- In 2018, India had an active user base of 530 million among which 260 million are monetizable users, which is supposed to grow to 400 million by 2023.
- As compared to other media (TV, Radio, and Print), the vernacular users spend 56 percent of their time on the internet, the report said.
Most of India’s digitally monetized user prefers their content in the vernacular languages and not English. This makes up 80 percent of the users.
Research and Consulting Firm RedSeer said in a report, “ In 2018, India had an active user base of 530 million among which 260 million are monetizable users, which is supposed to grow to 400 million by 2023 on the back of rising in a total number of the internet users.”
It also mentioned that usage of digital content in vernacular languages is preferred by 210 million of these users which comes at an annual spending power of $300 billion.
This report on ‘Vernacular is now, not the future’ aims to understand the preference and usage pattern of English versus vernacular users in the digital space. The research was conducted in 121 cities and across 2,400 internet users and 600 non-internet users.
As compared to other media (TV, Radio, and Print), the vernacular users spend 56 percent of their time on the internet, the report said.
The time they spend on the internet is mostly driven by Social Media and content, with rural consumption higher than that of urban areas.
Most of the vernacular users access Facebook in English because of the perception of low-quality vernacular content on it.
Anil Kumar, CEO, and Founder of RedSeer said, “ This study helped us in finding that India has added Internet users at a speed of 8 times in last 10 years driven by the introduction of smartphones to small towns and villages.”
Today the top 50 cities account of less than 20 percent of the Internet user base and this decline will continue.
In this scenario, it is really important for advertisers to look at the user base from the lens of monetizability and understand how the time spent and the nature of user is changing since the regional platforms now account for 56 percent of overall time spent on social media.
Vernacular users can be distributed into three broad segments. First, are the pure vernacular users who have a strong preference for their regional language and everything ranging from their basic phone settings, keyboard, social engagement via phone and online content usage is in the vernacular language. They comprise 20 percent of all monetizable users.
The second type is the intermediate vernacular user who prefers English as the basic phone usage language and the social media and online content in vernacular language. They comprise 30 percent of all monetizable users.
Finally comes the user who prefer English for basic phone usage and social engagement and vernacular for online content consumption. They comprise 30 percent of the total monetizable users.
All these details highlight the importance of vernacular users. With advertisers targetting the English first users, which has only 25 percent of spending capacity. Around 75 percent of the spending capacity of Vernacular users in still untapped who seldom engage with English ads. Vernacular platforms also offer more engagement than English platforms.
With vernacular users being ignored until now, this is the right time for advertisers to tap this huge market and strengthen their position.