasive power on "leading millennials".

In terms of the specific activities undertaken online, 19% of those polled emailed friends and family, with 18% using instant messaging platforms, and 17% searching for information via sites like Google.

Only 13% of the panel regularly utilised social networks, chat rooms and message boards, with the same number conducting research for business or educational projects online.

A fifth of "millennials", or 14–25 year olds, had learned about a new product while looking at internet content, while 15% had made purchases based on recommendations available on the net.

This group also "leads the rest" when it comes to engaging in Web 2.0 activities like writing and contributing to blogs, uploading photos and videos, and having a presence on social networks.

Looking forward, 44% of people said they would be interested in mobile features allowing friends to keep track of each other's location.

A further 39% wanted to be able to find shops, restaurants and other amenities in their vicinity in the same way, with 35% expressing a desire to be easily able to transfer content between platforms.

A third of people hoped to be able to view product information by scanning a bar code with their phone, while 29% were in favour of a facility enabling them to buy items seen is shows and ads via their TV.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff