The current crisis has ushered in “the sixth era of internet evolution” in India, which will add another 350 million users over the next five years, with growth being driven by the rural population, school-going children and women.

That’s the assessment of the Kantar Technology Team: writing for WARC they use Kantar’s ICUBE data to group internet proliferation over the last two decades into five key eras of evolution, each coinciding with user milestones and each lasting for about 3-4 years.

Each of these eras show a distinct progression in the usage behaviour, the infrastructure and access devices and consequently the profile of users that they have attracted.

The most recent era has seen the internet become truly democratised, with it reaching more than 41% of the country’s population. It “is all about bringing convenience to life – whether it is through entertainment and streaming content or through smart devices and assistants”.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has been “a Black Swan event for the digital industry”, accelerating the adoption and usage of the internet further.

Social distancing and work from home norms have created fertile ground for new services/use cases in the areas of healthcare and education, besides adding more muscle to trends around entertainment, e-commerce and screen-time in general.

“This has potentially changed the internet landscape and has ushered in the sixth era of internet evolution, an era that is driven by rapid increase in digital reach coupled with a rapid increase in the width of usage amongst current internet users.”

As a result, brands and marketers will need to revise their media planning and look beyond digital as a single channel.

For more details, read the full article: Digital will drive the new normal in India but are brands ready for it?.

Sourced from WARC